Even with projections for improving efficiency across moderate economic recovery in the future, our society is still emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) at an unsustainable rate. Customers are looking for ways to curb their own emissions and they expect corporations to do the same. At Dell, we track our GHG emissions and set a high bar for improvement.

How We Report Emissions
We estimate our GHG emissions using the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Environmental Protection Agency Climate Leaders Greenhouse Gas Inventory Guidance. In addition to reporting on this website and in our annual corporate responsibility report, we report to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), an independent nonprofit holding the world's largest database of primary corporate climate change information.

Our emissions fall into three categories: our own operations, the “upstream” contributions from our supply chain, and the “downstream” contributions such as those from the transportation and use of our products. Emissions from our own operations fall into Scope 1 and Scope 2 while both the upstream and downstream contributions are part of Scope 3.

From our own operations
  • Scope 1 emissions — direct emissions that we generate in our own operations and vehicles as a result of fuel combustion and minor leakage from air-conditioning and refrigerant systems.
  • Scope 2 emissions — indirect emissions associated with the production of electricity and municipal heat that we purchase for use in our facilities.


From upstream and downstream sources
  • Select Scope 3 emissions — our business air travel. We also added (in late FY12) a commitment to assess the viability of other categories of Scope 3 emissions, including those from our supply chain, upstream and downstream logistics, and our customers’ electricity use related to our products. Our Scope 3 (indirect) emissions associated with business air travel decreased approximately 24 percent from FY12 as a result of reduced travel, made possible in part by increased use of conference call technology.
2013 Absolute Emmissions by Scope 

Absolute Carbon Emissions

The chart above shows our estimated absolute GHG emissions, broken down by scope, for FY11 through FY13. The Scope 2 category reflects the net emissions, which account for our use of energy from renewable sources such as wind and the sun. The increases in Scope 1 and 2 emissions since FY11 are due primarily to several acquisitions. Recent Dell acquisitions (including those from FY12 in their first full year, plus FY13 acquisitions) came with energy-intensive research and development activities that have led to higher electricity usage. The acquisitions, combined with the increased role of data and technology centers in our shifting business model and a year of decreased revenues, led to an approximately 8 percent increase in Scope 2 net emissions intensity in FY13. These factors also resulted in us missing our five-year goal of a 15 percent reduction in net emissions intensity.
2013 GHG Emmissions Intensity
Net Carbon Intensity

This chart shows our GHG emissions intensity (tons per revenue $US millions) from FY10 to FY12 (net intensity is calculated as the total Scope 1 and 2 emissions, less emissions reduced through green electricity purchases, divided by annual revenue). At the end of FY13, our net emissions intensity was 10.8 percent lower than in FY08 (unadjusted basis).