Background - 27 April, 2010

Summary 39/100

Dell brings its score up slightly from Version 3 with better articulation of solutions, principally Virtualization, however, none of the provided case studies account for net emissions and the assumptions are not clearly defined. Dell has not integrated energy or carbon saving solutions into its core business model as well as competitors HP and IBM.

Dell’s footprint mitigation has improved, however, and its greenhouse gas reduction goal of 40 percent by 2015 from 2007 levels is one of the best in the industry. As a company with both virtual and manufactured products, the company’s infrastructure and product efficiency are simultaneously taken into account. Dell needs to provide further prioritization of renewable energy for cloud-based development and quantification of the energy savings of non-virtual product offerings.

As one of the largest tech companies in the world, Dell needs to be far more visible in the policy arena. Michael Dell should speak out frequently and publicly, not only about IT’s role in reducing its own carbon footprint, as he did in a Forbes op-ed late last year, but regarding IT’s duty to inform key climate and energy policy developments.


Climate Solutions


Current Savings Calculations


Current Savings Calculations: Dell provides many examples of energy efficiency savings, primarily through improving the efficiency of Dell hardware and helping its customers improve the utilization of their IT equipment -- which is important, but does not exhibit GHG savings in other sectors of the economy, as this criterion measures. Dell does showcase solutions in IT and infrastructure efficiency, and has flagged they need to better capture the savings present through their Solutions and Services divisions with case studies.

Public Metrics


Dell articulates the assumptions of its energy calculators, as provided on its Energy Smart website.



Dell doesn’t separate out or report R&D or clean tech investment figures. Acquisitions such as Scalent and Ocarina in 2010, along with Perot Systems in 2009, show financial commitment to building infrastructure and expertise to better offer IT solutions.

Future Savings Goal


No future savings goal.


Energy Impact


Reduction Target


Dell has committed to reduce global absolute GHG emissions from its worldwide facilities by 40% by 2015, from a baseline year of 2007. Scope 1 GHG emissions have been reduced by 5% and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 10% from FY2009 to FY2010.



Dell has a fairly robust GHG mitigation strategy, including efficiency measures, server virtualization, and renewable energy purchasing. To score more points, the company should invest in further efficiency measures and direct renewable energy purchasing instead of RECs.

Infrastructure Siting


Dell has virtualized much of its data center operations, and focused on a number of efficiency improvements in their existing infrastructure, while increasing the renewable energy that is powering a small percentage of their infrastructure.

Supply Chain Footprint


Dell produces 59% of its laptop models and 63% of desktop models compliant with Energy Star 5.0 standards. Dell has begun to solicit GHG accounting and reporting from its Tier I suppliers


Political Advocacy




Dell scores well here for CEO Michael Dell’s op-ed in Forbes in the lead up to Copenhagen’s climate discussions. The occurrence demonstrates high-level support for climate change policy, but Michael Dell could be more specific and frequent in supporting action from global leaders on climate change.

Policy Advocacy


Dell has a public statement on its website generally supporting emission reductions other policy measures on website, but could score higher points here for more specific advocacy to a decision-making body at the executive level of the company.

Repetition Bonus


No applicable examples of advocacy repetition.

Negative Lobby Penalty


No negative lobby scored.

Dell's scores to date

Leaderboard Score
Version 1 21
Version 2 23
Version 3 28
Version 4 39