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Dell Says Green Packaging Will Save $8M, 20M Lbs Packaging

dellpackaging.jpgDell says it’s implementing a new computer packaging plan that will result in estimated savings of more than $8 million and the elimination of approximately 20 million pounds of packaging material over the next four years.

The company plans to reduce desktop and laptop packaging materials by approximately 10 percent worldwide, increase sustainable content in cushioning and corrugate packaging by 40 percent and ensure that 75 percent of packaging components are curbside recyclable by 2012.

The company says it’s the only major computer manufacturer with a global packaging reduction target for desktops and laptops. The company is challenging every technology company to join it in “implementing a global green packaging strategy.” The company has announced similar green challenges in the past (a strategy which, from a purely marketing POV, has worked – the company is perceived by consumers as the top green tech brand).

But it’s not the only computer manufacturer looking for innovative ways to reduce packaging. Over the summer, HP redesigned the packaging of the HP Pavilion dv6929 by replacing conventional shipping materials and boxes with a messenger bag made from 100 percent recycled materials. The design reduces product packaging by 97 percent and conserves fuel and reduces CO2 emissions by removing the equivalent of one out of every four trucks needed for delivery. In April, HP became the first company to receive approval from the U.S. EPA to have the agency’s SmartWay logo displayed on a selection of its consumer product packaging.

Dell is integrating air-filled cushion technology and renewable materials including molded pulp cushions and 100 percent recycled High-Density Polyethylene thermal-formed cushions. Over the next year, Dell estimates that it will integrate nearly two million recycled milk jugs into cushions protecting its Studio Hybrid system. An estimated 33 million recycled milk jugs will be integrated into desktop and laptop packaging in 2009.

In May, Dell was criticized on some blogs for shipping a flash drive to a customer in a box “that could probably hold 1,000 flash drives.” But Dell was quick to respond, dispatching a packaging analysis team to meet with the vendor that shipped a flash drive and instituting a directive to use envelopes for small items.

In August, Dell announced that it reached its goal of becoming “carbon neutral” five months ahead of schedule.

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