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HP sets sights on ambitious sustainability goals

HP plans to increase use of recycled materials in printers and PCs over the next five years

The worldwide focus might be on dealing with coronavirus, but HP is keen to remind partners that the need for sustainability has not gone away.

Before the pandemic struck, the channel had seen interest in the green pitch increase, with customers looking for suppliers that were taking the climate change challenge seriously.

HP has been promoting its efforts on the sustainability front for years and has already helped recycle more than 60 million plastic bottles out of the ocean. The company also made the commitment in 2018 to use 100% renewable energy supply in the US and to produce the most sustainable PC portfolio.

The vendor was planning an event to cover sustainability, but given the current situation used its virtual 'Meet the Experts' format to update partners on its activities.

George Brasher, UK and Ireland managing director at HP, said that although the current situation was difficult, the planet was at a critical point.

“If you look at the environment, you are starting to see the impact of climate change and global warming,” he said, adding that the Black Lives Matter movement had also shown a spotlight on the ongoing inequalities in society and that the pandemic had underlined that certain groups had been the hardest hit by the virus.

“Faced with these challenges, what we believe as HP is that we have to go back to our core principles to figure out how we go forward,” he said. “It’s not just words, it has to be actions and doing that backs that up.”

The firm publishes its sustainability report every June, and the most recent report revealed the progress the firm had made on its goals. So far, HP has recycled more than 4.69 billion plastic bottles and removed 1,000 tonnes of packaging that was difficult to recycle. It has also kept 875 million printer cartridges out of landfill since it started working with partners in 1991 on its recycling scheme.

The report also includes some future targets, which include the aim of 30% post-consumer plastic in PCs and printers by 2025. The aim is to reduce by 75% the use of single-use plastic packaging by the same date. It is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint and cutting the emissions produced in the manufacturing of its products by 30%.

“If you go back to the previous century, businesses saw sustainability as a ‘nice to have’, typically an extra bullet point at the end of a business plan. What we have seen is that company leaders have determined that it is not only a moral imperative, but a business imperative,” he said.

Brasher said HP has seen this translate into customer demand, with $1.69bn of revenue coming through where sustainability was a factor, a 69% year-on-year increase.

HP is not alone in putting sustainability firmly on the agenda, and Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella stated at the start of the year that the firm was working towards becoming carbon negative by 2030.

SAP was also keen to cover the topic at its recent Sapphire Now Reimagined event in June. The software player launched its Climate 21 programme, with the aim of helping customers make intelligent sustainable decisions in their businesses.

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