Dell's commitment backtracking timeline

Page - July 20, 2010
Dell first made a commitment in March 2006 to phase out polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by the end of 2009. Then the company backtracked on its commitment. And today Dell has fallen far behind its competitors by struggling to even meet its new commitment.

Activists won't leave Michael Dell off the hook

Direct action at Dell HQ, May 2010

Dell's Commitment to Eliminating PVC Plastic and BFRs

Original Commitment:

In June 2006, Dell posted the following statement online committing to the elimination of PVC plastic and BFRs from all products by the end of 2009. This statement remained on the Dell website until February of 2008.

"Dell is committed to eliminate in our new products all remaining uses of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) by 2009, as acceptable alternatives are identified that will not compromise product performance and will lower product health and environmental impacts."

Amended Commitments:

In November of 2008, Dell backtracked and removed the reference to a timeline altogether. A year later, in November 2009, Dell made a new commitment with an extended timeline, but limited its scope to personal computing products only (previously all products were included):

"By the end of 2011, all newly introduced Dell personal computing products will be BFR-, CFR- and PVC-free."

Timeline of Phase out of PVC plastic and BFRs in Electronics


Nokia release first PVC free mobile phone.


June – Dell commits to eliminate PVC plastic and BFRs from all products by the end of 2009

December – Lenovo and Acer commit to eliminate PVC plastic and BFR by the end of 2009


May – Apple commits to eliminate PVC plastic and BFR from all new products by end of 2008

June – HP commits to eliminate PVC plastic and BFRs from personal computers 2009

March – Dell, Lenovo and HP served penalty points for backtracking on their commitments to phase out PVC and BFRs in the Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics v11 March – All Apple products are now free from PVC plastic and BFRs, with the exception of power cords

September – HP's penalty point is lifted following the release of a notebook free from PVC and BFRs

September – LGE is served a penalty point for backtracking on its commitment to phase out PVC and BFRs, joining Dell and Lenovo

December – HP releases a range of PVC plastic and BFR free products

December – Dell, Lenovo, LGE miss original deadlines to eliminate PVC plastic and BFRs


January – Samsung missed deadline to release products that are BFR free, receives penalty point on Guide to Greener Electronics v15 alongside Dell, Lenovo and LGE for backtracking

January – Indian company Wipro launches a PVC and BFR free desktop PC

March – Greenpeace activists protest outside Dell's headquarters in Denmark, The Netherlands, and India highlighting backtracking on commitments.

March – Indian company HCL launches and PVC and BFR free laptop

May – Greenpeace activists protest outside Dell’s global headquarters in Texas highlighting Dell's continued lagging in creating a real action plan to finally eliminate PVC plastic and BFRs

May – Toshiba missed deadline to release PVC and BFR free products by April 2010, receives a penalty point