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Why advancing the circular economy for IT matters

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By Trisa Thompson

Today, we live in a mostly linear economy, one in which we take, make, consume and dispose of natural resources daily. The end result? Trash and diminishing natural resources. This model is not sustainable.

Over the next 30 years, three billion people will enter the middle class, which means there will be three billion new consumers of more stuff, including technology. This is great news for both IT and the prospect of eradicating poverty, but it also forces us to become much more thoughtful and focused on maximizing the resources that are available.

A circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using those resources more effectively. A new study by WRAP and the Green Alliance also shows that improving resource efficiency can make a “valuable contribution” to reducing unemployment. These business and design principles have been core to Dell’s sustainability strategy from the beginning – from product design and innovative packaging materials to smarter shipping and robust recycling programs.

What’s more, we are also committed to enabling customers to use cloud services, virtualization and other technologies that make it easy for customers to achieve their goals without acquiring more “stuff.”

During the inaugural Circular Economy Awards at Davos earlier this year, our Dell team was honored with the 2015 Accenture Award for Circular Economy Pioneer. The award recognizes established organizations demonstrating existing business innovation that supports a circular economy.

“Dell is not only setting an outstanding example through its own sustainability practices, but is playing a leading role in advancing the standards, infrastructure and international policies that will move the entire technology industry toward a circular economy. This will safeguard scarce resources and ultimately improve the competitiveness of those who, like Dell, are leading the charge,” said Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture.

Advancing a circular economy requires that we all look beyond our walls to inspire better practices throughout our entire ecosystem, making sustainability easier for customers and partners. How can IT help advance your sustainability goals? Leave a comment or tweet me @TrisaDellCRO. And watch the video below for my explanation of how Dell’s closed-loop efforts contribute to a circular economy.

For more information on Dell’s circular economy efforts, visitdell.com/circulareconomy or follow us on Twitter @Dell4Good#LegacyOfGood.

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