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.
Luna explained the concept
As for Moon concept, I had the opportunity to see it completely disassembled and assembled, and the speed with which you can disassemble the laptop was amazing. With a little practice, you should be able to completely remove the machine in a few minutes. Dell even uses organic materials that can be safely dissolved to reduce exposure to contaminants when the product is eventually disposed of. (And this concept fully encompasses the “right to correct” efforts that are now going through the industry.)
Liquid immersion cooling
Another interesting concept of the show was what looked like a modern, insulated cryosarcophagus with a shell opening on top. Seriously, it looked like something out of a science fiction movie. It contains a non-conductive liquid in which you place servers, which is much more efficient in removing heat than air, and also much more economical. (This technology was especially useful for crypto digging.)
The liquid should also reduce the chances of water penetration, which can cause corrosion, damage to submerged computers. Even at the highest levels of performance, you should not have heat-related damage.
The sarcophagus is open at the top – it would be cool in future Dracula movies – but it had a very important and practical goal: to reduce cooling costs while significantly increasing cooling efficiency.
Unfortunately, the booth showing this hardware was not staffed, so I could not understand the full background. But it looked like that be part of that effort.
Move the ESG forward
Doing an ESG well requires a few things to put it together properly. One of the most interesting efforts I have seen has been directed by former HP CMO, David Roman, who uses HP’s philanthropy budget to increase HP’s marketing impact while improving the performance of the good HPs that HP has tried. to achieve at this time. What he did was give some celebrities the opportunity to spend that budget on philanthropy if they, in turn, became defenders of HP. They jumped on the deal for free.
At Dell Technologies World, Dell’s chief marketing officer and executive vice president, Alison Dew, had actor Matthew McConaughey on stage; McConaughey is obviously passionate about ESG-type projects. Imagine if he became a passionate defender of Dell – how powerful would that be? I think Dew can handle that, and I think Garber’s passion would be incredibly difficult to give up. So I expect incredible progress in ESG by next year’s event.
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