Dell Inc. and Lonely Whale Convene Cross-Industry Group to Address Marine Litter
Dell Inc. and Lonely Whale bring together cross industry consortium of companies including General Motors, Trek Bicycle, Herman Miller, Interface, Van de Sant, Humanscale and Bureo to scale the use of ocean-bound plastics
TEXAS (Dec. 12, 2017) – Dell Inc. and Lonely Whale will form of a collaborative and open-source initiative called NextWave, convening General Motors, Trek Bicycle, Interface, Van de Sant, Humanscale, Bureo and Herman Miller. NextWave convenes leading technology and consumer-focused companies to develop the first-ever commercial-scale ocean-bound plastics supply chain. Additional supporting members of the group include UN Environment, 5Gyres Institute, Zoological Society of London and New Materials Institute.
Research shows that an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste entered the ocean in 2010, and if trends do not change more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste will have entered the ocean by 2025. This poses not only a threat to vital ocean ecosystems including critical fish nurseries and coral reefs, but also adversely affects the health and longevity of marine species and humans.
NextWave members will share responsibility in development of a sustainable model that reduces ocean-bound plastic pollution at scale, while creating an economic and social benefit for multiple stakeholders. In addition, the group will ensure that the resulting supply chain has the infrastructure and support necessary to meet demand as well as align with globally approved social and environmental standards. Finally, the initiative will confirm the integrity of the supply chain and resulting product integration through chain-of-custody compliance and external, third-party verification of impact.
The Lonely Whale, an NGO dedicated to bringing people closer to the world’s ocean through K-12 education, consumer campaigns and market-based solutions will convene the group. NextWave will actively engage scientists and advocates working with marine litter and ocean health to advise on a sustainable model that supports the needs of coastal communities and environments. The initiative is supported by UN Environment, with private sector partners invited to sign up to the Clean Seas campaign as part of their commitment.
NextWave anticipates that together they will divert more than 3 million pounds of plastics from entering the ocean within five years, the equivalent to keeping 66 million water bottles from washing out to sea.
Importantly, member companies have agreed to also reduce plastic usage across their operations and supply chains. While working to stop the flow of ocean-bound plastic it is critical to ensure each company assesses its own plastic footprint and eliminate and/or significantly reduce its own use of single-use and non-recyclable plastics.
This initiative was driven out of the relationships between Dell and the Lonely Whale. In 2015, Dell partnered with Adrian Grenier, founder of Lonely Whale, to educate companies and consumers on the dangers of ocean plastics through the Lonely Whale VR experience, powered by Dell. Dell launched its first ocean-bound plastic packaging pilot in February 2017 and assisted with the launch of the UN Environment Programme’s Clean Seas Initiative which has led to more than 33 countries taking action to reduce marine litter. In June Dell and Lonely Whale addressed the United Nations at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference, where Dell pledged its commitment to UN SDG Goal 14.
Dell has a history of supporting programs that further enable a circular economy as a part of its 2020 Legacy of Good Plan. If you would like to learn more about the initiative please visit NextWavePlastics.org, and to learn more about Dell’s work in ocean plastics, please visit Dell’s Ocean Plastics Program page.
Kevin Brown, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Dell
“Collaboration is critical to addressing the issue of ocean plastic at scale. I’m thrilled to partner closely with leaders across industries to advance our collective interest in creating solutions that create value from waste.”
Erin Meezan, Chief Sustainability Officer, Interface
“We are excited to collaborate with like-minded organizations to advance the circular economy. Interface has proactively pursued a circular approach including recycling and reuse of materials through our ReEntry product take back program. We also helped spur ocean waste reduction with the Net-Works initiative, using ghost fishing nets as recycled content in our yarn supply chain. All of these efforts are critical to our Climate Take Back mission to create a climate fit for life. We are confident this working group can accelerate plastics recycling, driving scale and economic viability, while leaving a lasting positive impact on the health of our oceans and bringing the circular economy to the forefront.”
