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Hybrid work and peripherals

Ahead of International E-Waste Day Neil MacDonald, UK&I Channel Director, HP , shares the vendor's progress on the recycling front

With International E-Waste Day tomorrow, Neil MacDonald, UK&I Channel Director, HP, talks about the vendor’s sustainability efforts and how changing work patterns are impacting the customer landscape.


Q. Sustainability is a big issue with electronics/tech products. What are you doing in terms of end-of-life recycling, takeback schemes, right to repair etc?

Enhancing sustainability, particularly embracing circular practices, benefits everyone, and HP is committed to becoming the world's foremost sustainable and equitable technology company by 2030. Substantial progress has already been made in minimising plastic waste and incorporating recycled materials into our product offerings. For instance, we have successfully reduced single-use plastic packaging by an impressive 44% compared to the levels observed in 2018. Our ongoing efforts aim to further elevate this figure to an ambitious 75% reduction by 2025.

HP's Planet Partners recycling initiative has been in operation since 1991, ensuring that no HP ink and toner cartridges returned to us end up polluting the oceans or filling landfills. To date, this program has diverted a staggering one billion cartridges away from landfills. Furthermore, our Planet Partners program operates free of charge and played a pivotal role in facilitating the recycling of over 764,800 tonnes of hardware and supplies throughout the previous year.

The scope of the Planet Partners program extends beyond cartridges and encompasses product repairs and reusability, affording customers various avenues to recover, repurpose, and recycle their HP devices. When end-of-life PCs or devices are returned to us, we meticulously extract and eliminate storage media, dismantle the devices, salvage reusable plastics and metals, and appropriately recycle the remaining electronic waste.

 Q. Anything that dealers can do to play their part?

Addressing the urgent climate crisis requires collective and immediate action from all of us. At HP, we take immense pride in our commitment to championing sustainability and in our dedication to empowering our partners to enact meaningful change within the Channel ecosystem. In 2021, we proudly launched the 'Amplify Impact program,' an industry-first partner assessment, resource, and training initiative designed to advance Sustainable Impact.

The HP Amplify Impact program transcends mere checklists; we collaborate closely with our partners to apply the knowledge they gain, fostering the adoption of new and more sustainable practices. We firmly understand that sustainability offers a mutually advantageous edge, as customers increasingly align themselves with organizations that prioritize environmental responsibility. Our work within the HP Amplify Impact partner program serves as a prime example of how we can drive impactful partnerships and sustainable change on a substantial scale.

We harness data to demonstrate how enhanced sustainability credentials contribute to increased business opportunities and revenue growth for both HP and our partners. For instance, we track the cumulative value of Request for Proposals (RFPs) won, revealing that our sustainability initiatives directly influenced a remarkable $3.5 billion in new HP sales during the fiscal year 2021.

Our perspective is rooted in the belief that every job holds a role in addressing the climate crisis, and we remain continuously vigilant in our pursuit of fresh approaches to engage and empower our dealers to take proactive ownership of sustainability.

Q. How is hybrid working affecting the peripherals category?

Hybrid work has become increasingly significant, elevating the importance of peripherals in shaping the quality of the employee experience. HP recently conducted a comprehensive global survey involving more than 10,000 office workers across various countries and industries. Our research revealed that despite the growing familiarity with hybrid work arrangements, technical challenges persist. A noteworthy finding is that 75% of individuals assess their peers based on the quality of their audiovisual (AV) equipment during online interactions. Moreover, nearly a third of the workforce in the United Kingdom has resorted to purchasing their own work-related peripherals due to these challenges.

In response to this evolving landscape, HP and Poly have embraced the opportunity by introducing a 'hybrid by design' product portfolio aimed at enhancing the quality of peripherals for hybrid work setups. Our collaborative effort offers cutting-edge video conferencing solutions, cameras, headsets, voice technology, and software, all designed to empower customers in achieving equitable meetings between remote and in-person participants. As an example, our Poly Voyager Free 60 earbuds have been meticulously crafted with this purpose in mind, ensuring clear and uninterrupted communication by effectively minimising background noise, whether you're working or engaged in personal activities.

Peripherals play a pivotal role in delivering consistent communication experiences, irrespective of one's location. They cater to the diverse work styles and preferences of employees, ultimately enhancing the overall experience across various spaces and digital platforms.

Q. Where will future areas of growth likely come from and the predicted trends?

Individuals' preferences in digital entertainment have a direct impact on their home work environments, with a noticeable trend toward integrating high-end gaming peripherals into home office setups. According to Statista's data from 2021, consumers in the United Kingdom spent a substantial £400 million on gaming accessories, reflecting a widespread trend of upgrading gaming hardware, which has spilled over into professional settings.

Recently, employees have started using advanced gaming peripherals for work-related tasks. These peripherals encompass superior features such as surround sound earphones, customizable or mechanical keyboards, and larger high-definition monitors. These accessories are celebrated for their robustness, accuracy, and responsiveness, making them attractive choices for professionals seeking similar qualities in their work equipment.

The blending of work and home life is expected to intensify in 2023, opening avenues for innovative solutions tailored to the hybrid lifestyle. Thoughtfully designed, implemented, and managed solutions empower individuals to seamlessly balance work and leisure, allowing for enhanced collaboration in office settings, improved concentration and productivity while working from home, and richer, more immersive gaming experiences during leisure hours.


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