Dell aims for "greenest tech company" world title

Hardware maker's strategy includes fostering zero-carbon footprint, inducing suppliers to cut emissions

Hardware maker's strategy includes fostering zero-carbon footprint, inducing suppiers to cut emissions

Tech companies of Earth, take note: Dell is determined to outgreen the lot of you. The company this week announced its bold ambition to be nothing less than "the greenest technology company on the planet."

It's a bold ambition, certainly, if not a bit hyperbolic (I still don't know how you can truly assess which company is the greenest). It's also a bit risky, as the company is setting itself up for serious scrutiny from eco-evangelists and critics.

Still, Dell has established a credible track record for environmental stewardship, and as part of this quest, it has laid out further eco-friendly goals.

"Our goal is simple and clear," said Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell in a written statement. "We'll take the lead in setting an environmental standard for our industry that will reflect our partnership with, and direct feedback from, our customers, suppliers and stakeholders, and we intend to maintain that leadership."

Among other things, the company has outline a a zero-carbon strategy, which, according to the company, "will include IT lifecycle assessments, management of Dell's direct and indirect climate impacts, reduction of the company's carbon intensity, and partnership with customers."

More specifically, Dell has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity (which I translate to "footprint") by 15 percent come 2012.

Additionally, the company is asking its primary suppliers to begin reporting greenhouse gas emissions data. "A supplier's volume of Dell business can be affected by the scores earned on reviews," according to the company," according to the company's announcement. Dell will work with suppliers on emissions-reduction strategies once data is collected. (Other tech companies have been putting pressure on their suppliers to embrace kinder, greener practices as well.)

Moreover, Dell is extending its "Plant a Tree for Me" program to Europe, which gives customers an opporunity to donate toward planting trees to offset hardware they purchase.

The company is soliciting ideas from customers as to what else it might to achieve the "greenest technology company on the planet" title. Suggestions will be accepted through June 26; for each person who presents one of the selected best ideas, the company will make a $1,000 donation to a non-profit environmental organization of his or her choice.