Did you see Greenpeace activists took direct action against Dell at its global headquarters in Texas, U.S., last week?

We caught the giant PC maker backtracking on its public commitment to eliminate key toxic chemicals in its products by 2009. (Read about their record on PVC and BFRs here.)

Since the action, over 12,500 people have sent protest emails to CEO and company founder Michael Dell. Dell’s public relations arm has responded but the company has not yet made good on its promise to take action.  

Dell’s attempts to change the conversation can only mean that Michael Dell is hearing our message. But it isn’t his words that are important now, it’s his actions. The speed and dedication with which he proceeds is now what we are all watching. As the third biggest PC maker in the world, what Dell does now really matters.  

Here's why we're targeting Dell:  

Broken Promises - In 2006, Dell was an industry leader by pledging, that PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) would be eliminated in all Dell products by the end of 2009. Dell missed that deadline and now, half way through 2010, Greenpeace is concerned that Dell won’t even make its latest deadline of 2011. 

PVC and BFRs - Greenpeace highlighted Michael Dell’s broken promises last week because toxic chemicals such as PVC plastic and BFRs are known to damage health and poison our water and land, especially when burned.  All electronic products must be PVC and BFR free in order to eliminate this unnecessary contamination. 

E-waste - Over the years, Greenpeace has documented the problems caused by e-waste, including visiting scrapyards in places like Asia and Africa to document how consumer products such as laptops, cell phones, and computer monitors are broken apart and open burned for precious metals. Today, the growing e-waste problem, according to UN estimates, is reaching a global annual rate of 20-50 million tons. 

Solutions – Dell says the company is having a hard time overcoming challenges to putting PVC and BFR free products on the market, but its biggest competitors have already done it. All Apple’s new products have been PVC and BFR free since March 2009 and HP is catching up. Apple and HP understand that the customers are educated about how their purchases are impacting our health and our environment and are using their knowledge to make smart choices that are better for our environment. 

Dell, no more excuses.

Dell has vowed to be the greenest technology company in the world, but failed to follow through on its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs. With Apple and HP leading the pack, Dell has run out of excuses.  

There is still time for Dell to do the right thing and honour its commitment to phase out toxic chemicals. As the third biggest PC maker in the world with 12 percent of the market, Dell’s move would be seen as a true game changer.

People concerned with Dell’s toxics backtracking can write to the company at or via this form.