Dell Technologies uses ocean-bound plastics incorporating sizable plastics collected from beaches, waterways and coastal areas for packaging of its flagship products. India CSR Network interviewed Rajeev Kapoor, Vice President, Financial Shared Services, India CSR Champion, Dell Technologies. Exerpts:
Can you elaborate on the ocean bound plastics in packaging and how is Dell Technologies implementing this?
There are an estimated 86 million metric tons of plastics in our oceans – that’s five trillion individual pieces. Experts have predicted that in 30 years, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. According to research, majority of the world seabird species have plastic in their gut and 99 per cent will have gobbled down plastic by 2050.
With the motive to take big step towards a sustainable future, we are committed to reducing ocean plastic pollution. In FY17, Dell Technologies pioneered the use of ocean-bound plastics, incorporating sizable plastics collected from beaches, waterways and coastal areas inpackaging of our flagship products. We began shipping the XPS 13 2-in-1 in packaging made from ocean-bound plastics and made a commitment to increase annual usage 10x by 2025 as well as open source Dell’s supply chain to encourage broad use of ocean plastics by other companies.
Dell has also partnered with Lonely Whale in FY18 to bring together a cross-industry consortium of global companies that are committed to scaling the use of ocean-bound plastics.
We have also exceeded the initial 2020 goal of using 50 million pounds of sustainable materials in our products and adjusted the goal to use 100 million pounds of recycled-content plastic and other sustainable materials.
Can you please elaborate on the key partnerships or initiatives/campaigns in place?
Our 2020 Legacy of Good Plan has established sustainability, diversity and technology as accelerators for successful customer and societal outcomes for years to come.
This plan embedded our commitment to corporate social responsibility more deeply into Dell Technologies’ DNA. Its goals outlined exactly how we would put technology and our expertise to work where they can do the most good for people and our planet. We rallied our global team around these targets and engaged our customers, communities, industry peers and stakeholders. As a result, we pushed the boundaries of our innovation and achieved more impact than we ever imagined.
Chakr Innovation, an Indian start-up developed a technology that captures the soot from diesel generators and turns it into a carbon black used to make ink. Dell Technologies now uses the ink on 1.5 million boxes that ship out of India each year.
Overall, we ship approximately 8.4 units per second. At that volume, it is imperative to design our packaging and shipping processes around efficiency and waste minimization. This invites the opportunity for innovation – highlighting the value of innovators like Chakr so we can help Dell and our customers reduce their waste through creative design, innovative material choices and better logistics.
We estimate that our use of the process will help clean the equivalent amount of air breathed annually by about 110,000 people. We see many other applications for this ink, and will continue to seek ways to substitute more sustainable solutions in pursuit of our goal of achieving 100% sustainable packaging by 2020.
Under the Dell Youth Learning program, the India team engaged with a broad spectrum of 13 non-profits to use Dell Technologies and expertise to improve learning outcomes in government schools, impart digital literacy skills, increase curiosity and foster innovation, develop life skills and provide environment and civics related education to underserved youth. With our support, these partners collectively reached out to 1.86 Lakh youth directly and 1.26 Lakh youth and community members indirectly.
Dell Technologies has collaborated with award-winning National Geographic explorer, Mike Libecki and his 14-year-old daughter Lilliana Libecki to work in the remote village of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. The initiative aims at providing better education, enhancing the quality of lives and creating hope for the future with the possibilities that technology and internet can offer
Tell us about some of the initiatives that you are leading with Dell Technologies?
As a member of the India Leadership Team in Dell, I focus on building the Dell brand and business in India. Apart from that, I am very passionate about serving our community. Currently I am championing the community service for India and am on the committee for APJ as well. I work on the CSR strategy for the company, Sustainability report and am responsible for the implementation of CSR projects pan India.
We are committed to driving human progress by putting up technology and expertise to work. In India, we are working extensively in the education space with our flagship program Dell Youth Learning, which is a component of our ‘2020 Legacy of Good’ plan. For this, we have collaborated with NITI Aayog to set up and support about 86 ‘Atal Tinkering Labs’ in order to enable access to technology for the youth, which provides them with space to drive innovation.
What does Dell Technologies do to ensure that CSR is imbibed in the corporate strategy and operations and is not merely a philanthropic act?
Every day, Dell Technologies is pairing technology with innovation to make a positive social and environmental impact – building a Legacy of Good. We are committed to putting our technology and expertise to work, where it can do the most good for people and the planet, making possible today what was impossible yesterday.
We encourage our employees to volunteer for various social, cultural and environmental causes. Volunteering is a key factor in the DNA of Dell’s culture. In fact, across the company of around 140,000 people, more than half of them actively volunteers in a year. In India, about 70% of our employees volunteer at least for a few hours every year for any cause they believe in. Dell employees have always actively participated in providing disaster relief measures in areas that have witnessed nature’s fury.
India team members contributed over 1,05,000 hours of volunteer time engaging with 1,175 non-profits working in the areas of education, environment sustainability, women empowerment, people with disabilities etc. In total, the Dell India team members have volunteered 4.5 Lakh hours of their time since 2013-14
Through their volunteering efforts, India team members raised over INR 2.5 crores worth of volunteer reward cards and deployed them for execution of projects such as distribution of education school kits, sponsorship of deserving girl children, installation of drinking water filters in government schools
Over 700 team members from the legacy Dell Technologies and EMC organizations in Bangalore assembled 209 wheelchairs as part of the global Day 1 (post integration) community service activity in October 2016. These wheelchairs were distributed through NGO partners – Association for People with Disability and Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.
Dell Technologies has offered expertise and technology for 2.3 million underserved children directly and over 10 million people indirectly through strategic giving programs, reaching 59 % of Dell’s direct impact goal and 84 percent of the indirect goal.