Dell's 'Carbon Neutrality' Is Really a Bunch of Cow Poop

Over the summer, Dell declared that it had become "carbon neutral." You would think that meant, amazingly, it's reduced its carbon footprint to the point it's no longer adding to greenhouse gases. Total BS.

Dell's declaration of its carbon neutrality is based on a self-defined carbon footprint that includes emissions produced by its boilers, company-owned cars, air travel and electricity use. What it doesn't count, however, is anything related to actually making its computers. As the WSJ notes, that's none of the oil used by its part suppliers or the fuel used to ship its computers around the world. Dell itself admits that the carbon footprint of its suppliers and consumers are about 10 times the footprint Dell claims for itself. The WSJ estimates they're "only neutralising about 5% of the greenhouse gases that go into the making and use of its products." Even then, most of Dell's neutrality comes from the fact that it buys environmental credits, not because of actual green practices, like powering its warehouses solely from green energy.

The consumers, and how they use Dell products, Dell shouldn't really have to count. But, anything that goes into making the computers up until the point they hit your door, on the other hand, should totally be on Dell. So calling themselves carbon neutral at this moment feels at least a little bit disingenuous, even if they are trying really hard to be green.

Speaking of cow poop, since Dell is in Texas, they've actually got plenty of renewable energy around. [WSJ]