All is not well with Dell: Greenpeace

Company yet to phase out toxic chemicals from products and act on take-back policy in India

Press release - July 1, 2009
BANGALORE, India — The latest edition of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener exposed global computer hardware brand Dell Inc.’s inaction to phase out hazardous chemicals and its poor record of producer responsibility in India to manage electronic waste generated by its own products.

E-waste from Dell

In the 12th version of Guide to Greener Electronics (1), Greenpeace exposed global computer hardware brand Dell Inc.'s poor demonstration of its producer responsibility in India to manage electronic waste generated by its own products. Dell also received penalty points for the second consecutive time in the latest Greenpeace Ranking Guide, along with two other global PC manufacturers, Hewlett Packard (HP) and Lenovo, for backtracking on their commitment to phase out PVC and BFR from their production process by end of year 2009. Nokia remains on top, followed by Samsung and Sony Ericsson in the latest Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics.

In the corresponding Indian version of the guide (2), Wipro was once again in top position followed closely by HCL. Zenith and PCS Technology remain at third and fourth position respectively.

Dell Inc. publicly claims that it has free product recycling and Asset Recovery service operational in 71 countries including India. However, recent Greenpeace investigations highlight that the company is yet to translate its highly publicized claim into action in India. "Dell has been reluctant in taking responsibility as a producer by failing to provide information to its Indian customers on its highly claimed 'free recycling' in India", said Abhishek Pratap, Greenpeace Toxic Campaigner. 

There is neither any information regarding product take-back and recycling available on company's Indian website (3) nor are there any logistic arrangements (4) being made to collect the discarded Dell products in India. Greenpeace's repeated requests to Dell Inc. to provide product take-back and recycling information to its customers in India went in vain as the company showed no sign of responding. "If information on product take-back is not easily available to the consumer, how can they make an informed choice? Does Dell have something to hide?" questioned Pratap. 

While Dell US recently committed to a ban of exports of any of its old computers to developing countries, a corresponding and necessary commitment from Dell India, to ban import of old computers, has yet to materialize. Dell has also not committed to phase out PVC and BFRs from its products, making Dell computers a cocktail of toxic substances and a continuing threat to public and environment.

On the other hand, Indian brand Wipro showed leadership once again by not only keeping its PVC and BFR phase out commitment intact but also, along with HCL continued to improve their take-back programme in India. Wipro climbed up a step to be placed in the Top-Four global companies in the Greenpeace Guide. 

While Indian market leader HCL, improved it's score marginally, it remains at the second position, since it failed to provide evidence that it is on target to meet its timeline to phase out PVC by year 2009-end. PCS Technology increased its score largely due to its announcement of product take-back for its consumers. Zenith's score is unchanged from last time.

"Indian companies are serious and have been taking a few steps towards greening their business operations and products. However, it is the International companies like Dell, who seem to be practising double standards, taking Indians for a ride", added Abhishek Pratap.

Contact information

Abhishek Pratap, Toxics Campaigner, +91.98456.10749,

Tom Dowdall, International Toxics Campaigner.+31 (0) 6212 96892,

Ankur Ganguly, Communications Manager, +91.98453.73818,

Syed Mehaboob, Communications Officer, +91.97313.01983,

Notes to Editor

1.Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (International) Version 12, is available at

2.Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (India) Version 7 is available at

3.Dell India website has no information on Dell’s Free Recycling and product Take-back programme

4.Dell customers in India have to pay US$ 28 as packaging and shipping cost to return end-of-life Dell products to the company Head office (in US) as there is no collection and recycling facility set up in India by the company.