How Dell is harnessing the gold rush

Dell has spent more than a decade working with sustainable materials in products and packaging. Since 2012, Dell has recycled more than 50 million pounds of post-consumer recycled materials into new products. As part of its ‘Legacy of Good’ programme, the company has pledged to recycle 100 million lbs of material into its product portfolio by 2020.

Dell’s latest venture sees a stunning transformation of e-waste in a fashion forward collaboration with actress and activist Nikki Reed. The glittering scheme illustrates the importance and value of recycling, sustainable design and the circular economy, and highlights the company’s continuing commitment to the environment.

The Circular Collection by Bayou with Love, launched in January 2018, is a jewellery line designed by Nikki Reed and made from gold recovered from computer motherboards. All the jewellery is sourced from gold recovered from Dell’s recycling programmes and includes 14 and 18 carat gold rings, earrings and cufflinks.

You can hear Nikki talk more about the inspiration behind the collection here.

Currently only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled into other products. As a result, it’s estimated that Americans throw away $60 million in gold and silver every year through unwanted mobiles alone.

“Bayou with Love was created to bring greater awareness to the human impact on our planet and show that beautiful items can come from sustainably sourced and recycled materials,” said Nikki Reed, co-founder of Bayou with Love.

“By recycling gold that was once considered ‘waste’, Dell and I are working to create an environment where we continuously reuse resources and strive for zero waste.”

The new Circular Collection demonstrates the potential for these precious materials to be recycled into goods that are beautiful, valuable and sustainable. Not only does reusing and upcycling gold from used technology have economic benefits, it also creates enormous environmental and social benefits by avoiding the damage to human health and the leaching of pollutants commonly associated with mined gold. According to a Trucost study, the gold reclamation process created by Dell environmental partner Wistron GreenTech has a 99% lower environmental impact than traditionally mined gold.

The collection was showcased at this year’s 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (9-12 January) in Las Vegas, highlighting the widespread impact that e-waste, or disposable electronic equipment, has on the environment and the role we all play in advancing a circular economy.

“At Dell, we pride ourselves in finding better, more efficient ways to do business particularly throughout our supply chain,” said Jeff Clarke, Dell vice chairman. “Materials innovation – where and how we source things like plastic, carbon fiber and now gold for our products – is increasingly important for us.

“When you think about the fact that there are up to 800 times more gold in a tonne of motherboards than a tonne of ore from the earth, you start to realize the enormous opportunity we have to put valuable materials to work. Nikki Reed gets that and so do we. It takes constantly thinking outside of the box and pushing the boundaries of innovation to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.”

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