For all the PC lovers out there, the carbon impact of shipping electronics to your front door step is now so much easier. Being at the top of list for innovation and consumer satisfaction, Dell is branching even further outside of conventional packaging materials. In 2009, Dell unveiled its dramatic move from polyethylene foam to bamboo-based packaging. However, this sustainable, natural product came with some limitations, which only suited smaller products like laptops and brought larger products like desktops and servers back to the bottom of the sustainable food chain. Truly innovation at its finest, Dell introduced a pilot program by growing a dense packaging material designed to be sustainable and compostable simply referred to as “mushroom packaging.” Don’t worry, picky eaters, this isn’t something one is expected to consume, but holds high protection capabilities for Dell’s products during the shipping process and serves as the new standard for a more sustainable technology industry. The race to sustainable logistics solutions is incredibly competitive, which brought Dell to step up to the challenge at hand: Finding a green alternative for packaging and cushioning for heavy products. Instead of utilizing more carbon-intensive plastic, the evolution was quite clear: What if one could grow it? Recently developed mushroom biotechnology involves utilizing common agricultural waste products. According to Dell, “cotton hulls, rice hulls or wheat chaff are placed in a mold and injected with mushroom spawn. Five to 10 days later, the mushroom root structure completes its growth, having utilized the energy inherent in the agricultural waste instead of an external energy source like petroleum.” The final product is not only environmentally friendly, but it is also organic and biodegradable. This Styrofoam lookalike can later be used as compost and mulch, making your disposal of the packaging materials a much simpler process. Committed to the Three Cs philosophy of cube, content and curb, Dell is making extraordinary business ideas into reality. Although this product is just beginning with the shipping of PowerEdge R710 server multipacks, Dell holds high hopes for eventually using this sustainable innovation for its entire product line. Beginning a new legacy takes great courage, style and implementation, so kudos to Dell for stepping up to the plate and changing electronics shipping for the better.
Dell Establishing a Compostable Legacy
Instead of utilizing more carbon-intensive plastic, Dell’s packaging solution was quite clear: Grow it.