Dell says it's 'carbon neutral'

Green power, protection of tropical forestland contribute to carbon neutrality

Dell says it has met its goal of becoming "carbon neutral" through a series of initiatives to reduce its own energy consumption and offset carbon emissions around the world.

Dell was the first major computer-maker to announce such a plan last September, when it said it would make all company-owned and -leased facilities carbon-neutral by the end of 2008, the IDG News Service reported at the time. Carbon neutrality involves offsetting carbon emissions with projects that limit or sequester emissions, often through such projects as planting trees; or purchasing carbon offsets, in which a company essentially pays others to limit their own carbon.

Dell on Wednesday said it has met its carbon-neutral goal, a few months ahead of schedule. "We're driving 'green' into every aspect of our global business," said CEO Michael Dell in a statement. "This includes setting new standards for energy efficiency and green power, delivering environmental and cost savings for customers, and aligning key growth priorities with our focus on preserving our shared Earth."

Dell entered a partnership with Conservation International to protect more than 591,000 acres of tropical forestland in Madagascar that otherwise might have been destroyed, preventing a half-million tons of carbon emissions over the next five years, Dell said.

Dell is powering its Texas headquarters entirely with green energy and since 2004 has increased its overall purchases of green electricity -- including wind, solar and methane-gas capture -- from 12 million kWh to 116 million kWh.

Dell's carbon-neutral project also includes purchases of renewable energy certificates and new investments in wind power in the United States, China and India.

"The company is already saving more than [US]$3 million annually and avoiding nearly 20,000 tons of [carbon dioxide] through facilities improvements and a global power-management initiative," Dell says.

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Jon Brodkin

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