Dell Ireland rewarded for its Green Team sustainability vision

15 Sep 2011

Dermot O'Connell, general manager, Dell Ireland, with two young recyclers at a recent free recycling day held by the Green Team in Dell's Cherrywood Campus in south Co Dublin, Ireland

Dell Ireland has been nominated for two EnviroCom Awards, with the tech leader’s Green Team in Ireland having pioneered a more sustainable approach to its business operations by implementing energy conservation programmes over the past two years. Just last week, Dell worldwide revealed its 2011 Dell Corporate Responsibility Report and said it is changing how it measures its carbon footprint and sets reduction targets.

In his opening letter in the report, chairman and CEO Michael Dell said Dell had made great progress in its sustainability efforts for the fiscal year 2011.

“We continued to optimise our own footprint through responsible process and product improvements while focusing on making ‘green’ convenient and practical for our customers. We reduced the energy consumption of our computers by 25pc and institutionalised the use of sustainable bamboo packaging.”

Meanwhile, Dell’s vice-president for Corporate Responsibility, Trisa Thompson, indicated in the report that “sustainability priorities and goals” defined by Dell several years ago are “no longer necessarily the right ones”.

“We are in the process of updating our environmental strategy to reflect Dell’s new business dimensions, and we will be sharing new plans and objectives throughout the coming year,” she said.

She said Dell knows its energy profile is going to grow “as we help our customer optimise data solutions and reduce their own energy budgets.”

Carbon footprint measurement overhaul

Green overhauls are in the pipeline at Dell globally, said Thompson, and would be changing the way the firm measures its carbon footprint and sets reduction targets.

“Also, we’ve decided to end our Renewable Energy Credits purchase program for the purpose of achieving carbon-neutral operations,” she said.

ells's 3Cs (cube, content, curb) approach to reducing its packaging waste. Image courtesy of the 2011 Dell Corporate Responsibility Report

Dell’s 3Cs (cube, content, curb) approach to reducing its packaging waste.
Image courtesy of the 2011 Dell Corporate Responsibility Report

Green ambition

Dell earned the top spot on Newsweek‘s Greenest Companies in America list in 2010. It has been reporting its data to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since 2003.

In 2008, Dell globally set a goal of eliminating the use of about 20m pounds (10,000 tonnes) of packaging material by 2012 by using its 3Cs (cube, content, curb) approach.

During a product’s life cycle, Dell says it is investigating ways to be greener in the design, building, shipping, operating and recycling phases.

Dell has also reduced the size of its desktop and laptop boxes by an average of 11.7pc.

Car pooling, cycle to work and turn-me-off schemes

But back to the EnviroCom Awards in Ireland, where Dell will come up against other sustainably driven businesses that are showcasing their green credentials in the ‘Waste Prevention’ and ‘Energy Manager of the Year’ categories. The winners will be announced on 13 October.

Working in tandem with Dell globally to achieve its goals, since 2009, the Green Team at Dell Ireland has been championing a number of energy conservation programmes and leading the workforce in the implementation of these projects. Some of the tech firm’s best successes in Ireland have been the Car Pooling Scheme, the Turn Me Off Scheme and the Cycle to Work Scheme.

Other Dell initiatives commended by being shortlisted include cutting down on packaging by using sustainable bamboo material, as well as environmental priorities, like e-waste, data centre efficiency and supply chain practices.

Speaking today, Dermot O’Connell, general manager, Dell Ireland, said the company was “delighted” to have obtained nominations in two EnviroCom Awards categories.

“I believe that these awards encourage companies to do more to make their businesses environmentally sustainable and this is what we have been pursuing at Dell for some time now. Dell employees across all sections have gone out of their way to make these initiatives work and it would be great to have this recognised by these prestigious awards by taking home the top prize!”

The EnviroCom Awards, now in their fifth year, are renowned for showcasing the best melding of environmental and commercial practice by companies, agencies and non-profits located or operating within Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown in south Co Dublin.

Past winners include some of the largest companies operating in the world, non-profit community groups, agencies and small firms operating in a local context.  

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic