Tech Talk: Out Of Air, Out Of Water


With growing pressure from consumers to partake in greener practices, many companies in the promotional products space and otherwise are seeking innovative, profitable solutions to better both their business and the environment. Dell, the international computer technology company based in Round Rock, Texas, is no exception. Dell recently sought a new partner to offer revolutionary ideas on how to reinvent its existing business practices. The company found its solution in New Delhi, India-based Chakr Innovations—and air pollution.

Chakr Innovations has taken on the ambitious task of cleaning up the air in New Delhi, India, where it’s headquartered. New Delhi is amongst the cities with the poorest, most dangerous, air quality worldwide. In 2018, it surpassed the Air Quality Index with a rating of 999—a rating so poor that it greatly exceeded the worst category of “hazardous,” and for inhabits, breathing in the air was equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes per day, according to Vox. In dire efforts to reduce air pollution, Chakr Innovations developed a technology to collect particulate emissions expelled from diesel generators in the city and convert this waste into material that can be used in commercial products. The company’s signature invention, the Chakr Shield, has been deemed effective at collecting 90 percent of the waste released by these generators, transforming it into substances that can be used in goods like ink and paint.

Interested in the recycled ink, or “pollution ink,” as it’s often called, Dell partnered with Chakr Innovations in 2017, using its ink on thousands of Dell-manufactured boxes. Dell has estimated that it manufactures some 125,000 boxes per month using this ink. The aftermath? According to Fast Company, the pollution ink has resulted in cleaner air quality for more than 110,000 people living in the New Delhi area, calling attention to a groundbreaking practice to better the environment, while bettering Dell’s brand perception.

Not only this, but Dell is partaking in other recycling initiatives as well. The company has partnered with Lonely Whale, an environmental organization, which led to the development of NextWave, an industry group of nonprofits, private companies and scientists dedicated to cleaning up plastic waste in the world’s oceans by developing eco-friendly, scalable supply-chain processes. In alignment with this, Dell has also committed to using plastic trays in its laptop packaging that are made from 25 percent ocean-recycled plastic and 75 percent other recycled plastics. In 2018, Green Matters reported that Dell’s efforts helped reduce 16,000 pounds of plastic in the oceans. Since 2004, the company has also managed Dell Reconnect through a partnership with Goodwill Industries, which allows consumers to recycle their old computer equipment by bringing it to any of the more than 2,000 national participating Goodwill locations. So far, more than 500,000 million pounds of used electronics have been recycled.

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Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

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