Dell to cut costs with green packaging

Dell has announced a green packaging initiative it expects will save the company $8 million and 150,000 trees over the next four years.

The computer maker says it will achieve the savings by increasing the amount of recyclable cushioning material by 40% and cutting the overall packaging of laptops and desktops by 10%.

Dell plans to use recyclable inflatable air bags, molded pulp made from recycled paper, and polyethylene cushions made from recycled milk jugs and detergent bottles. It says the reduced packaging should also cut shipping costs.

Dell has been heavily pushing a green IT agenda for several years, and is likely hoping the latest initiative will be a differentiator with major rival HP. The world’s number one computer manufacturer is notorious for shipping products with an extreme amount of packaging.

Speaking to Information Age earlier this year, Michael Dell, the company’s founder and CEO, said the company was ahead of the competition in terms of its commitment to the green agenda.

"We have been well in front of this issue in terms of products," he said. "If you look at the desktop products we took energy consumption from about $100 to close to $20."

"We have saved our customers $2.8 billion [with lower energy products]," he added.

Green enthusiasts fear that the ecological zeal that overcame businesses in the first part of the year has been overshadowed by fears over the economy. Here, though, is an example of a recession-busting green initiative.

That said, the $8 million savings are a drop in the ocean for Dell. Operating costs for the company’s most recent financial quarter were $1.8 billion. If that figure were to stay the same for the next four years, Dell’s recycled packaging initiative will have saved it 0.02% of its operating cost by 2012.

Further reading

Dell’s radical rebuild
Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell, talks about reviving the company’s fortunes, green IT, his laptop and more

Green IT in action Green IT is a tangle of technology, branding, power bills, climate politics and public perception. But some CIOs are making progress – and without impacting the bottom line

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