Dell seems to be doing the most of any mainstream computer company to get greener. And I'm not just saying that because their CTO said some very nice things about EcoGeek in an interview yesterday.
They've bee focusing on efficiency, on RoHS, on hitting epeat standards, and on neutralizing the carbon the company produces.
Less than a year ago, they said that they would be completely carbon neutral and today (according to Dell) they are. They've done it though a variety of means. Most importantly, they cut power use at home. Then, for the power they still consume, they've been buying only wind and solar energy where possible. This kind of commitment increases the demand for (and cost of) renewable energy, and thus increases the likelihood that energy companies will continue investing in it.
Lastly, and most lamely, they bought carbon credits to make up the final difference.
The process of buying carbon credits is complicated and debate rages over whether they're affective. But possibly the most important part of the process is figuring out how many credits you need to buy. Once this is done, a company has a system in place to understand and be able to quantify it's footprint.
Of course, we wish that Dell simply got all its energy from green sources, and didn't have to resort to offsets. The good news is, that's exactly what they're doing.
Dell already gets about 116 million kWh of their electricity from wind and solar. But they're looking to increasing that number, with investments in the U.S., China and India, to over 600 million kWh. The press release, conveniently, doesn't give any numbers for Dell's global power consumption, but I expect that it's more than 10 times this number.
Still, these kinds of massive investments in clean energy technology is just what power companies need to see in order to justify building them even before they reach grid parity.
Full press release below.