Decoding Dell’s Drive Towards Net Zero
Learn how Dell's commitment to Net Zero is helping to transform the tech industry.
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Decoding Dell’s Drive Towards Net Zero
Learn how Dell's commitment to Net Zero is helping to transform the tech industry.
Published:
Loading reading time...
Decoding Dell’s Drive Towards Net Zero
Learn how Dell's commitment to Net Zero is helping to transform the tech industry.
Published:
Last updated:
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How Dell plans to hit net zero by 2050

Dell Technologies is a well-known global leader in the technology industry. It is working towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions. With a strong emphasis on carbon emission reduction, the company is making notable progress in this area.

Dell aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The company’s sustainability strategy includes ambitious targets for emissions reduction, carbon offset, carbon capture, and carbon removal, as well as collaborations and partnerships to drive sustainability and decarbonisation efforts.

Sustainable development targets

Dell Technologies’ unwavering dedication to sustainable development is evident through its ambitious targets and initiatives. Dell is actively driving positive change toward a greener environment. This is how the company has harmonised its objectives with its overarching sustainability strategy.

  1. Reduce scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030
  2. Reduce scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services by 45% by 2030
  3. Reduce absolute scope 3 emissions associated with the use of solid products by 30% by 2030
  4. Source 100% renewable electricity by 2040

Read more in the Dell sustainability report

Progress towards net zero and emissions reduction

As of the latest reporting, Dell has reduced its net emissions from 25,008,300 to 15,306,900. The company has also reduced its scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 86,600 metric tons since FY20.

Dell's net zero targets. Reduce scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030Reduce scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services by 45% by 2030Reduce absolute scope 3 emissions associated with the use of solid products by 30% by 2030Source 100% renewable electricity by 2040
Net Zero Targets (Image Source: Dell)

Partnerships and collaborations

Dell takes pride in empowering its net zero partners – suppliers and customers to achieve their own sustainability goals.

  • Collaborations to help suppliers identify factory energy usage and develop science-based targets.
  • Product design that focuses on energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.
  • Material selection that prioritises low-carbon and sustainable options.

Dell collaborates with the following partners to attain its sustainability goals.

Suppliers

Dell partnered with its supplier. They aimed to identify factory energy usage, learn about renewable energy options, and leverage industry tools. Their goal was to develop science-based targets.

Team members

Dell Technologies is closely working with its key stakeholders to progress sustainability and address climate change. Its team members include customers, partners, investors, and policymakers.

CEPN

Dell also collaborates with the Clean Electronics Production Network (CEPN). This partnership aims to protect people in Dell’s supply chain. The focus is on safeguarding them from potentially harmful process chemicals.

Addressing challenges to achieving net zero

Achieving net zero emissions poses numerous challenges for Dell.

  • Technological barriers
  • Supply chain emissions
  • Regulations and policy changes
  • Financial risks

In pursuing sustainability, overcoming challenges and effectively managing risks is paramount. Dell employs several key strategies to navigate these obstacles and ensure successful sustainability initiatives.

Resilient supply chain

Dell strongly emphasises building a resilient and sustainable supply chain. This includes diversifying suppliers. It also involves promoting responsible sourcing practices. Additionally, robust risk management protocols are implemented to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Technology and innovation

Dell believes in continuous research and innovation. Investing billion of dollars in clean energy technologies and innovative solutions.

Collaborations with experts

Dell collaborates with industry experts, environmental organisations, and research institutions to access specialised knowledge and insights. This partnership enables the company to leverage external expertise and stay at the forefront of sustainability practices.

Adapting policy changes

In the face of evolving policy frameworks, Dell Technologies recognises the importance of adaptability and flexibility. Moreover, the company proactively monitors and assesses policy changes related to sustainability, climate action, and environmental regulations.

Tactical approach to net zero

Reducing carbon emissions across the value chain

Dell is dedicated to attaining carbon neutrality. They aim to reduce emissions by implementing energy efficiency measures and adopting renewable energy. They plan to offset any remaining emissions by investing in verified carbon offset projects.

Increasing energy efficiency in operations and products

With a new 2030 goal to reduce the carbon emissions associated with using sold products. Dell places a high priority on energy efficiency. This commitment extends to its operations, products, and services. The company leverages advanced technologies to optimise energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint.

Adopting renewable energy sources

Dell aims to source 75% of electricity from renewables by 2030 and 100% by 2040. Dell is actively transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, to power its operations.

