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How ethical and sustainable is Dell?

Dell is a brand of computer that appears in The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical PCs, Laptops, and Tablets Ratings Table. Although Dell has not yet met our Ethical Benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in this brand if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessments and recommendations for enhancements of the brand’s ESG, CSR, and other ethical and sustainability initiatives.

What does Dell do?

Michael Dell created Dell Computer Corporation as a student at the University of Texas at Austin. The company was once known as PC’s Limited. The startup, which was based in Michael Dell’s off-campus dorm room at the Dobie Center, was established with the goal of selling pre-built IBM PC-compatible computer systems. Michael Dell started his business on the premise that by selling personal computer systems directly to consumers, PCLimited &’s would be better able to comprehend their demands and create the most efficient and cutting-edge solutions to address them. After getting roughly $1,000 in expansion funding from his family, Michael Dell left the University of Texas at Austin after his first year to focus exclusively on his fledgling company.

The business quickly expanded internationally after changing its name from PC’s Limited to Dell Computer Corporation in 1987. The justification at the time was that the new company name more accurately reflected its position in the commercial market and handled problems associated with the use of the word “Limited” in a company name in some nations. The company opened its first overseas location in the United Kingdom, and over the subsequent four years, added another eleven. Following its initial public offering of 3.5 million shares at $8.50 per share on June 22, 1988, Dell Computer’s market capitalization climbed by $30 million to $80 million. In 1989, Dell Computer launched its first on-site service initiatives to fill the gap left by the lack of interested local shops to serve as agents.

For which criteria does Dell perform poorly?

Despite Dell’s progress, there is still room for improvement. Dell was marked down under our criteria for Fossil Fuels, Human Rights, on top of Other Criticisms also. These areas are a large cause for concern as until these issues are improved upon the brand is greatly limiting its potential growth into a more ethical and sustainable brand.

In what areas does Dell score well for its ethics?

The brand was marked up under our criteria for Eco Labels, Animal Welfare, and Nuclear power amongst other areas of critique.

How can Dell’s brand improve its Ethical Rating?

The Good Shopping Guide score results from multiple ethical criteria, and Dell’s score has been calculated from these criteria. To reach our minimum Ethical Benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Dell has some issues to resolve, including the reliance on fossil fuels. With the current climate crisis, renewable energy is at the forefront of sustainability culture. For this brand to have longevity and environmental sustainability, this needs to be prioritised.

Why not check out The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation if you work for or with a PC, Laptop, or Tablet company that values ethics and sustainability?

Contact us for more information on what The Good Shopping Guide can do for you, or complete our short form for a rapid ethical evaluation. Alternatively, to start the process, fill out our comprehensive Ethical Accreditation application form. Read our Benefits of Ethical Accreditation page to learn why hundreds of businesses have chosen to be awarded The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Nuclear Power


  • Eco Labels


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Code of Conduct


  • Political Donations


  • Human Rights


  • Conflict Minerals



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Other Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating