Disclosure: Dell is a customer of the author.

IN Dell Technologies World this week one of the most interesting briefings I received was from Cassandra Garber, Vice President of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). This is because when I first spoke to Dell in the early 2000s on this topic, it was the wrong side of the ESG effort.

There are two types of companies that talk about sustainability. One species treats it as a low-content marketing tool; the other treats it more like a religion. Dell’s initial efforts were basically “if you buy a product, we will plant a tree.” It sounds good, but it is also a clear indicator that it simply provides information on this important topic. Since then, Dell has taken on its commitment to ESG, funded it and created demonstrations of its efforts – such as Concept Luna, the sustainable design project that can redefine the technology market and made it far greener.

Let’s talk about how Dell has increased its focus and trust in ESG.

Passion makes a difference

Doing ESG properly requires leadership from someone who is backed by company executives with a passion for the job. One thing Garber has is a passion for ESG. Her eyes gleamed as she spoke of the work she was helping to get into executives’ compensation and reward programs. When I talked to several of Dell’s product people, I found that they were also working on this effort and were proud of projects like Concept Luna, the first fully sustainable laptop that Dell used to show what was possible.

This passion spans the company, starting with Michael Dell and Jeff Clark at the top and including CMO Alison Dew and every product manager I met at the event. Dell is serious about this effort and is showing how aggressively it is changing things like governance metrics and measures of corporate success.

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