Zero-waste manufacturing

Guiding Principles Affirm Dell’s Commitment to Zero Waste

Dell believes that zero waste — producing, consuming and recycling without throwing anything away — is an ethical, cost-efficient and visionary approach that all manufacturers should employ. And, while absolute zero waste may be not be possible short-term, our zero waste guiding principles and the strategies we execute to follow them are helping us to get closer and closer to a truly waste-free process.

In our manufacturing operations, we regularly divert more than 97% of materials from landfilling. Our teams take pride in reducing waste – it is inefficient and represents a lost opportunity with resources. This approach is in line with our ongoing efforts to transition to a circular economy.

Zero Waste Guiding Principles

At Dell, there are several principles that guide us as we strive toward zero waste and several examples of how we are succeeding:

Waste is inefficient, so waste minimization, reuse and recycling are fundamental

Dell employs highly efficient manufacturing and operational process that reduce waste because, ultimately, waste is inefficient and bad for the planet. For example, our global manufacturing and fulfillment facilities continue to maintain a high recycle and reuse rate of about 97 percent of nonhazardous solid waste.

We recognize our position in the overall ecosystem

As a major global manufacturer, we proactively aim for waste avoidance upstream via our supply chain and downstream via our customers and beyond for minimal environmental impact.

That’s why Dell puts a high priority on helping to prevent computers from becoming waste in the first place. We are a leader in mandating responsible recycling around the globe. Taking a systems-level view and understanding how our actions affect elements throughout our value chain is one of the strategies we employ in our ongoing shift to a circular economy. Our actions do not occur in a vacuum and we must consider the social, economic and environmental consequences. We use lifecycle assessments to understand where our impact occurs and we work with our suppliers and partners around the globe to find efficient and innovative solutions to minimize our footprint.

This extends to our customers, too. We believe no computer should go to waste and we design our products with this in mind – making them easy to repair (to extend their lives) and to recycle (to ensure all materials are kept in the economy and out of landfills). We also make it easy for them to recycle through the largest technology takeback program in the industry, with operations in 83 countries and territories. As part of our Legacy of Good plan, we are committed to also making all our packaging waste-free (sourced sustainably and 100% recyclable/compostable) by 2020.

We’re committed to finding answers collaboratively
No global effort can succeed without the help of everyone. Partnering with academia, peers inside and outside our industry, and waste technology experts will help us in these efforts.

For many years now, we’ve recognized the growing number of Socially Responsibility Investors (SRIs) who evaluate the full value and risks associated with a company’s long-term performance. Since 2008, we’ve engaged the SRI community and continue to do so with a series of events, road shows and stakeholder mapping efforts in order to add to the sustainability discussion and further our thought leadership. We continually solicit feedback from subject matter experts on sustainability ideas. This gives stakeholders a better understanding of Dell’s decision-making process and proves that we are effectively progressing on these issues.