As one of the largest sellers of personal and enterprise servers and computers, Dell has invested resources in managing its own operational footprint, participating in pilot projects to reduce emissions along the long tail of the electronics supply chain, and investing in renewable energy. In terms of climate solutions potential, Dell’s lack of portfolio diversity leaves the company playing catch up to competitors such as HP and front-runners like IBM. Dell’s attempt to diversify its portfolio with the acquisition of Perot Systems, a company mainly focused on government and health care consultancy services, could be a harbinger that the company aims to expand its IT climate solutions offering. Despite its current lack of climate solutions, Dell still participates in climate and energy policy advocacy, but mainly in the form of signing onto other joint letters of support. The company is often muted in its specific prescriptions for policy change. Michael Dell should continue to use his substantial bully pulpit to become a champion for stronger national and international clean energy, energy efficiency and climate legislation, just as Eric Schmidt has done at Google.
Dell lists a large number of technology solutions, but does not release any information on actual emission savings, making it difficult to gauge how effective it may be in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in other sectors of the economy.
Dell scores full points for its ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction target 40 percent by 2015 from a 2007 baseline. Dell also has a strong commitment to sourcing renewable energy, with 26 percent of its electricity coming from renewable sources.
In December, prior to the Copenhagen climate meetings, Michael Dell wrote a timely opinion piece in Forbes that focused on the need for governments and businesses to act urgently with science-based, climate policies to reduce emissions. Dell has signed onto industry letters of climate support. The company needs to increase both the substance and volume of its climate advocacy to earn more points.