Dell has been tearing up the environmental PR scene lately. We've been receiving so many press releases that it's been hard to keep up.
Just today we received a press release about their upcoming Earth Day Computer Recycling Drive, and last week it was a story about saving thousands of tons of paper. But, more important than those stories is Dell's constant expansion of their carbon offset program and their drive toward more efficient machines.
Recently, this program, called Plant a Tree for Me, began extending it's carbon offset program to include computers sold by it's competitors. Consumers in the US now have the option to offset the lifetime CO2 emissions created by powering notebook computers ($2), CRT monitors ($4), workstations ($13) and servers ($40), as well as a the ability to offset the 23 tons of CO2 produced by the average consumer in one year ($99). This offer will be extended to everyone in the world in April.
100% of the donations received will go toward planting trees in sustainably managed forests through The Conservation Fund and CarbonFund.org, non-profit organizations created with the aim of moving towards a sustainable, carbon-neutral future.
Now as we've noted before, this leaves all of the responsibility on the consumer to do the right thing. But it's not all Dell's doing to improve their environmental impact: as part of the Dell Earth program, and a move towards RoHS compliance, they have virtually eliminated the use of lead on their motherboards, power supplies and chassis.
Dell is also a leader in lifecycle management, offering computer recycling, regardless of brand, to all of it's customers for free. This leaves us wondering...is Dell the Green Computer Company? If an EcoGeek has to buy a new machine, is Dell the company to go to?
Well, we were lucky enough to get a chance to talk with Dell spokesman Sean Donahue about the future of green computing at Dell, and he had some interesting answers for us.
EcoGeek: What innovative components are being
included in new Dell PCs primarily for their low power consumption? Have any
major supplier decisions been influenced by power consumption in the past?
EcoGeek: What innovative components are being included in new Dell PCs primarily for their low power consumption? Have any major supplier decisions been influenced by power consumption in the past?
Sean Donahue: We incorporated Dellâ€™s HyperCoolâ„¢ thermal-management technology to ensure better reliability and quieter, cooler operations. All OptiPlex systems are designed to help customers reduce electricity consumption and save money.
Applying the Dell Energy Smart energy-efficiency settings of the new OptiPlex systems on all Dell desktops could save enough electricity to avoid about 12.5 million tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of removing an estimated 2.5 million cars from the road. The power savings also have the potential to save customers about $1.6 billion in operating costs. (Based on 2005 WW PC shipments and avg. US KW/hr cost of $0.10)(more after the jump)
Customers can visit Dellâ€™s energy resource site at www.dell.com/energy to view the energy efficient features of OptiPlex, Latitude, PowerEdge and other Dell product families. The site also provides energy calculators that can help estimate power needs and potential emissions avoidance in addition to their potential cost savings.
EG: New "Energy Star" efficiency standards will be coming out soon. When will these be available on Dell PCs? SD: Weâ€™re working to incorporate Energy
Star 4.0 into our Dell Energy Smart business and consumer client strategy and
our timing and support is focused on optimizing customer transitions prior to
the July 20, 2007 deadline. When used with Dellâ€™s Energy Smart power
management settings, Energy Star 4.0 hardware will offer customers maximum
EG: New "Energy Star" efficiency standards will be coming out soon. When will these be available on Dell PCs?
SD: Weâ€™re working to incorporate Energy Star 4.0 into our Dell Energy Smart business and consumer client strategy and our timing and support is focused on optimizing customer transitions prior to the July 20, 2007 deadline. When used with Dellâ€™s Energy Smart power management settings, Energy Star 4.0 hardware will offer customers maximum power savings.
EG: Another efficiency standard, put forth by utility companies and aimed at making the power supplies in computers more efficient, is the "80 PLUS program". Has Dell looked into adopting 80 PLUS in its PCs?
SD: We are working towards offering 80 Plus power supplies on OptiPlex and Precision products moving forward.
EG: Both the carbon offset program and the possibility of OEM linux came out of your customer feedback website, IdeaStorm. As Dell considers offering Linux, are you taking any steps to encourage the development of Linux-supported power management software?
SD: We're working directly with the Linux community via Dell IdeaStorm and our corporate blog, Direct2Dell to help define the market for Linux on desktops and notebooks systems. Based on almost 100,000 responses to our recent Linux Survey, we plan to offer select desktops and notebooks with Linux pre-installed.
EG: What are your current "most efficient" desktop, and server?
The OptiPlex 740, Dellâ€™s first business desktop to offer AMD processors, and OptiPlex 320 with Intel processors, are designed to deliver enhanced performance, manageability, deployment capabilities, security and energy efficiency. The new desktops round out Dellâ€™s lineup of redesigned OptiPlex business desktops, extending Dell's lifecycle experience strategy to help increase business efficiencies so IT departments can focus on higher-value activities.
The OptiPlex 740 and 320 products deliver dual processors for better performance and power savings, power efficiency resulting in $1.6 Billion in projected total worldwide energy savings (based on total 2005 PC shipments), direct deployment service offerings, [and] new remote control and management capabilities.
The new systems are also designed to save customers money and reduce power consumption. Applying the Dell Energy Smart energy-efficiency settings currently in place on the OptiPlex systems on all Dell desktops could save enough electricity to avoid about 12.5 million tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of removing an estimated 2.5 million cars from the road. The power savings also have the potential to save customers about $1.6 billion in operating costs.
Dell offers the latest technologies for Wall Street data centers, including the Dell PowerEdge 1950 and 2950, with Quad-core capabilities on 2-socket systems that deliver 4-socket performance in denser footprint at Â½ the cost. This enables Wall Street customers to further consolidate their IT infrastructures with reduced physical and energy footprints and more virtualization capabilities for additional performance and savings.
Dell is also addressing a core element of data center power consumption and efficiency with the addition of PowerEdge Energy Smart 1950 and 2950 servers. This new platform offers a balanced approach to energy efficiency, performance and price, helping lower overall energy consumption across the Data Center and deliver outstanding total cost of ownership (TCO) for customers.
Finally, Dell offers the PowerEdge SC1435, with AMD Opteron processors that improves performance up to 128% and delivers up to 138% improved performance per watt increases.
EG: Any tidbits you can send our way about radical shifts in design or thinking taking place at Dell that will affect efficiency, and by extension, our environment? You're got a captive audience here...
SD: Virtualization will continue to play a critical role in how customers plan, deploy, consolidate and manage their data center operations and eventually extend to the desktop environment as well. We're working to develop solutions that will deliver the key technologies needed for customers to make the most out of their virtualization strategies.
Another key element is how customers manage their infrastructure with systems management tools. Systems Management is one of the last frontiers of complex and proprietary technologies that is ripe for standardization to simplify customersâ€™ environments. The goal is to create a plug-and-play enterprise where all the components, from networks, to servers, storage, printers and other devices, are inherently manageable from the hardware, up.
Dell has driven standardization on the hardware front, from the desktop to the datacenter, and is now focusing its efforts on systems management by announcing the Unified Manageability Architecture (UMA). UMA is Dellâ€™s vision for a standards-based blueprint for simplified, modular systems management.
It delivers a layered framework that enables a path to "built-in" management for hardware and software using standard instrumentation such as CIM and SMI-S, and access protocols including WS-Man. The result is a cross-vendor approach that can yield more robust systems modeling, enabling high availability and standards-based building blocks for business process management.
Dell Client Manager delivers the consolidation of numerous systems management tools into a single interface/console for simplified management of desktop systems. It has an easy-to-use interface, and allows an administrator to remotely deploy, manage and troubleshoot thousands of Dell client systems from a single console, including management of systems regardless of their OS state.
Alas, you've made it this far, and we remain undecided. Dell's commitment to increasing sustainability is admirable, but so much more could be done. Dell could put together more efficient desktops and that would certainly be better for the world than carbon offsets. The best deal for an EcoGeek is always fixing up your old machine. It's more fun and it's more sustainable. But if you need to keep up with the latest developments, Dell is likely the way to go.
For more information on this and other ways Dell is working to improve the world we live in, check out these videos on Dell.com.
written by Janis Mara, April 14, 2007
written by Matt James, April 14, 2007
written by Guy Lane, June 11, 2007
written by BLVRao, August 09, 2008
written by BLVRao, August 10, 2008
written by krishnan, May 21, 2009
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