Publication / 10 Jan 2018

Dell: Environmental Benefit of Gold Recycling

Trucost quantified the environmental impact cost of recycled gold compared with mined gold to inform Dell’s sustainable supply chain activities.

Dell Technologies is a multinational computer technology company headquartered in the United States. Dell collects discarded computer equipment as part of the Dell Reconnect program, including components manufactured by Dell and other companies.

Dell’s initiative is an important step in its transition toward developing a circular business model. Gold is used in electronic equipment in small amounts, and amongst other things, is used in contact points in printed circuit boards. This is an important function in electronic devices and gold performs well in comparison to other metals.

However, tracing where mined gold comes from is a difficult task and this inhibits the assessment of environmental and social impacts and risks associated with its use. Using recycled gold from its Reconnect program gives Dell greater transparency on the environmental and social impacts in its supply chain. Trucost and the Social Hotspots Database have thus quantified the impacts of gold produced from recycled and traditional mining methods.

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