Delivering your products with minimal environmental impact

Dell ships products to 180 countries worldwide, at a rate of one system per second. Whether we’re sending one laptop to a student in India or thousands of desktops and servers to an enterprise in Indiana, we must ship products in a way that gets each order to its correct destination on time, with all contents intact. That’s the part of the equation you see when you order from Dell, but behind the scenes we also work hard to minimize the environmental impact of each shipment. From choosing the right transportation mode for each order type to minimizing packaging, we’re continuously refining our global transportation and logistics network so your transactions with us are more eco-friendly without added cost or complexity.

All these refinements are based on a big shift we made in 2011, when Dell’s Global Fulfillment and Logistics (GFL) team streamlined our processes to reflect our evolution from PC supplier to end-to-end solutions provider. We examined every aspect of order fulfillment worldwide, rearranging pieces of this complex puzzle to achieve maximum efficiency with a minimal environmental footprint. And we continue to learn, grow and innovate daily.

Optimizing transportation networks for more efficient trips

One of the biggest ways we cut waste is by continually refining our global processes and tools to find the most efficient use of air, land and ocean transportation for every occasion — receiving supplies, shipping products, delivering services and accepting returns.

Truck to Rail, Air to Sea

We’re exploring new transportation modes and routes, including shipments from Asia to Europe, and from China to South Asia. Our Air to Sea initiative has reduced carbon emissions by shifting many international shipments from aircraft to ocean freight. 

Retail Partner Expansion

We’ve also found ways to complete our retail orders closer to end customers and consolidate them into fewer shipments. This reduces travel distance, fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
green transportation and logistics

For example, in the U.S., we process some orders for efficient routing through retail distribution centers, while others are handled directly. In Europe, we expanded our fulfillment center distribution network for retail orders on the mainland, and changed the way we deliver accessories. Both these changes reduced truckload volumes and fuel consumption.

Developing internal processes to cut waste

We’re proud that our hard work has been recognized with many environmental awards. We understand the responsibility that comes with such recognition and continue to drive improvement for our customers through internal processes ranging from container optimization to packaging innovations.

Container Optimization

We’ve refined our processes for pallet building and trailer loading because shipping trailers and containers with higher densities reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Packaging Innovations

We’ve driven many innovations in the packaging arena through our 3Cs strategy, pioneering the use of bamboo packaging for lightweight consumer products and mushroom-based packaging for heavier products. We’re always looking for ways to reduce the volumes of paper used in shipping our products. Each region’s logistics fulfillment centers also have developed initiatives to recycle packaging dunnage (the paper and plastic used to protect cargo shipments).

Reverse Logistics (Product Returns)

Our new efforts to decrease product returns resulted in making 94 percent of returned assets available for resale through our Dell Outlet, up from 90 percent in FY11. These items can be quickly returned to usefulness and resold as either Certified Refurbished, Dell Outlet New or Scratch and Dent, and all Dell Outlet machines carry a Same-As-New warranty. The remaining six percent of returned assets are recycled responsibly.
Carrier Profile

“The primary objectives laid down in our Environmental Policy are:
  • to achieve transparency of our environmental impact, with a focus on our carbon footprint, including subcontracted transportation
  • to improve operational efficiency and minimize our environmental impact
  • to generate value in offering green solutions to our customers and helping them achieve their environmental goals
  • to demonstrate leadership in fostering green technologies, helping to shape political regulations and engaging with our key stakeholders
  • to mobilize employees in strengthening their environmental knowledge and helping them to engage in environmental protection.”

Protecting the environment (GoGreen)

“Optimizing the carbon efficiency of our network, fleet and buildings is the target of our GoGreen program. That’s why we are testing and introducing alternative drive technologies and renewable energies. We help our customer reduce their carbon emissions by offering green solutions.”

Collaborating with partners on green initiatives

We rely on the industry’s best logistics and transportation partners to ship products safely to our customers. These partners, such as DHL, FedEx®, UPS® and DB Schenker share our commitment to both efficiency and environmental stewardship. And we’re continually looking for new opportunities to align our efforts.


We participate in the EPA’s SmartWay® program and expect our carrier partners to as well. SmartWay participants identify technologies and strategies to reduce the carbon emissions of their freight operations. We’re also working with the industry to extend green shipping programs elsewhere, leveraging our experience to support a similar program in Asia.


Many of our partners voluntarily comply with the standards of ISO 14001, which helps companies improve their environmental performance. Their improvements include transmitting shipping documents electronically and using recycled cardboard dunnage to protect freight.