Dell's suppliers will be required to provide quarterly statements of their carbon emissions. This encouragement of suppliers is similar to Sun's requirement that suppliers commit to the ISO 14001 standard but Dell is implementing its requirements differently.
Suppliers' emissions reports will be used to add or subtract from their existing overall quarterly scorecard, the value of which affects their Dell business volume. That's the stick. Once companies begin to report the data, Dell will help them create emissions reduction strategies; that's the matching carrot.
Dell recently completed a power-management pilot on the 50,000 or so computers in its internal network. This resulted in savings of about 13 million kW/hours of electricity, equivalent to preventing the emission of 8,500 tons of CO2 and saving $1.8m annually. Dell said it would work to identify ways to help its corporate customers achieve similar savings.
In the tree planting program, customers can offset the emissions associated with the electricity that their computers use, by paying £1 per notebook or £3 per desktop. All the money will be donated to plant trees in professionally managed reforestation projects. The trees will absorb the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere when electricity is generated to power a computer over its average three-year life. This follows on from storage supplier 3PAR's existing and similar carbon offset scheme for its customers.
To demonstrate his personal commitment to this green charm offensive, Michael Dell said he personally would match donations to the program received during the next three months.
Dell also offers customers free recycling of its products worldwide.