Materiality Analysis for Corporate Social Responsibility

Sustainability materiality is the identification and subsequent strategic focus on topics of high importance to our stakeholders and high potential to impact our business, while also being issues that Dell has the ability to affect. Through a materiality assessment, we gain insight into issues that have a direct or indirect impact on our ability to create, preserve, or erode economic, environmental and social value for Dell, our stakeholders, and society at large. These topics focus our corporate social responsibility efforts and consequently what we measure and report on.

We identify and prioritize our material issues through the execution of a materiality assessment, engaging with internal and external stakeholders including Dell executives and internal subject matter experts, NGOs, peers within our industry, academia, sustainability experts, and community representatives. Over the years, we’ve been grateful for our collaboration with all our stakeholders, and with our partnership with Ceres, an advocate for sustainability leadership with strong ties to investors, public interest groups and other companies.

We revisit our materiality analysis regularly to ensure our efforts remain aligned with what is most important to our business and our stakeholders. In 2016, Dell merged with EMC, and we recognized the need to review each company’s previous materiality assessments to identify a short term set of priorities until a full materiality assessment can be completed. To that end, in early 2017 a materiality review was completed and aligned the priorities. Until the full materiality assessment is completed (expected early 2018), the issues below will help guide our strategy and focus. 
Global Reporting Initiative Compliance

In conjunction with our annual corporate social responsibility report, we report on our compliance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The guidelines identify a core set of items for inclusion in sustainability reports and create a framework that reflects diverse stakeholders’ perspectives, harmonized across various internationally accepted standards. Dell has long been a supporter the approach and is proud to sponsor GRI. Dell is a GRI Organizational Stakeholder and a GRI Sector Leader in the IT sector.

The principles behind our goals

The following tenets helped guide the formulation of our 2020 Plan and the goals we report against:
  • Focus on our customers: We will succeed if we keep the customer foremost in our mind, linking our goals back to providing them with value.
  • Innovate: Business as usual across the board is not enough. We must re-imagine what is possible.
  • Scale globally: From managing a complex supply chain to understanding and appreciating the different cultures where we live and work, we must view our activities with a global lens.
  • Be transparent and accountable: Better and more strategic reporting will make clear our impacts and progress each year.
  • Lead by example: We will strengthen our work as an advocate and partner for social and environmental change, pushing sustainability more into the mainstream market.
  • Welcome collaboration: To achieve our aspirations at the necessary scale, we will need engaged, courageous collaborators.
Reporting on Material Issues

Dell’s annual corporate social responsibility report represents a snapshot in time by capturing and highlighting our strategy and performance during a particular fiscal year. Our report presents a broad overview of our progress toward goals, enabling readers to quickly evaluate key performance indicators. The report also highlights challenges, and raises questions to which we may not yet have answers. The report is augmented by detailed content on dell.com/csr, providing extensive information including case studies, policies, interactive tools, opportunities for feedback and learning resources. This content offers a high level of transparency and enables stakeholders to delve deeper into their particular areas of interest.