Dell invests in renewable energy projects and partners with clean energy providers to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Engaging with stakeholders

Dell builds strong relationships, fosters transparency, and creates a shared sense of responsibility. This stakeholder engagement enables Dell to gain valuable insights, address concerns, and drive collective action toward a sustainable future.

Collaborations

Dell actively collaborates with organisations. They seek partnerships with environmental organisations, research institutions, and other industry stakeholders. The goal is sharing knowledge, leveraging expertise, and developing innovative solutions.

Reshaping daily operations

From energy management to waste reduction, Dell incorporates sustainable practices that reshape the way business is conducted. Additionally, its strategy actively engages employees, fostering a sense of environmental responsibility and inspiring them to contribute to Dell’s sustainability goals.

Energy-efficient hardware and equipment

Dell invests in energy-efficient hardware and equipment. This includes servers, storage systems, and client devices. Dell designs these products to consume less power while maintaining optimal performance. This helps reduce energy consumption during day-to-day operations.

Advanced analytics and monitoring systems

Dell leverages advanced analytics and monitoring systems to continuously assess and optimise energy usage across its facilities.

Cloud computing technologies

Dell also embraces virtualisation and cloud computing technologies, which allow for the consolidation of IT infrastructure and the efficient utilisation of resources.

How does Dell manage waste reduction?

Through the implementation of circular economy principles and waste reduction initiatives, Dell minimises waste generation. By this, the company promotes recycling and reuses resources wherever possible, fostering a more sustainable approach to business operations.

Workplace initiatives

Dell is dedicated to enhancing sustainability in its global workplaces until 2030. The company focuses on energy efficiency, waste reduction, and water management.

Employee involvement

Employees are vital in assisting Dell in achieving its net zero goals. The company actively engages them in sustainability initiatives through several programs and collaborations.

Engaging employees & stakeholders

Dell involves its employees in various sustainability initiatives and encourages them to contribute to its overall decarbonisation efforts.

Communication and transparency

Dell’s effective employee engagement program begins with open and transparent communication channels. Regular updates on company goals, initiatives, and progress toward sustainability targets help employees stay informed and engaged.

Training and education

Dell Technologies improves employees’ understanding of sustainability principles and empowers them to make environmentally conscious decisions. Dell Technologies achieves this by providing workshops, seminars, and online resources.

Recognition and rewards

The program includes various elements designed to motivate employees toward sustainable actions. Through this program, Dell incentivises knowledge and appreciates employees who demonstrate exceptional dedication to sustainable practices.

Internal sustainability campaigns

Engaging employees through internal sustainability campaigns, such as challenges, competitions, or awareness campaigns. These campaigns can include activities like energy-saving challenges, waste reduction initiatives, or eco-friendly commuting programs.

Critical aspects of stakeholder engagement

Mutual benefits

Dell seeks to create mutual benefits through stakeholder engagement. The company considers how its sustainability initiatives align with stakeholders’ interests and strive.

Addressing concerns and grievances

Dell takes prompt action to address stakeholder concerns and grievances. The company acknowledges and takes responsibility for any issues stakeholders raise, working towards satisfactory resolutions.

Collaborative partnerships

Dell builds collaborative partnerships with stakeholders to drive sustainability efforts. The company engages in dialogue and forms alliances with NGOs, industry peers, and other organisations. To foster innovation, share best practices, and tackle sustainability challenges together.

Emission reduction

Dell is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions through various initiatives. These initiatives aim to implement sustainable practices and technologies. The company aims to promote a greener and more environmentally friendly approach to business operations.

Energy efficiency improvements

Dell implements energy-efficient technologies and practices across its operations to reduce the energy consumed and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Renewable energy procurement

Dell actively sources renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, to power its facilities and operations, thereby reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon offsetting

Dell invests in verified carbon offset projects to neutralise its remaining greenhouse gas emissions. These projects support reforestation, renewable energy projects, and methane capture initiatives.

Sustainable packaging

Dell prioritises sustainable packaging solutions. They use materials that can be recycled, are biodegradable, or are made from recycled content. This helps reduce the environmental impact of packaging and lowers the carbon footprint.

Product lifecycle management

Dell actively promotes a circular economy. They achieve this by designing products with longer lifecycles, making repairing and upgrading them easier. Additionally, they provide recycling programs for their products when they end their life.

Data centre efficiency

Dell optimises data centre operations to improve energy efficiency, including advanced cooling technologies, server virtualisation, and intelligent power management systems.

Green building practice

Dell designs and operates its facilities using green building practices, such as energy-efficient lighting, smart HVAC systems, and sustainable construction materials.

