Aligning economics and environmental interests is the only way we’ll see real change in the battle against climate change. That’s my opinion and thankfully I’m not alone in this line of thinking. Today, January 9, 2007, Dell joined forces with the Carbonfund.org and The Conservation Fund to launch the ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ initiative.
Michael Dell explained in a press conference today that he sees the initiative as a way to partner with customers and together help make computer use carbon neutral. From now on customers will be given an opportunity to make a donation that represents a carbon offset of their product use. Planting trees has the added bonus of contributing to reforestation and habitat reconstruction.
Donation amounts are based on expected average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the production of electricity needed to power the systems over three years – for a notebook .42 tons and for a desktop 1.26 tons. The cost of the carbon offset is $4.75 per ton. It costs approximately $6.31 per tree planted. On average a tree will sequester 1.33 tons of CO2 over 70 years through the program. Thus, the offset donation required to neutralize the carbon impact for notebooks is $2 and $6 for desktops.
The donation process has been nicely integrated into the shopping experience. Shoppers simply elect to donate while configuring their system. Whether or not Dell shoppers will bite remains to be seen. A similar program offering Gaiam shoppers to offset the CO2 from their shipping enjoys a 46% take rate. American consumers tend value and respond well when offered to make a difference – especially if you make it easy, accessible and transparent.
Key metrics for the success of the program are: tons of CO2 sequestered by the trees planted as a result of the Dell customer donations, number of trees planted and acres of habitat reconstructed. The exact numbers will not be made publicly available but will be added to the counter on the Dell website that displays total CO2 emissions avoided through all their initiative in aggregate.
Find more details on the ‘Plant A Tree For Me’ program and Dell’s other environmental programs check Dell.com/earth. :: Dell