Dell Sustainability Report: GHG Intensity Up 2%, Recycle Rate Reaches 98%
Dell’s scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions intensity rose 2 percent in fiscal year 2012 to 7.03 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per million dollars in revenue, according to the company’s latest corporate responsibility report.
In Dell’s fiscal year 2012 – which ended February 3 – GHG intensity was nearly 2 percent lower than its 2010 level of 7.17 mt of CO2e per million dollars in revenue.
Net of green power purchases, GHG intensity was also up two percent on FY 2011, and up three percent on FY 2010.
The company’s Scope 1 emissions rose about 15 percent in fiscal year 2012, versus the previous year, to 38,672 metric tons of CO2e. This was due to significant growth in the number of vehicles leased by Dell for use by sales executives in certain countries, as well as improvements in data collection for refrigerant leaks, the report said.
In fiscal year 2008, Dell set an eight-year goal to reduce net absolute emissions by 40 percent by 2015 (or fiscal year 2016). As of the end of fiscal year 2012, Dell has reduced its emissions by about 16 percent from the base year of fiscal year 2008.
Dell recycled more than 192 million pounds of end-of-life computer equipment last year, an almost 30 percent increase over the previous year, keeping the company on target to meet a goal of recycling 1 billion cumulative pounds by 2014.
The company reached a 98 percent recycling and reuse rate in FY 2012, coming close to its 99 percent goal for the year. Dell set that goal in FY 2007, when its reuse and recycle rate was 94.4 percent.
Dell estimated that its total energy use for operations in fiscal year 2012 was about 808 million kWh, a 1 percent increase from the previous year. About 83 percent of its energy use was in the form of electricity, according to the report.
The company increased its renewable energy purchases and generation by more than 1 percent to 129.6 million kWh in fiscal year 2012, accounting for roughly one-fifth of its total electricity purchases. Seven Dell facilities purchased 100 percent renewable electricity in fiscal year 2012.
Dell also highlighted its modular data center that it built for eBay’s Phoenix facility, which uses fresh air for cooling instead of energy-intensive chillers. The 1,920 custom-built servers sit on the facility’s roof and have a power usage effectiveness of 1.043, which means more than 95 percent of the electricity it uses goes to computing.
Dell reduced water use intensity, measured as cubic meters of water per square meter of building space, by 3.3 percent in 2012 compared to the previous fiscal year and 5.2 percent since fiscal year 2010. But in the US, water use intensity increased 15.9 percent from 2011. Dell said extreme heat and drought condition led to the increase, despite conservation efforts.
Dell said last September that it would develop a new way of measuring its carbon footprint to include some of the largest supply chain and customer impacts on scope 3 emissions. Dell’s operational footprint is relatively small compared to the overall end-to-end footprint of its products and services, the company said at the time.
Dell said in its 2012 report that has launched pilot activities to develop a framework to expand its GHG emission measurements. The company intends to measure energy consumption at a more detailed level, including identifying metrics for improvement across different types of business operations.
In 2012, Dell achieved the goals set out in its 3Cs (cube, content, curb) packaging strategy, by reducing the size of packaging more than 12 percent (from 2008), increasing the amount of recycled and renewable content in packaging to up to 40 percent, and ensuring that up to 75 percent of packaging is recyclable at curbside. This work eliminated more than 20 million pounds of packaging material since 2008 and helped spur use of innovative and biodegradable materials such as bamboo and mushrooms, the company said.
Also in FY 2012, Dell made all its removable media storage devices, memory and hard drives BFR/CFR/PVC-free. It exceeded its goal of cutting 100,000 tons of lead and 60,000 tons of BFRs between FY04 and FY12, with total reductions of 168,000 tons of lead and 105,731 tons of BFRs.
But it missed a goal of making all newly introduced Dell personal computing products BFR/CFR/PVC-free by the end of 2011.
Dell started offering BFR/CFR/PVC-free standard configurations of all Latitude laptop and XPS 13 Ultrabook products earlier this fiscal year, and says it plans to introduce more such products.
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