Daily we find ourselves surrounded by products claiming to be all-natural, better for the environment or "green." But how can you be sure what these mean? It’s easy when it comes to Dell products — simply follow the label, looking for products that meet the highly reputable third-party standards of ENERGY STAR, EPEAT® and the 80 PLUS® Program.

For a recent list of Dell products that are Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-registered and ENERGY STAR-qualified, visit our eco-label products listing. All commercial notebooks and many other Dell products can be configured to meet ENERGY STAR qualifications. In 2012, we became one of the first companies to offer EPEAT-registered printers. Be sure to check directly with each organization for the most up-to-date information.

Why look for the eco-label?

If you’re not exceedingly familiar with an environmental data sheet, it may be quicker or easier to use the various eco-labels as a benchmark for comparing attributes related to a product’s environmental impact. These standards are not set arbitrarily by us — they are developed and managed by independent entities, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Electronics Council, Ecova and the Electric Power Research Institute. Dell works with each of these groups and others in the industry to continually move the standards forward, ensuring the integrity of their designations and making it easy for customers to choose the most energy-efficient or sustainable options.

ENERGY STAR — The mark for energy efficiency

Ecolable EnergystarSince 1992, the U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA) has maintained its ENERGY STAR rating system to highlight energy-efficient products, helping us all save money and reduce emissions associated with electricity use. The mark can apply to desktops, laptops, servers, monitors and printers, as well as a wide range of products beyond computers.

The EPA sets standards within all of these product categories and base qualification on meeting their standards under typical use. Recognizing the natural march toward greater energy efficiency as design improves, they revise the standards regularly, ensuring that ENERGY STAR represents the top 25 percent most efficient products in a category.
Choosing ENERGY STAR-qualified products can help manage electricity costs or meet sustainability goals around emissions associated with electricity. The savings can be significant, even for an individual: a Dell ENERGY STAR-qualified computer with power management features enabled can save as much as $75 per year. When coupled with ENERGY STAR-qualified servers, monitors and printers, the savings in a typical business can be significant.

Well recognized in the U.S., the ENERGY STAR program provides a common global standard that allows countries such as the European Union, Japan and Korea to adopt the Energy Star framework.
EPEAT — Sustainability simplified

If you’re looking to go beyond energy efficiency, EPEAT is a great place to start. Recognizing the need for a simple way to define “greener electronics,” the Green Electronics Council created EPEAT as a comprehensive rating system that takes into account the environmental and social impacts of a product and its manufacturer.

Most EPEAT criteria apply to the registered products, while some address the manufacturer and their corporate performance. Categories include:
Ecolabel EPEAT
  • Material choice
  • Design for end of life and recyclability
  • Product longevity
  • Energy efficiency
  • Packaging
  • Recycling programs
  • Corporate performance
Dell’s design for the environment program, innovative packaging work and global recycling programs are just some of the ways we meet and exceed the criteria for EPEAT registration.

While EPEAT does not cover every product category, it is easy to see how registered products have been measured against a comprehensive set of standards. Dell has long been involved with EPEAT and in 2012 registered products in Japan, Mexico, Switzerland and the United Kingdom for the first time. We have previously registered products in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany and Sweden.

We offer over 200 registered products globally and added imaging products for the first time 2012. Dell is also working with stakeholders to expand EPEAT categories to include servers and storage.

80 PLUS — Efficient power supplies

Ecolabel 80 plusThe power supplies that convert AC power from electric utilities into DC power for computers and servers are one of the common sources of inefficiency. The conversion process typically loses some of the power that comes in as heat — this is why your power supply feels warm to the touch. The 80 PLUS designation requires power supplies to be at least 80 percent efficient in this conversion at various usage loads.

The energy savings of even the basic 80 PLUS power supplies (saving 85 kilowatt-hours per desktop, 300 kilowatt-hours per server per year over non-80 PLUS power supplies) can be impressive. There are multiple levels of the designation representing increasingly efficient power supplies. Dell was the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to offer an 80 PLUS Titanium power supply (the highest level), which reaches 96 percent efficiency under a 50 percent load.

Strategically leading with labels

The eco-labels you see associated with our products are important to us because they provide a third-party standard that helps you make informed choices when you shop. Here’s a guide.

ENERGY STAR

All commercial notebooks and many other Dell products qualify for the widely recognized ENERGY STAR label, indicating they meet the U.S. EPA standard for energy efficiency.

The EPA constantly updates the ENERGY STAR rating system to reflect the latest technology customers are using. For example, ENERGY STAR now also offers guidance and tools for managing energy efficiency in data centers, including specifications for servers. Our line of PowerEdge servers and Energy Smart racks are designed to meet ENERGY STAR specifications and help data center operators manage the energy performance of their facilities.

80 PLUS

Ever notice how your internal power supply gets warm on a laptop? That’s electricity lost to heat, rather than powering your device. The 80 PLUS standard began as a way of demonstrating power supplies that were at least 80 percent efficient at converting power. Dell was the first manufacturer to achieve 80 PLUS Titanium certification for a server power supply (meaning 96 percent of the electricity coming in from the wall gets used by the computer during times of 50 percent utilization; only 4 percent is lost to heat).

Dell has a long-standing tradition of leadership in this space, having been first to achieve Gold certification in 2008. Today in our OptiPlex and Dell Precision brands, all systems can be configured with 80 PLUS Gold power supplies.

EPEAT

Dell has long worked with EPEAT, an environmental procurement tool designed to help institutional purchasers evaluate, compare and select desktop computers (including workstations), laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes. Dell was one of the first manufacturers to register products with EPEAT and now offers products registered in multiple countries. Read more about Dell and eco-labels.