We often compare vendors competitively, but some things, like sustainability, are accretive in nature, complementing each other. I often find this more interesting than comparing and ranking vendors because, again especially for sustainability efforts, I believe we are too wedded to conflict and often miss beneficial efforts that help everyone.
Cisco had an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) event this week and one of their practices, focused on creating a 360 Ecosystem, is in sharp contrast to Dell’s Concept Luna in terms of approach. But the two approaches aren’t contradictory and could be layered to create an even more sustainable effort from both firms. Cisco is arguably the leader in ESG across the segment largely because they are, as a company, the most focused on making progress on a variety of fronts including homelessness and working with governments at scale to improve communications and governance strength.
Let’s explore that this week.
Of the companies I cover, HP’s recycling efforts are the most aggressive. The work it has done in its printer division to reduce waste sets a high bar. But in one of the media talks on this topic focused on recycling I noticed a lot of Dell hardware also going through the same process as HP’s hardware. It turns out Dell is cooperating and collaborating with HP on sustainability which is having a positive impact on both companies’ efforts.
This opens the door to other firms that are aggressive on sustainability working together for a better future as well.
Dell stepped up this year with a unique program called Concept Luna. It’s a technology showcase demonstrating that you could create a laptop that was fully recyclable and could be the critical part of creating a PC-based 360-degree ecosystem. The advantage to this approach is that it definitively shows that such a product is possible, which short circuits any argument that it couldn’t be done. But to be viable, Concept Luna would still need to be cost reduced because currently it is priced out of the market.
Luna sets a bar and gives designers a goal to work toward and proof that the goal is achievable. This is important, because I recall Steve Jobs wanting motherboards to look good and his engineers went through a lot of trouble to show him it wasn’t possible. However, if you’ve ever seen a gaming motherboard you know pretty motherboards have been in existence for over a decade proving those Apple engineers wrong and Jobs right. But without an example of those motherboards, Jobs had to accept that his request was a non-starter. Concept Luna prevents that kind of dynamic outcome.
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