Interview with Louise Koch, Director, Global Social Impact Sales & Customer Engagement, International Region Lead from Dell Technologies by Caroline Carl
Louise Koch at Dell Technologies
Meeting Louise Koch was an inspiring event. Her joyful and honest appearance conveys the feeling that we can all contribute to positive changes to the environment and should not perceive it as a burden but more as an opportunity. Louise is currently working as Director of Global Social Impact Sales and Customer Engagement at Dell Technologies.
She starts our interview by telling me about her recent move into her new home, a project at heart, fully equipped to be self-sufficient with solar energy in the summer and up to 30% in the wintertime. A remarkable percentage, considering her location 12km out of Copenhagen, a place with little light in the winter months.
She tells me how all industries can always improve and how her experience with the building one was rather a proof of necessary change to adapt to customers’ needs in terms of sustainable building. Later during the interview, she makes the connection to her own professional situation:
Working in the sustainability department requires to focus on a balance, as improvement is a permanent companion.
Louise Koch’s mission is to build a better world through business. In her opinion, activating innovation, business thinking, and global relations is the key to unlock the unlimited potential of developing sustainable solutions business holds. While leading the social impact sales enablement and customer engagement programs globally, one of her main goals is to share and develop Dell Technologies’ social impact program “Progress Made Real 2030”.
Advancing circular economy and sustainability in public procurement are key points in her roles. On the one hand with Social Impact Sales Leads across 170+ countries at Dell Technologies and on the other hand in government affairs dialogue on sustainable development policies as a member of the Danish Government’s Council for Sustainable Business and the UN Global Goals.
Moreover, she is listed in the Global 100 Most Impactful CSR Leaders by the organization World CSR Day.
Dell Technologies: More than just end-to-end IT solutions. A company with a sustainable approach…
Learning about Dell Technologies’ use of the word “Sustainability” was a real delight. A company that approved in advancing their product to a fully sustainable solution.
Real action is a keyword for Dell Technologies. Not only has Dell Technologies made use of recycled plastics for their devices since 2007, but more importantly have they developed an approach keeping the life cycle and therefore the products end of use in mind.
The design ensures easy replacement and reparation of devices. Packaging focusses on sustainability rather than appearance, and the end of use can be dealt with through Dell Technologies directly offering “second-hand solutions”.
Production is another aspect with great importance for Dell Technologies. Factories are fully aligned with the Paris Climate Accords, reducing carbon emissions, being regularly checked and optimized. Moreover, sustainability at Dell Technologies is approached with the three P principle:
Integrating Product, Production, and People into the equation and creating a better solution for all stakeholders.
All the mentioned factors, are the base of the “Progress Made Real 2030” goals – which, just to mention a few on the product side include packaging made from 100% recycled or renewable material, reuse or recycling of an equivalent product whenever a new one is purchased and more than half of the product being made from recycled or renewable material.
Sustainability at the core of company culture
Referring to all stakeholders, one must look at the company culture Dell Technologies has been building from the inside. As a first element, transparency plays an important role and is created through the “Progress made Real Reports” and shared every year. Not only does their “committee of engagement” open the floor for anyone to share ideas on how to improve in the light of sustainability.
Louise’s description of the ideas that come through employees shows a real proof for bottom-up realization. Through an Employee resource Group (ERG) group called Planet, 14,000 team members from Dell have created a space to share events and information such as beach clean-ups. Louise summarizes the magic behind bottom-up initiatives, lying in the idea of enabling a combination between strategy and execution.
In general, sales teams and virtual team leads function as ambassadors and therefore construct a frame for the company culture. An important point Louise mentions in terms of the execution is that everyone at Dell Technologies is aware about the significance of sustainability.
Goals of the board and top management fully align with the declarations of the expert teams and therefore ensure progress. They create a base for each department as sustainability is seen as a core aspect of Dell Technologies’ business.
Therefore, the product group as one example faces their innovation roadmap to include sustainability and to plan business case development accordingly. The realization of such ambitious goals to accelerate the circular economy and net zero greenhouse gas emissions, is being demonstrated in the department’s newest version: Concept Luna.
All in all, the big challenge for Louise lies in the fact that concerning sustainability, one feels like there is always more work to do.
What she truly appreciates is the realization of Dell Technologies, to focus investments and efforts into the topic whereas most companies have not even explored the resources to invest in this matter.
Lastly, I wish to thank Louise and the Dell Technologies’ team for the insight into a possible path to make existing products and companies sustainable.
As for you our readers, we are curious to hear your opinion about the following topics:
- Could you see yourself in a position such as Louise’s and to change enterprises from the inside to become more sustainable?
- Did you know about Dell Technologies’ commitment to the environment?
- Are you paying attention to these kind of issues when buying new technologies?
- Are your organization behaviours driven by a broad understanding of sustainability?