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How sustainable is Dell ?

Dell & sustainability


Dell

First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 11 out of 39

Sustainability summary

Based on our sustainability criteria, Dell has achieved the D-label, which means that Dell has started to take sustainability into account, but a lot more can be done. Dell has started with some action to take sustainability into account, such as disclosing information on its carbon emissions and already reducing part of these emissions. The brand also has a decent code of conduct to improve the worst of labor conditions. Still, a lot more can be done by Dell to prove that its products and operations are fair and green.

Brand owner: Dell Inc.
Head office: Round Rock, Texas, USA
Sector: Electronics
Categories : Laptop, notebook, Tablet, PC
Free Tags: Computer, Accessories & Services, Printer & Scanner

What's your sustainability news about Dell?

Dell sustainability score report

Last edited: 1 December 2014 by Mario
Last reviewed: 1 December 2014 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

4 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Dell takes several policy measures to reduce carbon emissions, such as energy efficiency measures for its devices and own operations (see link, starting on p. 12). Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Dell increased its gross climate footprint of own operations from 395.360 tons of CO2e in FY12 to 432.727 tons of CO2e in FY14. Only around 0.02% was clearly identifiable as renewable electricty supply which can be considered for subtraction (on-site energy generation (Solar PV)). This represents an increase of around 9% (see link, p. 89). Source
3. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Dell has committed to reducing its absolute global greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2020 (base year 2012) (see link, download "Climate Change 2014 Response"). Source
4. Does the brand (company) publish the annual carbon footprint that also covers the major suppliers, and does the brand have an effective policy in place to reduce these carbon emissions? Dell reports the greenhouse gas emissions for 66% of its supply chain. They account 494.725 tons of CO2e for FY14. Furthermore Dell describes its policies to reduce carbon emissions in the supply chain (see link, download "Climate Change 2014 Response"). Source
5. Is at least 35% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? In FY14 Dell´s total level of renewable energy use was at 35% (262.601 MWh). However, only approx. 0,06% were generated by Dell (Solar PV). The remaining 34,9% are mainly certificates such as RECs (see link, download "Climate Change 2014 Response"). Source
6. Do all new products of the brand meet energy efficiency requirements such as Energy Star (where applicable)? Dell is a Energy Star partner and has many products that meet the latest Energy Star requirements, but not all (see link, p.38). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

2 out of 19
1. Has the brand (company) eliminated PVC in all new products? Dell states it is working on eliminating both PVC and BFR from products (see link, p.44). Source
2. Has the brand (company) eliminated BFR's in all new products? See remark environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least 2 of the 3 groups of suspect chemicals (beryllium, antimony and phthalates) in all its new products already? The 3 groups of chemicals are considered restricted, so they are still being used (see link, p.45). Source
4. Has the brand (company) banned the use of benzene and n-hexane in the final assembly of products? Benzene and n-hexane is not among the group of chemicals which Dell´s intends to phase out (see link, p.45). Source
5. Has the brand (company) banned the use of benzene and n-hexane in the full production chains? See remark environmental policy question 4. Source
6. Does the brand (company) publish its annual material footprint, or alternatively material footprints for each sold product, that includes packaging materials, and does the brand have an effective policy in place to reduce the overall environmental impact of material use? Dell does not publish a material footprint on its website. Source
7. Does the brand (company) only use universal plugs for chargers (where applicable) or does the brand offer the charger as optional to the product? Dell does not mention anything about universal chargers on its website. Source
8. Does the brand (company) source at least 10% of its plastics from recycled plastic streams and does the give a timeline to increase this percentage to at least 25% by 2025 ? Dell reports that more than 10 million pounds of post-consumer recycled plastics were processed in its products, but the overall percentage of recycled plastic compared to total plastic use is not mentioned (see link, p.39). Source
9. Does the brand (company) source at least 20% of its plastics from recycled plastic streams? See remark environmental policy question 8. Source
10. Does the brand (company) have an effective policy in place to reduce the environmental impact of its consumer packaging and does the brand already show best practices, such as using at least 80% environmentally certified or recycled paper products? Dell strives to only source 100% recyclable or compostable material for its packaging. End of FY14, approximately 58% of its packaging fits this goal. It is to assume that these materials weren´t recycled already (see link, p.41). Source
11. Has the brand (company) a take back program and is the take back recyling rate higher than 5% of the weight of the annually products sold? Dell reports a worldwide cumulative takeback volume of 564.2 million kilograms in FY14. This is an increase of 50% compared to FY13 (375,5 million kilograms). However, it is not clear how this number relates to the weight of annually sold products (see link, p. 89). Source
12. Is the take back recyling rate higher than 10% of the weight of the annually products sold? See remark environmental policy question 11. Source
13. Has the brand (company) an active policy in place to increase the product life-span of products, such as longer warranty periods or easy repair with easy ordering of spare parts? Dell states they are designing products with the environment in mind, but this only entails choice for materials, recycling after the products are broken and energy efficiency. Prolonging the products life-cycle is not mentioned. Source
14. Does the brand (company) use replaceable batteries in all portable devices? Dell mentions the use of replaceable batteries in some of its products, but it's not clear if all of them contain these. Source
15. Does the brand (company) provide online repair manuals for all products? Dell offers online repair manuals for more than 1500 of its products. Source
16. Does the brand (company) guarantee supply of spare parts and software updates for all products, for at least 3 years after end of production? Dell offers spare parts for many of its products, but it's unclear how long the supply of these and of software updates is available after end of production. Source
17. Does the brand (company) give at least a 3 years warranty on all products? Many Dell products have a limited warranty period of 3 or even 5 years, but it's not clear if this is so for most products. Source
18. Does the brand (company) publish a water and/or land use footprint and is there a policy to minimize, reduce or compensate this footprint? In FY14, Dell used 1.594,000 m3 of water. In FY13 the water footprint of own operations was at 1.780,000 m3. This represents a conversation of around 11%. Dell reports to implement policy measures to reduce water use in water-stressed regions by 20% by 2020 (see link, p. 18, 89). Source
19. Does the brand (company) publish a water and/or land use footprint that also covers its most important suppliers? Dell states to require >75% of its key suppliers to report their water use, risks and management but does report the respective key figures (see link, download "Water 2014"). Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

