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Dell goes green... but not that green

Sets environmental targets

Dell is making a bid to become the greenest IT company by reducing its greenhouse emissions. This is all very admirable, but Dell has set itself easier targets than its rivals.

The green moves are part of a campaign to fight back after recent poor results led to the resignation of CEO Kevin Rollins and the re-instatement of founder Michael Dell in the role.

The Dell moves include:

  • Preferring green suppliers over non-green ones
  • Reducing the carbon intensity of Dell's global operations by 15 percent by 2012
  • Extending its "Plant a Tree for Me" program to Europe, allowing computer users to offset the emissions associated with the electricity their computers use
  • Asking customers for their ideas in building the "greenest PC on the planet" via Dell's IdeaStorm website

Dell has promised to reduce the carbon emissions of its entire global supply chain by 15 percent by 2012. It says it will encourage users to sign up to have trees planted - that will offset carbon emissions generated in the production and use of Dell products. HP and Sun, however, have promised a 20 percent reduction, to be reached in the same time or less.

More: Dell to lay off 8,800 staff

Despite Dell's big talk, other companies are talking bigger. HP and Sun have committed to cut its greenhouse emissions by 20 percent before 2010 and 2012 respectively. IBM, meanwhile, is spending $1bn a year on green technologies in its Project Big Green. There is some evidence users want greener IT.

Dell has already joined the Green Grid Consortium, which also includes Microsoft, IBM, HP, Sun, AMD and Intel.

Michael Dell said: "Our goal is simple and clear. We'll take the lead in setting an environmental standard for our industry that will reflect our partnership with, and direct feedback from, our customers, suppliers and stakeholders, and we intend to maintain that leadership. ... Dell will do its part to protect the Earth's climate, from providing energy-efficient IT products, to using environmentally responsible practices we hope others will embrace." He went to say that today we are all in the re-generation generation.

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