Dell Pilot Program Tracks Old Electronics to See Where They Actually End Up

Dell Pilot Program Tracks Old Electronics to See Where They Actually End Up

Dell is tracking where its products end up after they are collected via the company’s US consumer takeback program; the pilot program – an effort between Dell and Basel Action Network (BAN) – is designed to “see if things end up where they are supposed to,” Dell says in its just-released 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

Dell will be sending 40 electronic devices containing hidden BAN EarthEye trackers into their US consumer disposition stream. Of these, 30 will be arranged by Dell and 10 provided to BAN to deploy independently.

Tech-driven Solutions to Reaching SDGs

Global population growth and climate change are challenging every sector and industry. Governments and businesses worldwide must increase their preparedness for more extreme weather events. Technology such as BAN’s new trackers will play an integral role in addressing these challenges, Dell says.

“We must continue partnering with like-minded companies, nonprofits and governmental organizations to create the conditions under which our innovations can drive lasting change,” the company says in its report.

‘Making Lemonade’

Two years ago, BAN published a report based on tracking studies that identified some problem areas in Dell’s downstream waste management: while Dell had a partnership with thrift stores like Goodwill – a chain with a high-level reputation for responsible behavior – it was found that many of the devices tracked were illegally exported (based on laws regarding shipping e-waste to developing countries). BAN and Dell are working to solve the problems identified in that report and to explore ways to improve accountability in waste management.

“Given some lemons, Dell chose to make some lemonade,” said Jim Puckett, executive director of BAN. By working proactively with BAN, Dell can get ahead of potential downstream accountability issues.

BAN plans to invite all major corporations and institutions to do the same when it launches EarthEye publicly this week.