Dell vows to save the planet

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Dell vows to save the planet

Dell has announced plans to neutralise the carbon impact of its worldwide operations.

"Never before in the history of business have we seen such a critical need to build a worldwide community dedicated to improving the environment," said chairman Michael Dell at a policy forum organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

"Leadership starts at home, which is why we are going carbon neutral, but this should only be the beginning of building long-term partnerships with customers, stakeholders and suppliers to make a difference for the Earth we all share."

Dell also issued a challenge to its rivals to join in "a long-term, carbon-neutral commitment to our shared Earth".

The company unveiled a programme called 'Plant a Forest for Me' that enables global organisations to join with Dell in planting millions of trees in managed reforestation schemes.

This initiative is an extension of Dell's 'Plant a Tree for Me' programme for consumers.

However, some analysts have questioned Dell's motives behind the announcement.

"It would be so easy to be cynical about this: 'arch-capitalist Michael Dell sees the error of his ways and turns hippy'," said senior Ovum analyst Ian Brown.

"But while we are sure that Dell is very sincere in his belief that carbon offsetting is needed to slow down climate change, this is all about marketing. Dell is battling with HP, IBM, Sun Microsystems and others to prove how green it is."

Dell is committed to becoming carbon neutral and doing its bit for the planet, according to Brown, and has to show that it is ready to stand up and be counted.

"But what we'd prefer to see is practical assistance for customers on how to reduce energy wastage and improve resource efficiency in their data centres," he said.

"Dell may be ahead on the offsetting, but it needs to catch up on services and its ability to help customers reuse and share resources, reduce costs and maybe help the planet a little too."

Dell is implementing a company-wide power management programme that automatically powers off machines at night and during periods of inactivity.

The company estimates that this will result in annual savings of about 13 million kilowatt hours of electricity, equivalent to 8,500 tons of CO2 and savings of US$1.8m.

The firm has also replaced office lighting in its central Texas offices, resulting in a nine per cent reduction in electricity demand at the campuses. Similar programmes will be implemented on other Dell campuses within the coming year.

Approximately 10 per cent of the energy needs of the company's Austin, Texas operations come from renewable sources.
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