Dell responds to Greenpeace challenge; commits to 'greener' PCs

Press release - June 27, 2006
BANGALORE/AMSTERDAM, India — As a direct result of a sustained international 'Tox-Tech' campaign by Greenpeace, computer giant Dell has announced that it will remove key toxic chemicals from its PCs laptops and other products. The commitment from Dell follows on the heels of a similar commitments made by other International electronics manufacturers made earlier this year. Greenpeace has been campaigning to pressure electronics manufacturers into making products that are more environmentally-friendly and taking responsibility for the mounting toxic e-waste crisis.

Dell computer waste (e-waste) in a Chinese scrap yard.

Dell has placed a corporate pledge on its website (1) committing to phase out the use of two key groups of chemicals known to be hazardous to the environment: all types of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and the plastic polyvinyl chlorine (PVC), by 2009. (2)

"Dell's decision to remove these harmful chemicals from its products reflects a move within the electronics industry in the right direction," said Zeina al-Hajj from Greenpeace International, "Companies are beginning to wake up to the fact that consumers expect the industry to live up to its responsibilities, and ensure that when products reach the end of their life, they do not become hazardous waste that contaminates the environment."

In India, Greenpeace has been campaigning to convince electronics manufacturer Wipro to lead Indian industry in keeping with the international trend; Hewlett Packard, LGE, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Sony Ericsson have already made commitments to eliminate the use of some hazardous chemicals in the near future.

"Wipro positions itself as an innovator and industry leader, but has failed to respond to an important industrial shift," said Vinuta Gopal, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India , "Increasing awareness of the electronic waste issue has led computer users around the world to drive this need for change. It is high time Wipro recognizes this and takes responsibility for its products from cradle to grave."

According to an international survey conducted by Ipsos-MORI for Greenpeace International, most people across nine countries (3) say they would pay extra for a more environmentally friendly PC and that companies should be held responsible for dealing with hazardous waste from PCs, rather than expecting users, retail shops or their government to pay.

Greenpeace believes that manufacturers of electronic goods, who have benefited from sales of their products, should take responsibility for them from production through to the end of their lives. To prevent an e-waste crisis, manufacturers must design clean electronics with longer lifespan, that are safe and easy to recycle and will not expose workers and the environment to hazardous chemicals.

For further information, contact

Vinuta Gopal, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India : +919845535418
Zeina al-Hajj, Campaigner Greenpeace International, +31653128904
Namrata Chowdhary, Media Officer, Greenpeace India : +91 98108 50092

Notes to Editor

1. Link to the Dell Website.

2. The Electronics industry uses a wide range of hazardous chemicals in its products and production lines. In July 2006, a European Directive (RoHS – Restriction of Hazardous Substances) will come into force requiring the industry to eliminate four types of heavy metals (Lead, Cadmium, Chromium and Mercury) as well as two types of Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs). Greenpeace wants the electronics industry to go beyond the EU Directive and eliminate all type of BFRs and PVC.

3. Greenpeace International commissioned Ipsos MORI who interviewed 9,042 adults across nine countries: India [1,018], China [1,017], Thailand [1,005], Philippines [1,000], Great Britain [1,013], Germany [988], Poland [1,000], Mexico [1,001], Brazil [1,000]. Fieldwork was conducted between 13th of January – 27th of February 2006. The interviews conducted in China, India, Thailand, the Philippines and Mexico were in urban areas only. Summary available: