Two years ago through our relationship with Adrian Grenier, Dell Social Good Advocate, Dell became aware of the challenges facing the oceans. As a consumer of plastic, we identified ocean plastic as an issue where Dell could have a meaningful contribution.
Dell has spent a decade experimenting with and scaling the use of a variety of sustainable materials both in our products and packaging.
1) We have used PCR plastics in our products since 2008 and were first to use closed loop plastics from used electronics and recycled carbon fiber from other industries. In January 2016, we reached our 2020 goal of recycling 50 million pounds of recycled materials into our products.
2) We were first to market with mushroom-based packaging for our servers and wheat straw, bamboo and Air Carbon packaging for our laptops.
Building on this work, in March 2016, Dell began a feasibility study to test whether we could use ocean bound plastic in our packaging portfolio. Our strategy, based on ongoing consultation with leading researchers and advocates on ocean health, is to intercept ocean bound plastics in areas with the highest concentration of the material.
After successful testing of the material and supply chain, in April 2017, we launched our industry’s first ocean bound plastic packaging on the XPS 13 2-in-1, our premier consumer laptop. The pilot program processes plastics collected from beaches, waterways and coastal areas and molds them into recyclable packaging trays. We are currently sourcing from Haiti with the goal of expanding to SE Asia this year. We will use 16,000 pounds of ocean bound plastic this year. The work is open sourced to encourage broad usage of ocean plastic.
In support of UN SDG Goal 14, Dell commits to the following:
1) Dell commits to increase annual use of ocean bound plastic 10x by 2025, based on 2017 baseline.
2) Dell commits to open source our supply chain to encourage and enable broad usage of ocean bound plastic. As a first step, we will convene in partnership with the Lonely Whale Foundation, a cross-industry working group to encourage collaboration and share best practices.
Updates to voluntary commitment
Contribution to Lonely Whale Foundation to convene cross-industry ocean plastic working group
Staff / Technical expertise
Resources pulled from Packaging, procurement, sustainability and various other Dell teams as required