Partnering to Find New Paths Forward in Sustainability

As we look at the next decade, today Dell Technologies is setting forth new sustainability goals. But even before today (in fact, more than three years ago), we started exploring different materials to enhance the Latitude brand’s premium design and performance leadership and help move our sustainability goals forward.

Although we use reclaimed carbon fiber in Latitudes today, we wanted to keep pushing and find new ways to use even more reclaimed carbon fiber in our devices. We kicked off the work with Carbon Conversions, a start-up based in South Carolina that has redesigned the process to produce carbon fiber non-woven fabrics.

Through experimentation and benchmarking of 200 different types of material combinations with Carbon Conversions, we discovered a new reclaimed carbon fiber technology. By taking non-woven carbon fiber fabric, and instead of making parts out of it, putting it in the middle of woven carbon fiber fabric – a new process was born. The new material combination was more cost-effective and produced a lighter, yet durable, Latitude. The LCD cover of the Latitude 7300 AE is made from this new material combination which brings its recycled content to 18% while reducing the weight by 24 grams.

It’s not just about materials. We’re managing sustainability holistically:

  • With the use of waterborne paint for 100% of its painted parts to reduce VOC emissions by 89 percent.
  • Keeping the end-to-end lifecycle in mind with ocean shipment, long lifecycle batteries and packaging with recycled content.

Next year, we will begin to apply our knowledge from this initiative to other products within the Latitude and commercial PC portfolio. We’ve taken these first steps with our Latitude device to ensure the new processes can scale and have a bigger impact, but we know there is still much work to be done.

How can we make this more sustainable? That’s what we’ll keep asking ourselves as we develop new products. As I’ve spent time in this process, I find myself considering the sustainability of the everyday items I consume from clothes to home goods to other electronics. From a sustainability standpoint, what do you consider when you make a purchase?

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.