Monday, October 1, 2007

Dell (DELL) set to become 'carbon neutral' in just over a year

Dell is joining the eco-group of corporate citizenry in a larger way by stating this week that it will be reducing the carbon output effects of its global operations by the end of 2008. What does this mean? Well, Dell will be tallying up all of its greenhouse emissions from all plants and facilities around the globe. It will then measure the effect of all those emissions and will develop a plan to reduce and eventually eliminate them all at some point.

In addition to the eventual elimination of greenhouse gases from factories, the computer maker will also become more energy efficient and will power operations in some areas with renewable power sources. Currently, renewable power sources popular with consumers and businesses alike include solar power and wind power.

Now, in many cases, these ecological statements are lip service for the press along with the added benefit of good PR. But, as competition intensifies, some companies actually turn "going green" into a competitive advantage while remaining competitive at a pure business level. If you were an ecologically conscious consumer deciding between a Dell "green" PC and one from competitor Acer -- with similar prices and performance -- which would you choose? Consumers are where it's at right now when it comes to PC purchases, if I'm not mistaken.

The problem so often seen is that companies really making a difference in trying to help the planet don't market those efforts to the purchasing customers, whether they be consumers or businesspeople. Dell has a chance here to make itself well-known as the "green" PC company -- I hope the company doesn't let the chance fall through the cracks.