Conservation AcquisitionBusiness Partnerships

Setting big goals, taking action, creating a legacy

dellAs an industry leader in environmental sustainability, Dell is committed to bringing real change that benefits people and the planet. The Conservation Fund’s unique ability to use a market-based approach to conservation made us an ideal partner when the company sought business-minded solutions for its ambitious sustainability efforts. We are working with Dell to take action that helps the environment and strengthens communities, inviting customers and employees to join us in creating a Legacy of Good.

Challenges

  • Give customers a way to decrease the environmental footprint of their IT equipment purchases.
  • Plant trees and protect forests that trap carbon dioxide, clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, provide habitat for wildlife and deliver benefits to our communities and our economy.

Solutions

In 2007, Dell and The Conservation Fund launched the Plant a Tree program to engage customers in addressing two of the greatest environmental challenges of our time: habitat loss and climate change. The Fund worked with Dell to calculate the approximate carbon emissions associated with the lifetime use of Dell products and related those emissions to the amount of air trees can clean as they grow. Dell created a convenient way for its commercial customers and individual consumers to add a small payment (just $2 for a laptop) to their order. These donations help The Conservation Fund’s Go Zero® program to protect forests in Northern California and plant trees in national wildlife refuges across the country.

Dell has also led multiple marketing initiatives to increase awareness and engage all people, not just customers, to join in. A partnership with Causes.com inspired people to make one small change to their daily routines to save energy, reduce waste and cut carbon emissions. For every person who took the pledge to reduce their own footprint, Dell planted a tree through Go Zero. Dell also launched its Plant a Tree for a Friend campaign, which allowed Facebook users to plant a virtual tree on their friend’s Facebook page. For each virtual tree planted, Dell made a donation to Go Zero to plant a real tree. Dell has also encouraged specific actions in exchange for tree planting, such as the campaign that planted trees to restore ocelot habitat in Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in South Texas in exchange for sharing the hashtag #DellARC.

“Our partnership with Dell merges smart conservation and innovation, producing measurable results that make a lasting difference. The relationship between Dell and its customers, and their combined commitment to a long-term investment in our environment, is nothing short of inspiring.”

—Larry Selzer, President and CEO, The Conservation Fund

Outchita Floods-USFWS
Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Results

All told, support from Dell and its customers has resulted in nearly 800,000 trees planted.

In Louisiana’s Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, these trees are restoring areas cleared by heavy logging and are providing habitat vital to the survival of the Louisiana black bear. The bear is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but its population has seen a dramatic recovery due to restoration efforts across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.. Restored forestlands can act as sponges, soaking up rising waters and protecting downstream communities from flooding.

The Plant a Tree campaign helped the Fund restore more than 775 acres of native oak and hickory trees at Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas. After decades of farming, much of the land across the Refuge was too degraded to support habitat for wildlife. Today, the restored forests are managed by US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for migratory birds including the yellow-breasted chat and indigo bunting. They are open to the public for wildlife-dependent recreational uses.

The Plant a Tree program also supports our Garcia River Forests and our Big River and Salmon Creek forests in the coastal Redwood region of Northern California. Here, we are implementing sustainable forest management practices that keep these forests financially viable and environmentally healthy. Through changes like light touch harvesting and widening impaired riverfront buffers, we have improved water quality and habitat for coho salmon, steelhead trout and the spotted owl. Dell’s support of improved forest management here will trap more than 8,000 tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of almost 19 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.

“Now more than ever, it’s not enough to just do less harm. At Dell, we’re looking for ways to use technology to build a lasting legacy – to drive more “good” through everything we do. The Plant a Tree program is an important part of that: since we began working with The Conservation Fund in 2007, Dell customers have helped us plant nearly 800,000 trees – trees that sequester carbon, restore habitat and support green entrepreneurs.”

—Bruno Sarda, Director of Social Responsibility, Dell

Looking Forward

Since the start of our partnership, Dell’s environmental initiatives have evolved tremendously. Recently, Dell announced its ambitious 2020 Legacy of Good plan, which outlines Dell’s commitment to doing 10 times as much good as the footprint that Dell is leaving behind – and there’s no doubt the Plant a Tree program will be part of that legacy. In 2015, Dell announced its goal to help plant one million trees by 2020. We hope you will join us in bettering our communities and our world.