Shipping 3.5 products per second, Hewlett-Packard has a huge responsibility to manage its supply chain – the largest in the tech industry. The company's potential impact on the health of the planet can't be understated. Sustainability is a massive undertaking for such a company, but when it comes to Hewlett-Packard and the environment, progress has been a long time coming.
Recognized among the top 100 Greenest Companies by Newsweek in 2010, HP has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to “set new standards for environmental leadership”, lent technological support to the Plastiki expedition and has helped companies like UPS conserve resources like paper and ink. The company has also met or exceeded many of its sustainability goals ahead of schedule.
HP's recent green achievements aren't necessarily the result of highly devoted, sustainability-minded executives. Rather, they're the product of an attitude that connects environmental responsibility with increased revenues, reduced costs and innovative thinking.
"It's not about getting your CEO passionate about sustainability," HP's Vice President of Environmental Sustainability Engelina Jaspers told GreenBiz.com. "It's about connecting sustainability to your CEO's passion."
Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
HP has set a series of environmental goals for 2010, 2011 and 2013, aiming for a gradual decrease in energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions both in its own operations and its products. For 2010, the company set out to reduce both by 25 percent below 2005 levels in two ways: operations and products. It met this goal over a year early and set a new one, aiming for 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2011, and has also committed to reducing GHG from its own facilities at least 20 percent under 2005 levels by 2013.
The company also hopes to reduce water consumption by 5 percent compared with 2007, remove all mercury from its entire notebook line by the end of 2010, reduce the weight of its printer packaging per product by 35 percent and get 40 percent of its HP-branded paper Forest Stewardship Council-certified by the end of 2011.
In its 2009 Global Citizenship Report, HP announced its progress on many of these goals. The company launched the Global Workplace Initiative to reduce the amount of land it uses and make its use of resources more efficient, and its new data centers are getting innovative features that make them far more energy-efficient. HP outlines many more ways in which it is reducing its impact on its website.
Recycling and Reuse
The first computer manufacturer to operate its own recycling center, HP also has the only closed-loop ink cartridge process in the world and has recycled nearly two billion pounds of products and materials. HP strives to eliminate waste in its operations and diverted 89.4 percent of its total 2009 waste from the landfill through recycling. It also saved nearly $5.1 million in 2009 by reusing items and avoiding landfill fees, and generated $2.6 million in revenue by selling recyclable commodities like paper, scrap metal and cardboard.
HP also offers a variety of ways for consumers to dispose of their used products including trade-in, returns for cash, donations and recycling centers. The company offers repair and remanufacturing programs, extending the life of products that would otherwise be discarded.
Eco-Friendly Technology for Everyone
As much effort as HP puts into lowering its own environmental footprint, its biggest impact comes in helping consumers, organizations, government and other companies lower theirs as well. HP's biggest environmental goal is to continue producing innovative, energy-efficient and otherwise environmentally friendly technology. A wide variety of HP products are Energy Star Certified, and many meet other certifications such as 'EcoLogo', a voluntary program establishing strict criteria for hazardous substances, paper savings and design for extended life. HP also has a new 'Eco Highlights' labeling system that tells consumers exactly what's “green” about a given product.
Learn more about Hewlett-Packard and the environment at HP.com.