Transparent reporting

Dell maintains transparency by regularly reporting its greenhouse gas emissions and reduction targets, allowing stakeholders to track progress and hold the company accountable.

Infographic showing Dell's circular economy goals. Listed are sustainable material, repair/refurbishment, durability, dematerialising/optimising, design for harvest and business model
Dell Sustainable Future (Image Source: Tcocertified)

Dell’s supply chain emissions strategies

Dell aims to drive sustainability throughout its supply chain through collaboration, innovation, and responsible sourcing.

Emission tracking and reporting

Dell regularly assesses and measures supply chain emissions. They use thorough data collection and transparent reporting to identify emission hotspots and areas that need improvement. This helps Dell develop specific strategies to reduce emissions.

Responsible sourcing

Dell emphasises sourcing materials and components from suppliers with strong environmental credentials. The company seeks partners who share the commitment to reducing emissions, promoting sustainable practices, and ethical sourcing throughout the supply chain.

Energy efficiency programs

Dell encourages its suppliers to implement energy efficiency programs in their manufacturing processes. Suppliers can reduce emissions and operational costs by optimising energy usage, benefiting both the environment and their business.

Low-carbon transportation

Dell promotes the adoption of low-carbon transportation methods for moving goods along the supply chain. This includes leveraging eco-friendly transportation options and optimising logistics to minimise emissions during product distribution.

Circular economy approach

Dell supports a circular economy in its supply chain. They encourage suppliers to reuse, remanufacture, and recycle products. This helps reduce environmental impact and conserve resources.

Harnessing the power of climate science

Dell recognises the critical role of climate science in its pursuit of net zero emissions. Dell firmly believes in integrating the most up-to-date climate science within its net zero strategy.

Here are some key points regarding the climate science approach.

  • The company recognises the critical role that climate science plays in informing effective sustainability strategies.
  • Dell’s net zero approach is grounded in scientific evidence, ensuring its sustainability initiatives are based on reliable data.
  • Infusing climate science into the net zero strategy demonstrates Dell’s commitment to evidence-based decision-making.
  • Dell’s near-term emissions reduction target aligns with the SBTi criteria for ambitious value chain goals, ensuring the company follows current best practices.

Quantifying Dell’s carbon footprint, tracking net zero progress

Dell takes specific steps to measure its carbon footprint accurately and monitor progress toward achieving net zero emissions.

  • Emissions Calculation: Dell calculates its greenhouse gas emissions using recognised industry standards and emission factors. It considers emissions from direct sources (Scope 1), indirect emissions from purchased electricity (Scope 2), and indirect emissions from the value chain (Scope 3).
  • Verification and Validation: Dell ensures the accuracy of its carbon footprint data through independent verification and validation. Third-party experts review the data collection methods, emission calculations, and adherence to reporting standards to ensure credibility and transparency.
  • Setting Baseline: Dell establishes a baseline for its carbon emissions data to measure progress. This baseline reflects the initial carbon footprint, enabling Dell to track reductions effectively.
Progress Made Real articulates how Dell will create a positive social impact by advancing sustainability, cultivating inclusion and transforming lives around the world.
Dell Social Impact (Image Source: Share.Vidyard)

Awards and recognition for sustainability

Dell has received several awards and recognition for its commitment to sustainability and environmental initiatives. Here is the list of awards.

EcoVadis platinum medal

  • 2021: Dell was awarded a platinum EcoVadis medal for scoring in the top 1% of companies assessed across four major themes.

EPA sustainable materials management awards

  • FY22: The EPA recognised Dell with three awards
  • Cutting Edge Champion Award for the use of bio-based plastics
  • Sustained Excellence Award for the closed-loop aluminium pilot
  • Gold Tier Recycling Award for recycling services

CDP supplier engagement and climate change questionnaire

  • 2021: Dell was recognised as a leader among the top 8% of companies assessed for supplier engagement on climate change, based on CDP disclosure
  • 2021: Dell scored an A- for its response to CDP’s annual climate change questionnaire for the quality and comprehensiveness of the information provided

Climate Action Transparency Index (CATI)

  • 2021: Dell has achieved the top position in the Corporate Action on Climate and Value Chain Performance. This remarkable accomplishment places Dell ahead of 661 companies across various industries and 48 information technology companies.
  • CATI focuses on brands’ performance on corporate and value chain-level climate action performance.

Summing up

By embracing the latest climate science, Dell has taken a proactive and innovative approach to reducing its carbon footprint and striving towards net zero emissions.

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Author

Rob Boyle
Rob built Emission Index to collect and share data, trends and opportunities to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and expedite the energy transition.

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