Dell receives honor for its use of recycled-content plastics

Computer maker receives Catalyst Award from Green Electronics Council.

September 23, 2015

The Green Electronics Council, Portland, Oregon, has named Dell Inc., Round Rock, Texas, as the winner of its 2015 Catalyst Award for its efforts to use 100-percent-postconsumer-recycled plastic for certain components..

Dell was presented the 2015 Catalyst Award during the Emerging Green Conference, an event held Sept. 22-24 in Portland. Echoing the conference theme, the 2015 Catalyst Award recognized electronics and related infrastructures’ positive impact on the circular economy, says the Green Electronics Council, which hosts the event.

The Catalyst Awards are described by the council as “a global celebration of innovative solutions and tangible environmental accomplishments throughout the life cycle of electronic technologies.”

For award purposes, circular economy was defined as “an economic system that is safe and restorative by intention and seeks to eradicate waste through the careful design, manufacture, use and handling of products and components.”

Dell’s Catalyst award nomination outlined how the company uses recycled content from old electronic devices to make new Dell products, establishing a circular flow of materials. The company’s OptiPlexTM 3030 All-in-One, introduced in 2014, was the first Dell product to contain certified closed-loop, recycled-content plastic.

Between January 2014 and August 2015, Dell used more than 5,000 tons of postconsumer recycled plastics in its products, according to the Green Electronics Council. Cumulatively, the company has used recycled-content plastic in 34 products globally through its closed loop supply chain. Dell also “actively advocates for advancing the IT (information technology) industry toward circular practices, looking beyond its walls to inspire better practices across the supply chain and support the transition for customers and partners,” according to a Green Electronics Council press release.

“The Catalyst Awards recognize practical projects whose impact can inspire further innovation in the electronics space,” says Kent Snyder, Green Electronics Council chairman of the board. “Dell has long been an environmental leader, and its progress to advance the circular economy in electronics is impressive. We’re pleased to recognize Dell with the first Catalyst Award.”

A third-party judging committee managed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) selected Dell as the winner from among 10 Catalyst award finalists. AAAS says it evaluated both qualitative and quantitative evidence to determine the winner.

The other 2015 Catalyst Award finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Arrow Electronics (the subject of this June 2014 Recycling Today profile);
  • Autodesk Inc.;
  • the EPA Energy Star program;
  • Hewlett-Packard;
  • Innovative Recycling;
  • LittleFootprint Lighting;
  • ReDeTec;
  • Toshiba America Business Solutions; and
  • a collaborative effort between Acer, Best Buy, Dell, EPA, HP, Lenovo and Wal-Mart.

The Green Electronics Council is a nonprofit organization that works with stakeholders around the world to develop what it calls a shared vision for more sustainable electronics and the practical tools to realize it.