HP pledges zero deforestation by 2020

Technology giant Hewlett Packard (HP) has built upon its recent commitment to go 100% renewable by announcing a bold zero deforestation by 2020 - alongside two other ambitious goals - as outlined in the company's latest sustainability report.

Having already achieved a public forestry goal of 50% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified fibre in brand paper products, HP will commence a new partnership with WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network-North America (GTFN-NA) to source more environmentally responsible materials. The company will also engage with suppliers and implore them to join the cause.

“Climate change is the most challenging environmental issue of our lifetime,” HP’s chief sustainability and social impact officer Nate Hurst said. “HP is committed to being an environmental steward; therefore, we continue to measure and reduce the impact of our products, operations and supply chain activities.”

The zero deforestation pledge was revealed alongside the company’s reaffirmation that it had joined Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, pledging to source 100% renewable electricity for its global operations, with an interim 40% target for 2020.

With energy and paper consumption during the customer use aspect of HP products accounting for more than half of the company’s emissions in 2015, the two ‘100%’ pledges will aid the tech giant’s battle to reduce emissions.

Sustainability report

As the first company in the IT industry to set emission reduction goals across its operations, suppliers and products, HP has also revealed a new commitment to reducing the emissions intensity of its product portfolio by 25% by 2020. This new goal is a result of HP passing its emissions goal of 20% five years early, with 2015 bringing in an 11% reduction in carbon intensity.

The report revealed that HP had also achieved its goal of reducing emission intensity of its first-tier manufacturing and product transportation suppliers by 20% six years early, while carbon intensity in product portfolios has been reduced by 26% against a 2010 baseline.

The emissions reduction was aided by a 377% increase in on-site renewable capacity since 2011 – with 2015 creating a 62% increase alone – as capacity reached 9.6MW. HP also made improvements with its water consumption, after slashing its footprint by 12% over the last 12 months.

The commitment to reduce key footprints forms part of HP’s “net positive” ambitions, which saw the company sign up to a new coalition that aims to provide “net-positive” contributions to society, the environment and the global economy.

Waste worries

However, despite the impressive reductions across energy and water, waste produced by HP suppliers rose by 31% compared to 2014, with HP citing increased data management efforts and greater transparency as the reason.

Despite the increase in waste, the company recycled more than 1,500 tonnes of aluminium and steel – which is sourced from a pool of conflict-free suppliers that reached 92% of all  HP suppliers in 2015 – saving around $90,000 and reducing emissions by nearly 3,000 tonnes of CO2e.

As part of HP’s ongoing efforts to promote circular economy methods, 48% of all new commercial desktop products now contain more than 10% of post-consumer recycled plastic content. HP ink used in printers is now using 50% recycled materials as well.

Matt Mace

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