A couple weeks ago, Michael Dell shared on his LinkedIn page, how and why companies like Dell should be thinking about sustainability. The “why” is easy.   We have a responsibility to protect the people, planet and communities we serve, and for Michael Dell “when it’s your name on the door, you care deeply about the lasting legacy of your company.” It’s the “how” that is hard.

 

My team is focused on how to get to Dell’s Legacy of Good goal of 100% waste-free packaging by 2020. It’s is a lofty goal, but we’re over halfway there.  We started with bamboo, a rapidly renewable resource. This was a great solution for smaller laptops and tablets, but we needed a solution for larger, high-tech products like servers. We started to explore organically grown mushroom biotechnology, an alternative to petroleum-based materials. This packaging is so organic you can actually eat it. Ask Michael- he tried it. Last year, we announced our wheat straw packaging. Wheat straw is the part of the plant left over after the harvest; it’s often burned as a means of disposal, contributing to air pollution in places like China. The process uses 40% less energy and 90% less water than traditional methods. It also provides the farmers with an extra source of income.

 

Collaborations with sustainable start-ups and industry leaders has been a critical part of driving innovation within our packaging supply chain. Our most recent partnership with Newlight Technologies, who makes our AirCarbon packaging, is a great example of how entrepreneurial spirit and shared values can benefit business and the environment. In the below video, Mark Herrema, co-founder and CEO of Newlight Technologies, talks about how he’s partnering with Dell to bring a carbon-negative product to Dell’s customers and a net positive impact on the world.

 

 

 

I’m a triathlete.  I like to swim in clean water and breathe unpolluted air when I train and compete.  And I want others to have the same.  The goal of the Legacy of Good plan is to leave the world a little bit better place, and I can feel good knowing that the work my team does helps get us one step closer to that goal.