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Earth Needs Our Action Every Day: The Path Ahead

Ink cartridge plastic shredded for recycling. HP has advanced its circular economy efforts through a partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF). | Image credit: HP

Last year saw unprecedented natural disasters across the globe – from wildfires in California to record-breaking hurricanes in the U.S. Gulf Coast, eastern seaboard, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. At the same time, scientists warn that the risks posed by climate change are even more dire than predicted and will lead to even bigger impacts on heat and extreme weather. Combined, this has led to a spike in environmental consciousness, not only for the American people, but for businesses across the globe.

HP is proud to be one of the companies that has been committed to sustainability for decades. More recently, we’ve been heartened to see that more of the private sector has realized the importance of integrating sustainability across their businesses. As we look ahead to 2020 — which marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day — and beyond, we are inspired and energized by all that we have achieved, and motivated to do more to leave the next generation a healthy planet where business, people and communities can thrive.

Sustainable impact is a business imperative

At HP, driving sustainable impact as a business imperative is part of our reinvention journey to lead a sustainability revolution. And our strategy has evolved, just as the environmental movement has evolved since Earth Day 1970.

We were one of the first IT companies to measure our carbon and water footprints, and we’ve set ambitious goals to reduce both across our supply chain and in our operations. Minimizing impact is the first step companies often take when addressing their footprint. As a business, we’ve gone even further; incorporating sustainability into product development. This means we consider the impact of our products at each stage of design, manufacturing and end-of-service, as we shift our business model to a more circular, low carbon economy.  For example, in 2016 we set a goal to recycle 1.2 million tonnes of hardware and supplies by 2025 and were recently named a 2018 Partner of the Year by ENERGY STAR for engineering energy-saving certified products.

We know firsthand that our customers, investors and employees care about our sustainable impacts. Last year, we saw a 38 percent, year-over-year increase in deals where sustainability was a requirement and won over $1 billion of new revenue where sustainability was a key differentiator. I am proud to say that 87 percent of employees agree that HP is socially and environmentally responsible, and seven out of 10 report that they see HP values being demonstrated in their everyday lives. This is a source of pride at the company, and it helps to make us a destination for inspired, passionate top talent.

Ending plastic pollution in our oceans and operations

This Earth Day focused on ending plastic pollution. At HP, we’ve been committed to advancing recycling of our ink cartridges and incorporating recycled single-use plastic into our process for decades. Over the last 25 years, we manufactured more than 3.4 billion HP ink and toner cartridges using over 88,900 tonnes of recycled plastic. This has kept 735 million HP cartridges, 70 million apparel hangers and 3.7 billion postconsumer plastic bottles out of landfills.

In 2016, we launched a partnership with Thread International in Haiti to recycle ocean-bound plastics to use in our print cartridges. The joint initiative also aims to improve the lives of the people who collect recyclable materials by providing them with educational opportunities, including scholarships, as well as full access to medical care and health and safety trainings. So far, we’ve collected more than 300,000 pounds of ocean-bound plastics for use in HP ink cartridges, while creating more than 420 income opportunities for adults working in and around the landfill.

Embracing environmental stewardship every day

At HP, we embrace sustainable impact year-round, and we are inspired by other companies making sustainability part of their business every day, not just once a year. It’s important to remember that what’s good for the world is also right for an enduring business, and that the collective power of people, business, and government can make positive change when united towards a common cause.


Nate Hurst drives programs with a focus on the environment, society and integrity that are aligned with HP’s business strategy. Nate leads a global team of experts focused on driving solutions in collaboration with non-profit organizations, governments, customers and partners.… [Read more about Nate Hurst]


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