IT giant Dell yesterday pledged that it would achieve "carbon neutral" status by next year as the company seeks to live up to its recent claim that it would become the world's greenest technology company.
The company said the move would make it the first IT manufacturer to offset all of its carbon emissions and also insisted that the carbon neutral initiative would sit alongside moves to improve the energy efficiency of its facilities, products and processes and source power from renewable sources where possible.
Speaking to the Associated Press, chief executive and founder Michael Dell said that the company had already saved $1.8 million in electricity bills in the past year by turning off equipment over night, had begun replacing light bulbs with more efficient designs, and is increasing pressure on its suppliers to disclose information on their environmental policies.
"What impressed me about this is that by spending a little time on it, you can actually make a pretty tremendous impact," he said.
The company also announced plans expand its "Plant a Tree For Me" customer offset scheme to incorporate its business partners. Dubbed "Plant a Forest for Me" will see Dell share best practices with other businesses as it seeks to undertake the planting of a million trees in sustainably managed forests. ABN AMRO, AMD, Ask.com, Salesforce.com and WellPoint have all signed up to the new scheme with a commitment to buy trees to offset at least part of their operations.
The announcement came a day after electronics giant Philips announced that it aims to double the proportion of revenue that comes from its green products from 15 percent last year to 30 percent by 2012. The commitment forms part of the company's updated EcoVision programme that will also see it enhance the energy efficiency of its operations by 25 percent and double its investment in green technologies to €1bn over the next five years.
In a letter to employees, Philips president and CEO Gerard Kleisterlee urged staff to embrace the strategy, claiming it would deliver long term benefits to the company. "We believe that big changes start small and that every one of us should contribute to saving our planet," he wrote. "What's more, we are convinced that those companies that combine the principles of economic growth and environmental stewardship will be the winners of the future and offer long term rewards to you, our employees, and to our customers, partners and shareholders."
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