5 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) regularly publish an updated list of smelters that are identified in the own supply chain? Dell mentions its engagement in the EICC and its conflict-free smelter (CFS) program, including a list of compliant tantalum smelters. The brand also publishes a smelter list on its website. Source
2. Does the brand (company) have a clear policy to only source from smelters that have passed the conflict-free audits, and has the brand already achieved this for at least one metal/mineral? Dell states to exclude smelters of conflict minerals by refraining from purchasing from any known conflict sources and by being active in the EICC conflict-free smelter program. However, Dell mentions that it is working toward the goal of responsible sourcing, but does not yet (fully) use conflict-free minerals. Source
3. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 1 initiative that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Dell is a partner of the IDH Banka Tin Working Group. Source
4. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 2 initiatives that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Dell is also a member of the Conflict-free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI). Source
5. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 3 initiatives that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Dell mentions the purchase of tantalum from suppliers who are members of the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (TIC, page 20), which does not count towards this question. Dell does not mention any other initiatives. Source
6. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 4 initiatives that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? See remark for labor conditions question 5. Source
7. Does the brand (company) have a Code of Conduct (CoC) for both its own factories and those of its suppliers, which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? Dell uses the EICC Code of Conduct, in which all standards are mentioned (for Code of Conduct, see next question). Source
8. Does the brand’s (company’s) CoC include at least 3 of the following workers rights: 1. a formally registered employment relationship 2. a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. a sufficient living wage 4. form and join labor unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, to develop parallel means? 1. Not mentioned; 2. No, the CoC states a maximum of 60 hours per week but does not specify how many are overtime; 3. No, wages must comply with applicable wage laws but does not mention a living wage; 4. No, this right is mentioned but a parallel means in situations where these rights are restricted under law is not mentioned. Source
9. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Dell provides a list of 95% spend and key supply chain partners. Source
10. Is the brand (company) a member of a multi stakeholder initiative (MSI), wherein independent NGO’s or labor unions are represented, that collectively aims to improve labor conditions and that carries out independent audits? Or does the brand (company) significantly purchase its supplies from factories certified by such MSI’s? Dell is an implementation partner of the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) Electronics program, which is an MSI that aims to improve the working conditions of factory laborers, and wherein NGO's are represented. However, the scale of operation is very limited. Dell further refers to the EICC, which is not a MSI. Source
11. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is more than 95% of supplier monitored for labour conditions? Dell provides a report on the audits held in FY 2014 (45% of Dell´s top 90% spend), and gives a list of core violations, such as excessive working hours. However, the violations were not specified any further (e.g. with respect to global region) (see, p. 25-29). Source
12. Is at least 25% of suppliers in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct? See remark for labor conditions question 11. Source
13. Is at least 50% of suppliers in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct? See remark for labor conditions question 11. Source
14. Is at least 50% of suppliers in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct - including a living wage? See remark for labor conditions question 11. Source