As businesses brace for the impact of widespread disruption from the climate crisis, investors and other stakeholders are taking a closer look at corporate values. While many companies scramble to improve their social and environmental impact, HP builds on its long history of leadership in sustainability, embedding sustainability into every aspect of the corporation, from design to sourcing and operations, manufacturing, and product recovery, reuse and recycling.
“HP has a reputation for reinventing the way we design, deliver and recover products in order to eliminate waste and add value,” says Frances Edmonds, Head of Sustainable Impact for HP. “We are recognized widely as Canada’s Most Sustainable Technology Company.”
The drivers for this recognition are evident in HP’s Sustainable Impact Report 2018, a 147-page document detailing the company’s efforts to reduce its impact on the planet and create a more sustainable future for people and communities. Fortunately many of HP’s customers are also thinking about their impact and asking HP how they can help them meet their sustainability goals. In 2018, for example, HP saw more than $900 million in new revenue where sustainable impact was a key differentiator, a 35 per cent increase from 2017.
Key to this growth is a circular “reduce, reuse, recycle” approach that drives a low-carbon business model. In the area of plastic waste elimination, for example, HP’s innovative closed-loop recycling program has used more than 107,048 tonnes of recycled plastic to make new ink and toner cartridges since 2000, diverting approximately 830 million HP cartridges, 101 million clothing hangers and 4.37 billion post-consumer plastic bottles from oceans and landfills.
“Our collaboration with Lavergne Group, a resin engineering firm based in Montreal, exemplifies the possibilities in a circular supply chain,” says Edmonds. “Lavergne Group uses resin generated from used HP cartridges to manufacture recycled resins that meet HP’s stringent quality requirements which are then used to make new HP ink cartridges. As a result, we have produced billions of ink cartridges using thousands of tonnes of recycled plastic.”
Setting ambitious recycling targets
Ambitions In other highlights from HP’s Sustainable Impact Report 2018, HP lowered the environmental impact of commercial printing by saving more than 800 tonnes of metal and plastics through an extended take-back of spare parts, supplies, and used commercial print presses. The goal for 2025 is to recycle 1.2 million tonnes of hardware and supplies.
As the first global IT company to publish a full carbon footprint, HP is especially concerned with reducing GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions and has committed to an ambitious 30 per cent reduction, in product use GHG, by 2025. In addition to reducing Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions from global operations by 60%, HP is counting on product design to reduce materials use, a key driver of emissions in the supply chain category. Further improvements will result from reducing the energy needs of HP products and supporting customers’ sustainability goals. Digital manufacturing enabled by HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology will also help to reduce GHG and other manufacturing emissions by localizing production and reducing transportation requirements in the supply chain.
Growing the circular economy is key
Counting on the circular Protecting the world’s forests has always been an important part of HP’s sustainability efforts and was articulated more than a decade ago when HP became the first IT company to publish a responsible paper policy. Building on that in March 2019 they pledged to make printing with HP: forest positive, carbon neutral, and part of a circular economy. Reporting on sustainability in 2018, the company announced maintaining its goal of achieving zero deforestation associated with HP brand paper and furthering progress (65% complete) in achieving zero deforestation associated with HP paper-based product packaging.
Respect for human rights is also a core value at HP. “HP has one of the IT industry’s largest and most sophisticated supply chains,” says Edmonds. “We make it a priority to champion equality and diversity and are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity, respect, and fairness – within our own company and in our collaborations with partners and suppliers.”
Edmonds’ beliefs are borne out in results from the Sustainable Impact Report 2018. Almost 90 per cent of employees said that HP is socially and environmentally responsible and values diversity in the workplace. Support also comes from a top 1% score for all suppliers assessed by EcoVadis in 2018, a 9th consecutive Gold CSR rating, and a ranking as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers on Canada’s Top 100 Employers of 2019 list. Other recognition in 2019 includes Corporate Knights’ Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies and inclusion in Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s list of 100 best corporate citizens.
The importance of external ratings is clear in Canada 2030: The Future of Sustainability Reporting, a 2018 canvass conducted by the Conference Board of Canada. According to six thought leaders polled, everyone from customers to investors is looking for external validation of a company’s claim of sustainability.
“Rankings like this serve as a powerful and persuasive differentiator for HP,” says Edmonds. “Our customers, investors and employees are increasingly concerned with protecting the planet and they are looking to us for leadership.”