The computer giant’s Zero Carbon Initiative aims to work with employees and suppliers to maximise the energy efficiency of Dell’s products and offset their carbon impact.

The company has pledged to reduce the carbon intensity of its global operations by 15% by 2012 and extend its Plant a Tree for Me programme to Europe.

The scheme allows customers to offset the emissions from the electricity used to power their Dell computers and laptops.

Customers are also being asked to help further by submitting their ideas for building the greenest PC on the planet to the company’s IdeaStorm website.

“Our goal is simple and clear,” Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell said as he announced the initiative.

“We’ll take the lead in setting an environment standard for our industry that will reflect our partnership with, and direct feedback from, our customers, suppliers and stakeholders, and we intend to maintain that leadership.”

Under the scheme, Dell has asked its main suppliers to begin reporting greenhouse gas emissions data, and will then begin working with the companies to develop emissions reduction strategies.

The company has recently completed a power-management pilot on more than 50,000 computers on the company’s internal network which it said has saved about 13m kilowatts of electricity and $1.8m on power bills.

It plans to extend the innovations which achieved the savings through its own company and to its corporate customers.

Under the Plant a Tree for Me programme, customers in Europe will now be able to pay £1 per laptop or £3 per desktop to offset their computer use emissions.

The money will be donated to plant trees in professionally managed restoration projects. This month, Mr Dell committed to personally match all donations to the programme received in the next three months.

Kate Martin

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