A central part of our circular design approach is to consider sustainability at every stage of a product’s lifecycle – from the initial concept to its use and eventual recycling. Our goal is to achieve zero waste by ensuring that every part of our products can be reused or recycled, and we’re making big strides towards it. For example, more than 90% of a Dell laptop is recyclable.
We design for our products’ entire lifecycles. We use fewer, more environmentally responsible materials, embed energy efficiency, and maximize reusability, reparability and recyclability.
Our product design is guided by our corporate environmental policy and the ISO 14001 standard for managing environmental programs throughout the lifecycle. We also design our products around global regulations and standards, voluntary social and environmental initiatives, and eco-label requirements.
How our products are made is becoming ever more important. For example, much of our laptops’ carbon footprint is created in our supply chain.
To reduce this, we focus on operational efficiency and conservation, using renewable electricity, and avoiding waste in all its forms. We also work closely with suppliers to extend these approaches to their operations.
There are many opportunities for a circular approach to packaging, and our team’s 3Cs strategy is a great example of taking a holistic approach. We focus on the cube (size and shape), the content (material choice) and the curb (recyclability).
The first two strategies help reduce material use and our transportation footprint and the third one reduces yours. Nearly every material we use is sustainably sourced and easily recyclable.
How products perform in customers’ hands is critical to their overall cost and impact. For example, about 90% of a midrange Dell EMC storage product’s footprint is created in use.
Increasing energy efficiency is essential. We work across our entire product portfolio, having reduced average energy intensity by 64% since 2011.
We also design our products to operate well in hyper-efficient Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) environments. And we strive to deliver software solutions, including significant energy savings through virtual provisioning, data deduplication, compression and our Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST).
We design our products for long life and ease of upgrade and repair. For example, we use minimal glues and adhesives, modular designs and consistent screw sizes.
This design approach with clear labeling of recyclable materials and restrictions on coatings makes our products easier to recycle. And we make recycling easy for our customers, too, with simple, global takeback options.
We also aid reuse by selling approximately 800,000 returned and refurbished products through the Global Dell Outlet each year, keeping them from being recycled before the end of their useful lives.