Dell Says It Will Go Carbon Neutral By 2008

Being “green” is so hot right now. Everyone’s talking about it, even Walmart, and now their best computer buddy is joining in for some of the hot, hot PR action.

Michael Dell, CEO, recently told the WSJ that Dell plans to be carbon neutral by 2008.

Mr. Dell said companies have become more efficient, but he said further progress is needed because global energy consumption is expected to grow rapidly over the next few decades. A company becomes “carbon neutral” by matching its carbon emissions with green technological projects or purchasing an “offsetting” amount of emissions from other sources.

Sounds like Dell is going to be planting a lot of trees. As a consumer, do you care if your computer is carbon neutral?

Dell Inc. Plans to Become ‘Carbon Neutral’ by 2008[WSJ]


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  1. TechnoDestructo says:

    So they plant a few trees…if those trees aren’t getting buried, it’s only a short-term solution.

  2. lo_fro says:

    I actually saw a local political campaign poster the other day that read:
    (Nancy Greene for City Council)

    Stupid buzz words.

  3. Interesting question. It sort of reminds me when people consider themselves single issue voters. I’d hope consumers would use a well-rounded perspective when purchasing, but definitely consider the environmental impact.

  4. McWatt says:

    While every bit of conservation is important, being “green” and actually being progressive in changing the way technology is developed and produced are two different things. It’s about time that a company like Dell (I thought Apple would be that company) took the bull by the horns and really changed the way things are done. Of course, for all i know they already have since I’m just shooting from the hip without any real knowledge.

  5. Jeff_McAwesome says:

    So, basically, they aren’t doing anything. They’re paying someone else to sacrifice. They’re so brave *tear*.

  6. liquisoft says:

    Carbon neutral programs are ass-backwards. It’s like somebody kicking a baby consistently, and then donating money to an orphanage. You don’t negate your fuck-ups by fixing things elsewhere. Maybe companies should simply redesign their plants and production processes in order to keep things as eco-friendly as possible.

  7. TWinter says:

    I am a bit cynical about all of this. I’ll believe it when I see Wal*Mart tearing up the edges of oversized parking lots (some are never close to full) to make room to plan carbon sucking trees.

  8. ihateauditions says:

    My company recently went carbon neutral (actually, we aimed for slightly carbon-negative) using the same service as Dell. (CarbonFund)

    I think they should be applauded. It’s not a viable business plan to stop using carbon entirely, but it’s quite possible to offset the damage by developing renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, engaging in creating projects or yes, by planting trees.

    To address a few of the worst comments in this thread:
    TWINTER: parking lot sizes are almost always specified by local zoning ordinances. Wal-mart would love to keep their parking lot to the normal capacity, but they don’t have that legal option.

    LIQUISOFT: It is not at all like kicking babies and donating to an orphanage. Analogies are usually imprecise, but yours goes to great lengths to be inaccurate and inflammatory.

    I know how to make money by providing a valuable service that also generates a couple hundred tons of carbon per year. I choose to offset this damage, because I believe it’s ethically wrong for me to push any of my costs (including the cost of environmental damage) to others.

    In an ideal world, I’d have a star-trek replicator and a fusion device, and it’d be a non-issue. Unfortunately, that world doesn’t yet exist.

    I know many of you view that as doing nothing, but you are the people who will never be happy anyway. This is a company doing a positive thing. The fact that they are doing it without the force of law is a positive development, even if it is just a marketing ploy.

    After all, if every company engaged in such marketing ploys, a solution to global warming would be a lot easier to find.

  9. HeHateMe says:

    … and I’m sure that the cost for Dell to “go green” will surely be passed onto their consumers who decide to purchase a computer from them. Apparently buying from a “green” company makes your product premium and [an even better reason] it’s trendy. What an excellent way to increase profits. Hide under the guise of “going 100% green!”

  10. arcticJKL says:

    Can someone explain where the ex nihilo trees come from?

    Do they plant new trees? Dont these trees already exist?
    Do they not cut down trees?
    Do they ask trees to breath in deeper?

  11. ihateauditions says:

    Arcticjkl: As I noted in my post, Dell is using CarbonFund, which has a variety of options, all of which are explained clearly on their website.

    HEHATEME: It’s true that the (extremely small) costs are passed on to the customer, but what’s wrong with that?

    If a company does nothing for the environment, they are accused of being evil. If they decide to do something for the environment, you accuse them of being evil again.

    It’s grossly unfair.

  12. arcticJKL says:

    Where do the trees from carbonFund’s reforestation project come from?

    All I want is for companies to take care of the resources at their disposal in a reasonable manner.

    Yes, they shouldn’t create toxic substances and dump them in creeks. But they should not have to buy the modern indulgences of carbon offsets in order to redeem themselves from the evil of making money.

  13. CoffeeAddict says:

    It’s nice that Dell is planning on going carbon neutral by 2008, but does it really mean for the environment. I would like to know.