HP launches new supplier emissions target and cartridges made from plastic bottles

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has unveiled new ink cartridge prototypes made from recycled plastic bottles from Haiti, while the company's newly-released sustainability report has outlined goals to target emissions in supply chains.

HP’s latest sustainability report, released on Wednesday (14 June), includes a new target to reduce first-tier production supplier and production transportation emission intensity by 10% by 2025, against a 2015 baseline.

Having reduced Scope 3 supply chain emissions by 21% and transportation emissions by 16% since 2010, the technology firm has established a new 10% reduction for 2025. This is alongside a new target to increase the number of suppliers enrolled in carbon-saving programmes.

Speaking at the launch of the report at HP’s circular economy summit in London, HP’s global head of product sustainability and compliance Judy Glazer said: “We’ve settled on three focus areas where we think we can make the biggest contribution.

“The first is around supply chain leadership and moving beyond the factory floor to drive a responsible supply chain that meets the expectation of our customers and the wider values of our company. The second is around the circular and low-carbon economy at scale, and the third is around digital learning so that this new economy provides benefits for the entire population.”

HP claims that the new targets will help increase measuring and reporting of supply chain labour, health and safety and environment performance. Specifically, Glazer said that digitising the supply chain would be the “next frontier” for HP, to deliver the “concrete benefits from an economic and sustainability perspective”.

Having established a science-based target to cut emissions from its global operations by 25% against a 2015 backdrop, HP is also renewing its participation in WWF’s Climate Savers Programme. HP used the programme to develop targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and has since worked with WWF to establish the supply chain goal. Collectively, the Scope 1, 2 and 3 targets align with the criteria of the Science-Based Targets initiative and HP is pursuing target validation.

HP’s recent zero deforestation pledge was also listed alongside confirmation that it had joined the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, pledging to source 100% renewable electricity for its global operations.

The sustainability report also highlighted a 3% decrease in potable water consumption compared to 2015 and a 57% reduction in materials consumption per printed page on average, largely driven through HP’s Instant Ink delivery system. The system autonomously arranges ink cartridge deliveries for consumers, with a return envelope added to send back empty, second-hand cartridges to be recycled.

To date, HP has recycled more than 1.6m tonnes of hardware and supplies, including more than 17,000 tonnes of ink and toner cartridges in 2016. The company has committed to recycling an extra 1.2m tonnes by 2025.

HP in Haiti

The sustainability report was followed by a second announcement that original HP ink cartridges will now be made with plastic bottles recycled in Haiti. Through a partnership with Thread and the First Mile Coalition, HP has arranged to purchase the recycled content from suppliers in Haiti.

The move fulfills a commitment that was launched in September 2016, while also addressing serious child labour issues in the supply chain.

More than 300 children collect recyclable material from the Truitier landfill – the largest of its type in Haiti. Through the joint initiative, which includes other members such as Timberland, the children are provided with education opportunities and access to medical care.

“HP has been committed to sourcing materials responsibly and treating all workers with respect for decades,” the company’s chief supply chain officer Stuart Pann said. “Our work in Haiti enables us to reach the vulnerable collectors in Haiti and make their plastic part of our supply chain—which creates economic opportunities and a better quality of life for these families.”

Through the HP Planet Partners programme, the company has combined returned material from consumers with other post-consumer materials to make new cartridges. In 2016, HP manufactured more than 3.4bn ink and toner cartridges using more than 88,900 tonnes of recycled material. This included 3.7bn plastic bottles. In total, more than 80% of HP ink cartridges contain 45-70% recycled content and all toner cartridges contain at least 10% recycled content.

Matt Mace

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