HP unveils sustainability ‘changemaker’ and ‘catalyst’ schemes

Tech giant HP has launched a new scheme offering industry partners the resources and traning they need to accelerate sustainability progress, in the same week that Octopus Energy unveiled what it claims is the world's first energy technology research organisation.

HP unveils sustainability ‘changemaker’ and ‘catalyst’ schemes

Image: HP 

HP’s new scheme is called ‘Amplify Impact’ and is designed to help businesses across the tech sectors accelerate efforts to combat climate change, safeguard human rights and champion community sustainability. Members will be supported to follow HP’s lead in setting and delivering targets relating to net-zero, the circular economy, nature regeneration, human rights, diversity and inclusión and equal access to technology.

Support will be provided in the form of assessment, resources and training. Companies without a sustainability plan will be supported in development and delivery, while those with such a framework will be encouraged to increase ambitions and to report the benefits in financial terms. HP is calling the first cohort “changemaker partners” and the second “catalyst partners”.

HP has notably reported on the financial benefits of its dedicated sustainable products and services since 2018. A similar approach to disclosure can be seen at BT and Unilever, and HP believes this approach should be scaled to help other businesses see sustainability as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

In a statement, HP said the Amplify Impact scheme will help create an “ecosystem of accountability” across the tech sector. This means that the sector will broadly be working towards shared environmental and social objectives and that businesses will feel empowered to meet them. The statement added that this move “reflects the changing role of corporations in society”.

“Our goal is to work with our partners to help drive a more circular and low-carbon economy, cultivate a more diverse, inclusive and equitable supply chain and improve the vitality and resilience of local communities,” HP’s chief commercial officer Christoph Schell said. “The strength and reach of our ecosystem are substantial and by bringing our partners with us on this journey, we can work together to create a more sustainable and just world.”

edie recently published a two-part feature on the changing role of businesses and their sustainability professionals in the wake of Covid-19 and the run-up to COP26, highlighting the need for intersectionality. You can read that feature in full here.

Octopus Centre for Net Zero

In related news, energy challenger brand Octopus Energy has launched what it claims is the world’s first ‘energy-tech-led’ research organisation in London.

The Octopus Centre for Net Zero (OCNZ) will play host to experts from fields including energy systems, data science, econometrics, climate policy and behavioural science, who will be led by Lucy Yu. Yu holds qualifications in chemistry and in public leadership, and has previously held senior policy and research positions at e-scooter giant Voi, the Connected Places Catapult and the European Commission. Her team is tasked not with developing innovative products, but with shaping policy recommendations, forecasting models and other technologies that could overcome what Octopus is describing as the “most pressing issues in energy”.

Issues specifically mentioned include decarbonising residential transport and heat, which collectively accounted for more than half (53%) of the UK’s national annual emissions in 2019. These will be the focus areas for primary research.

Yu said: “The climate emergency is the biggest challenge of our lifetime, but good policies and investments can help decarbonise our planet without compromising the quality of life. But no country can solve this crisis on their own. 

“By sharing best practices, tools and models, we have a chance to speed up the much-needed change and get us on the fast-track to net-zero. I can’t wait to get started and bring together a team of experts that will drive the knowledge transfer between the energy industry and policymakers.”

While Octopus Energy is funding the OCNZ, it maintains that the body will have “full autonomy over its work”. Octopus Energy’s founder and chief executive Greg Jackson said he hopes that other energy companies will follow suit.

Sarah George

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