Dell has revealed it is to publish a demanding set of new targets designed to reduce the company's environmental footprint over the next five years.
Speaking exclusively to GBN, Lena Pripp-Kovac, head of corporate responsibility and sustainability for Dell in EMEA, said that the company was preparing to announce a series of new environmental five-year goals as part of its annual sustainability report, which will be released in the next few months to accompany Dell's annual report.
She said that the targets would include raising customer awareness of environmental issues and improving the energy efficiency of products. "We want [environmental] goals across the whole lifecycle of the product," she explained.
More specifically, the company is considering a five year goal to ensure the use of renewable energy technologies at Dell manufacturing sites, according to Pripp-Kovac.
The revelations came a day after Dell launched a major new carbon offsetting initiative that will see it offer customers the opportunity to donate towards a reforestation programme designed to offset the carbon dioxide emitted from powering their new equipment throughout its expected three-year lifespan.
Pripp-Kovac said the Plant a Tree for Me service would be rolled out in the UK in April and that Dell was currently looking for a local environmental management partner to run a reforestation scheme in the UK similar to those schemes underway in the US. She also confirmed that UK customers keen to offset would be asked to donate the same as their US counterparts, meaning they will be able to offset a laptop for £1 and a PC for £3 at current exchange rates.
However, she admitted Dell was unsure of the level of customer response the scheme will enjoy. "We don’t know how much interest there will be, but the most important part of this scheme is to raise customer awareness," she said.
The scheme is unlikely to win unqualified praise from environmentalists who argue that reforestation schemes are an ineffective means of offsetting carbon as the science surrounding the impact on climate change is still open to debate and there are no guarantees when a tree is planted that it will live long enough to absorb the expected levels carbon dioxide.
Pripp-Kovac accepted there were some valid concerns over reforestation schemes, but said that by partnering with The Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org Dell had selected respectable and independent environmental bodies to undertake the offset calculations and manage the reforestation scheme.
She added that that the primary aim of the scheme was to raise customer awareness of climate change and insisted that offsetting was just part of a wider environmental strategy including improvements in products' energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy.
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