Do you go out of your way to eat organically grown foods? Do you buy Fair-Trade clothing? Do you hug trees? No? But do you worry every so slightly about the future of the planet and sometimes think about what happens to all those outdated mobile phones and hard-disks once they leave your household or workplace? We do, and we also know that more than two-thirds of electronic products are simply thrown away and end up in landfills around Europe, where toxins seep into the earth as the items corrode.
There is 800 times more gold in one tonne of motherboards than there is in one tonne of ore mined from the earth, so it only makes sense to reclaim it. What’s more: The gold reclamation process created by Dell’s environmental partner Wistron GreenTech also has a whopping 99 percent lower environmental impact than traditionally mined gold.
With this reclamation process at its core, Dell finally unveiled a project many years in the making at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in February 2018: The Circular Gold initiative in collaboration with the American actress and entrepreneur Nikki Reed. She has created the Circular Gold collection for Dell, a delicate jewellery range in 14 and 18 karat gold, using reclaimed gold from motherboards and sustainably sourced gemstones.
It is impossible not to join in Nikki Reed’s enthusiasm:
“When Dell approached me a little over a year ago with this idea of taking gold from their computers and recycling it to create something beautiful I thought it was the coolest thing ever. This idea that we can somehow marry technology with sustainability is – if you ask me – the future.”
Not just a pretty face
But the jewellery line is not the only area where the reclaimed precious metal is in demand. Gold is the most malleable metal and the third-best conductor of electricity after silver and copper. It usually comes from open pit mines using high-impact methods to strip out tiny amounts at great cost to the environment. Reclaiming used gold is therefore paramount to the sustainability of the future of electronics.
In turn, a part of Dell’s Legacy of Good Program is the pledge to recycle 45 million kg of recycled content into its product portfolio by 2020.: This same recycled gold is used in computer motherboards for the Latitude 5285 2-in-1s, a stylish new 2-in-1 with the power of a laptop and flexibility of a tablet.
As Darrel Ward, senior vice president of commercial client solutions at Dell, stated at the CES:
“If we don’t start this now and we don’t start taking these precious metals out of the landfills and putting them back into the ecosystem, then we’ve all failed.”
Though current EU law requires member states to inform the European Commission about the amount of electronics they recycle, a lot of e-waste is slipping through the cracks. We therefore want to encourage you to make use of all options that are available to you to return old electronics to be reused. You can feel good about reducing your personal impact on the environment, while also helping Dell reduce its impact.
In Nikki Reed’s words:
“If you want to be a part of responsibly recycling your technology, all you have to do is drop it off at a local Goodwill®, and Dell with do the rest. They make it pretty easy.”
And if there are no Goodwill® stores in your neighbourhood – there’s a business idea for you!