SAN FRANCISCO Dec 15 Dell Inc DELL.O on
Monday announced a new initiative aimed at eliminating 20
million pounds of packaging material over the next 4 years.
Environmental groups have long called on companies to
change the way they ship products, urging the use of more
sustainable materials and more efficient practices.
The world's No. 2 computer maker said it plans to cut
desktop and laptop packaging materials by around 10 percent,
increase recyclable content in cushioning and corrugate
packaging by 40 percent and make 75 percent of packaging
components curbside recyclable by 2012.
Reducing packaging material also creates smaller boxes and
fewer shipments, cutting carbon emissions from transportation.
Although the expected cost savings from the initiative are
small - only around $8.1 million over four years - Dell said
"green packaging" will be a focus going forward.
"We view this as a first step," said Oliver Campbell,
Dell's senior manager of global packaging.
Dell has been very vocal about its plan to become the
greenest IT company around, and the PC maker's practices are
constantly being scrutinized.
Earlier this year, on Earth Day, Dell came under fire by
some bloggers for its packaging. The company responded and
vowed to improve.
Campbell said the real challenge lies in devising better,
more eco-conscious ways to cushion products for shipment.
Dell will use a variety a novel cushioning methods,
including molded pulp made out of recycled paper and inflatable
air bags that are curbside recyclable in Europe. The company
also will employ high-density polyethylene thermal-formed
cushions, which can be made from recycled milk jugs and laundry
Dell said it's the only major computer maker with a global
packaging reduction target for desktops and laptops. Rivals
Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) also like to
tout their green credentials, and environmental policy seems to
have become a new area of competition between the three.
Shares of Red Rock, Texas-based Dell closed at $11.13, down
35 cents, or 3 percent.
(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; editing by Carol Bishopric)