- In Dell's annual Legacy of Good Update, the company announced that it has used 36.2 million pounds of recycled plastic since the beginning of FY14. That is more than 70% of the way toward its goal of using 50 million pounds by 2020.
- The company says it uses plastics from this closed loop system in more than 48 of its products.
- Approximately 93% of Dell's packaging (by weight) is now sustainably sourced and easily recyclable. New sourcing practices and box size reductions have saved the company $65.9 million since 2009.
Dell has been collecting e-waste through a partnership with Goodwill and take-back programs in 83 countries, recovering 1.6 billion pounds of electronics since 2007. This commitment to e-waste collection is particularly important at a time when many municipalities can't afford to take it. Though some companies, including Dell, have sent their material to questionable destinations. The company reports it now also diverts 97% of its manufacturing waste from landfills.
Dell's move to reduce packaging waste has been particularly successful and saved $65.9 million since 2009. One part of this has been reducing box sizes, but the company has also started using a number of alternatives materials such as wheat straw, bamboo and mushroom cushions that are more easily recyclable and compostable. The company also started using a material called air carbon — a type of plastic created from methane — and has begun preliminary studies into working with ocean plastic.
This move toward new material and higher amounts of recycled content aligns with many circular economy goals. While making this kind of switch may seem daunting at first, David Lear — Dell's executive director of corporate sustainability — says it has been good for the business and hopes it will inspire others to follow suit.
“This whole concept of circular economy, especially coming out of Europe, I think is going to put some directives on how companies design their packaging," Lear told Waste Dive. "We're doing it and we're saving money from traditional materials that we were using."