On Friday, Dell's Senior Manager of Environmental Affairs, Michael Murphy participated in a panel discussion at the Greener Gadgets Conference in NYC moderated by the energy and environment editor of BusinessWeek, Adam Aston. The discussion, which included panelists from Intel, Planet Metrics and Treehugger.com, prompted conversation around the key elements of an organization's sustainability program that go beyond simply using more sustainable products.
When asked how green plays out internally at Dell, Murphy talked about the company’s comprehensive green program and how it seeks sustainability opportunities within every aspect of the company’s business, from its operations to its enterprise and consumer product offerings. Michael noted Dell's industry-leading environmental initiatives from the company’s recent carbon neutrality and green energy achievements that have so far saved the company $3M to increasingly energy-efficient product offerings that cut the use of environmentally sensitive chemicals. Of the latter, Murphy said, “"We conduct life-cycle assessments and other tests that ensure that the materials we use in our electronics are both environmentally sound as well as cost effective for our customers." He also addressed Dell's packaging strategy that is expected to save the company more than $8 million and the eliminate approximately 20 million pounds of packaging material over the next four years.
Perhaps the most important take-away from today's conference was the importance of increased customer knowledge. Consumers need to know what they are buying. On a similar note, it is crucial that businesses understand clearly what their customers are looking for. Here at Dell, we are fortunate and proud to have customers that are both informed and engaged on issues related to the environment and sustainability, and we invite you to continue this dialogue and stream of great ideas at our idea-sharing tool, IdeaStorm. Working together, we are making a world of a difference.