Adrian Grenier, Founder, Lonely Whale; Social Good Advisor, Dell
“I am so proud to see our partnership with Dell continue to grow and inspire companies across industries to use their capabilities to address ocean health. This is no individual company’s problem; this impacts every human being and company, and it is incredible to see these industry leaders coming together.”
Erik Solheim, Executive Director, United Nations Environment
“The oceans are facing a plastic pandemic and it is critical for companies to take ownership of their supply chains and for consumers be aware of how their everyday choices can have a lasting legacy. We welcome Dell and Lonely Whale for organizing this working group and spearheading what we hope will be a catalyst to innovation that can only be achieved by working together.”
Jenna Jambeck, Associate Professor, Center for Circular Materials Management, New Materials Institute, University of Georgia
“I am excited to see the private sector step up and take an active role in addressing the challenges of marine debris. By changing the way we think about waste, valuing the management of it and establishing groups such as this that create an economically viable and scalable model, we can catalyze the development of infrastructure including new jobs and opportunities for economic innovation while improving the living conditions and health for millions of people around the world.”
John Bradburn, Global Manager of Waste Reduction, General Motors
“Whether it’ s turning ocean oil booms or Flint water bottles into car parts, GM has been working to address water-related waste. Advancing the circular economy requires us to see items not as what they are, but what they can become. When we work together, cross-industry with small and large companies alike, we unlock even more value from these resources and multiply the positive impact.”
Stefan Berggren, Senior Product Compliance Engineer, Trek Bicycle
“Trek is continually seeking new ways to build a better world and we ’ re excited be a part of this consortium with other organizations who share similar values. Sharing ideas and developing designs that will utilize recycled ocean plastics as part of our product development is a very exciting prospect for us. We ’ re proud to be a part of this group which will serve as a catalyst and model for others to follow to address the issue of plastic waste in our oceans”.
Diane Turnwall, Vice President, Materials Innovation at Herman Miller
“Protecting the environment has always been a core value at Herman Miller. We believe every generation ’ s obligation is to manage the Earth ’ s resources responsibly so they will be there for the next generation. Herman Miller is honored to collaborate with this group of industry leaders that is committed to developing solutions that advance the circular economy through innovation and responsible sourcing, while making a positive impact on communities across the globe.”
David Stover, CEO and Co-founder, Bureo
“Focused on scaling and replicating a program to collect and recycle discarded fishing nets, Bureo’s efforts are directed towards preventing one component of the various plastic waste streams entering our oceans. We strongly believe in the force of collaboration to align initiatives to expand impacts, with measurable tangible outcomes to prevent waste in our waterways and oceans. We are looking forward to continuing sharing knowledge and working cooperatively to develop economically viable solutions that are expanding the new economy for previously discarded materials. Many thanks to the Lonely Whale leadership team for bringing together a working group of companies aligning to make a positive impact for our oceans. ”
Jon Strassner, Director of Workplace Strategies, Humanscale
“At Humanscale, we believe that manufacturers should not only strive to make a Net Positive impact on our environment, but also work diligently to restore and repair natural habitats. Reducing marine debris, especially ghost fishing gear, is of paramount concern to us, as it should be to manufacturers everywhere. We are truly excited to join Dell, Lonely Whale and other forward thinking companies in the effort to restore our marine habitats and eliminate the careless introduction of plastic into our oceans.”
About Dell Inc.
Dell Inc., a part of Dell Technologies, provides customers of all sizes – including 98 percent of the Fortune 500 – with a broad, innovative portfolio from edge to core to cloud. Dell Inc. comprises Dell client as well as Dell EMC infrastructure offerings that enable organizations to modernize, automate and transform their data center while providing today’s workforce and consumers what they need to securely connect, produce, and collaborate from anywhere at any time.
About Lonely Whale
Lonely Whale was inspired by the power of creating community so that together we can care for each other and our natural environment and begin to positively impact the health of our ocean. Lonely Whale is both a connector between NGOs, influencers, corporations and policymakers and an incubator for courageous ideas that drive impactful market and policy change on behalf of our ocean. For more information, visit www.lonelywhale.org or follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @lonelywhale.