Monday, 2 March 2009

Dell Increases Wind Usage

Dell is now powering its 240,000 square-foot Oklahoma City campus with 100% wind energy and expects to avoid nearly 5,100 tons of CO2 emissions a year as a result. It means that Dell now sources about 35% of its U.S. energy from green power and approximately 20% of its globally power. The company has also announced a plan to reduce its worldwide facilities’ greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2015 through energy efficiency, on-site renewable-energy and partnerships with utility providers.

You could be forgiven for wondering what's going on here, given that last August the company announced that it was carbon neutral, as we reported at the time. The point is that Dell reached this goal, as this latest press release points out, 'through a combination of operational efficiencies, greater investment in green power and responsible offsets to cover remaining impacts'.

Firstly it's interesting to note that Dell refers to 'responsible' offsets, since this can often be a dubious area and comes into some criticism.

More significantly, the use of offsets rather dilutes these further claims. If the company was already carbon neutral, then further emissions reductions have no positive carbon impact, unless the offsets are being commensurately decreased. I assume they are, but it wasn't in the press release.

I certainly don't want to criticise Dell in this respect, the company seems to be working hard on reducing its emissions (and that of its products). But it's better to be very clear about how 'carbon neutrality' has been achieved and if further CO2 reductions are announced then transparency dictates that we should know what impact that has on the offsets.

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