HP to fund restoration of 200,000 acres of forest

HP is set to invest $11m in forest restoration, protection and management schemes over the next five years, as part of its overarching ambition to ensure that every page printed using an HP printer will be "forest positive".

HP to fund restoration of 200,000 acres of forest

The funding will be allocated over a five-year period

Made through a new partnership with WWF, the multi-million-dollar investment will fund schemes covering 200,000 acres of forest – an area size equivalent to New York City. Forests set to benefit from this scheme are located in Brazil and China, with the first stages of the initiative earmarked for a November start date. 

The investment, HP claims, will also support WWF’s efforts in developing science-based targets for forestry and nature.

Science-based targets currently only exist for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from business operations and value chains, but scientific research has increasingly been demonstrating the need for both decarbonisation and the restoration of natural habitats in minimising the global average temperature increase in line with the Paris Agreement. HP’s input will, therefore, help WWF determine the quantity and quality of forests needed in key regions to protect biodiversity and align with global climate targets.

The move from HP comes after it announced a commitment to ensure that pages printed using HP printers aren’t contributing to deforestation by 2020. In 2016, HP achieved 100% zero deforestation for branded paper and paper-based product packaging, two years ahead of schedule.

As an extension to its 2020 goal, the firm will be working to make all pages printed using its printers “forest-positive”, meaning that the value chain of each page delivers more positive benefits to forest habitats than the negative impacts generated through its lifecycle.

In a drive to realise this vision, HP is urging its suppliers to achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and will be running internal and external communications aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of responsibly and sustainably sourced forest products.

“The decline of forests around the world increasingly destabilizes our climate and threatens the rich biodiversity that sustains billions of lives and livelihoods,” WWF’s president and chief executive Carter Roberts said.

“To reverse the global loss and degradation of forests, companies need to look beyond their own supply chains and implement bold strategies to protect and restore these critical ecosystems. HP’s new project has the potential to deliver meaningful and lasting change and spur other industry leaders to action.”

The commitment from HP comes amid what has been a record year for forest fires in Amazonia. As of 28 August, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) had recorded a total of 72,843 fires in Brazil this year– an increase of 80% compared to the same period the year prior and the equivalent of 1.5 football pitches of habitat cleared every minute.

Sarah George

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