Dell's internal transformation does underscore one interesting point that has gotten lost in Washington's dysfunctional debate over energy and the environment. Tackling rising energy costs and doing good by the environment are not mutually exclusive. Maybe Senator Barack Obama was on to something with his Michigan speech, after all.
Dell's reliance on greater energy efficiency and renewable energy is now saving the company $3 million a year. Okay, a drop in the bucket. But more importantly for other companies of all sizes, Dell executives say the internal returns on the efficiency drive are stellar: Most of the new projects pay for themselves in less than two years, and almost all the projects pay back in less than three.
"Since we figure we'll still be in business in three years, it just makes sense," said Dane Parker, Dell's global director of environment, health and safety.