Designing Products with Purpose

Learn more about our commitment to sustainability through the entire lifecycle of our products.

Sustainability is a journey, and if we are being honest, it isn’t an easy one. Whether you’re trying to remember to separate your recyclables from your trash or designing the most innovative technology, sustainability requires commitment and diligence.

Here at Dell Technologies, we have gone all-in on our commitment to sustainability. Just take a look at our bold 2030 goals. In line with our Progress Made Real social impact plan, our designers and engineers focused on supporting our moonshot goal that by the year 2030, for every product sold, we will recycle or reuse an equivalent product and 100% of our packaging and half of our product portfolio will be made from recycled or renewable materials. And we know we can’t achieve this goal on our own – collaboration will be key. It’s why we have also joined the recently announced Circular Electronics Partnership (CEP) alongside the biggest names in tech, consumer goods and waste management, committing to work together to accelerate the circular economy.

Today our work was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during its 2020 SMM Electronics Challenge Awards. We were given the Champion Award for the Dell Latitude 7300 Anniversary Edition. This is our seventh year in a row to win a Gold Award or Champions Award for recycling. It’s exciting for me because it recognizes the behind-the-scenes innovation happening every day at our company, and it showcases the great work other companies are doing.

Sustainable Design

When we began designing the Latitude 7300 Anniversary Edition several years ago, we knew we wanted to bring more reclaimed materials into our products than ever before. After experimenting with more than 200 different materials, we developed a non-woven carbon fiber fabric, sourced from the aerospace industry, to use in the device. This made it more durable, while also reducing its weight (which is very important for PCs! A true win/win!). Now, three years later, we have expanded our use of reclaimed carbon fiber into even more of our products which has resulted in over two million pounds of carbon fiber diverted from landfills.

But it was about more than that. It was about the entire device lifecycle – from the sustainable materials we sourced and using recycled content in our packaging to selecting waterborne paints which reduce VOC emissions, designing long lifecycle batteries, and shipping by ocean – and finally, taking the device back from you when you need a new one.

And we’re not stopping there. We took the concepts from the Latitude 7300 Anniversary Edition and applied them not only to other Latitude devices, but to other products in the broader Dell portfolio.

We’re also looking at other reclaimed materials for our devices. This past January we announced our new Latitude 5000 series and Precision 3560, which are the first PCs made from bioplastic from tree waste.¹ Produced using a by-product of a paper-making process called ‘tall oil,’ these devices feature lids containing 21% bioplastic content.² A great example of a renewable material, our bioplastics are blended with recycled carbon fiber and other plastics for a total of 71% recycled or renewable materials in the lid of the Latitude 5000 series and Precision 3560. By focusing on the second heaviest part of the device – the lid – Dell can make a larger sustainability impact, reducing the product’s carbon, water and energy footprint, while maintaining Dell’s high reliability, durability and performance standards.

Conscientious Choices for a Sustainable Future

Many of us are shopping for much more than just thin and light innovative devices. We’re considering how the technology we use is sourced and produced and we’re conscious of the impact it has on the environment. We want you to feel good about these factors when you choose any Dell product, which is why we have been focused on our sustainability journey for nearly two decades. And while 2030 sounds like the finish line for us to sprint across, the truth is that this journey will never end. So let’s keep on running, shall we?

¹ Based on Dell analysis, September 2020. 21% bioplastics in LCD cover lid.

² Measured by weight.

About the Author: Meghana Patwardhan

Meghana Patwardhan is a product management executive with over 13 years of experience in product strategy, definition, go-to market and operations. She currently leads the Commercial Client Products Group at Dell Technologies. Previously, she led Mainstream PCs Business Unit, Precision workstations Product Management team, and the Latitude Product Planning team. She holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from UT Austin and a MBA in Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. In her spare time, you can find her cooking, playing board games, traveling or hiking with her husband and two kids.