|One of the central themes to the circular economy is the idea of systems thinking – taking a holistic view and considering the “ripple effect” of various decisions along the way. We consider sustainability opportunities and challenges at every stage of the product or service lifecycle – from design to end-of-life and everything in between.|
|One of the central themes to the circular economy is the idea of systems thinking – taking a holistic view and considering the “ripple effect” of various decisions along the way. |
We consider sustainability opportunities and challenges at every stage of the product or service lifecycle – from design to end-of-life and everything in between.
Our product design efforts are guided by corporate environmental policy and we follow the ISO 14001 standard for managing environmental programs throughout the lifecycle. Product designers use the environmental guidelines to meet global regulations and standards, voluntary social and environmental initiatives, and eco-label requirements. We focus on environmentally responsible materials, efficient designs that require fewer materials, embedding energy efficiency, and a focus on maximizing reusability, repairability and recyclability.
How a product is made is important. Increasingly, a large portion of the associated carbon footprint of our products occurs across our supply chain. We are focused on operational efficiency and conservation, using/purchasing renewable electricity, and avoiding waste. We also work closely with our suppliers to extend these approaches to their operations and have even set a goal for having suppliers representing 95% of our direct materials spend and key logistics suppliers set specific greenhouse gas emissions targets and report on their emissions inventory by 2020.
Our packaging and logistics teams are striving for a waste-free packaging experience by 2020 and are well on their way. They work closely with the product designers to ensure rightsizing of packaging (helping us reduce both material use and the transportation footprint) and nearly all materials used are sustainably sourced and easily recyclable or compostable.
While controlled in the design phase, how a product performs in the hands of our customers is a critical consideration in the overall product lifecycle. For example, approximately 90% of a midrange Dell EMC product’s lifecycle impacts occur in the “use” phase. Increasing energy efficiency is critical – we have a goal to reduce the average energy intensity of our entire product portfolio by 80% by 2020. So is ensuring products operate well in hyper-efficient Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) environments. We also strive to deliver software-based solutions, including significant energy savings through virtual provisioning, data deduplication, compression and our Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST).
We design to make sure that products can last as long as possible – which benefits customers and the planet. That means making it easy to upgrade and easy to repair. These same design features also make a product easier to recycle. We use minimal glues and adhesives, strive for modular designs and consistent screw sizes, have restrictions on paints and coatings, and label recyclable materials so recyclers can identify and put them toward the best possible reuse. We also strive to make recycling easy for our customers, with broad offerings in 83 countries and territories. We also aid reuse through the Global Dell Outlet, which helps keep nearly a million returned and/or refurbished products from being recycled by reselling them.
For more on our Design for Environment program, read our technical paper.