HP used eight million 'ocean-bound' plastic bottles in products last year

HP has revealed that it has diverted 170 tonnes of plastic from the oceans over the past 12 months, after pledging to recycle "ocean-bound" plastic bottles for use in its range of ink cartridges.

Through a partnership with Thread International and the First Mile Coalition, HP purchased 170 tonnes of PCR plastic from Haiti last year

Through a partnership with Thread International and the First Mile Coalition, HP purchased 170 tonnes of PCR plastic from Haiti last year

The technology firm’s latest sustainability report, published on Friday (June 22), revealed that HP used more than 18,000 tonnes of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics in its products in 2017, including 8.3 million plastic bottles sourced from Haiti and used for ink cartridges as part of its partnership with Thread International and the First Mile Coalition.

The move means that 80% of HP ink cartridges now contain 45-70% recycled content and all toner cartridges contain at least 10% recycled content. In total, more than 8.3 million "ocean-bound" plastic bottles were used for HP products in 2017.

The report also notes the progress of HP’s Planet Partners e-waste recycling scheme, which last year recovered 3,200 tonnes of plastic resin from recycled electronics for use in new printers. It highlights the fact that the initiative enabled the company to produce three of its HP ENVY photo printer models with more than 20% recycled plastics for the first time last year, adding that HP has used more than 99,000 tonnes of recycled plastics in its products since it was founded.  

Alongside moves to promote the use of recycled content, HP won more than £525m ($700m) of new business deals where sustainability was a “key differentiator” in 2017, noting a 38% year-on-year rise in deals where sustainability was a requirement.

HP’s chief executive, Dion Weisler, said the company’s plastics actions and its wider sustainability goals would form a “reinvention” of its business models going forward.

“Today, corporations are expected to do more than just generate profit; they’re expected to use their resources to advance important societal causes, champion values and be a beacon of trust for industries, governments, and communities around the world,” Weisler said in a statement.

“This is not just the right thing to do, it fuels our innovation, our growth, and creates a stronger and healthier company for the long term.”

Carbon cutting and water stewardship

The latest iteration of HP’s sustainability report revealed that the firm has already hit its science-based target to reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 25% against a 2015 baseline. This includes reducing first-tier production supplier and production transportation emissions intensity by 10% by 2025, having reduced its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 35% against a 2015 baseline.

However, HP recorded a 2.8% year-on-year rise in Scope 3 emissions and a 2% increase in its overall carbon footprint in 2017, due an increase in shipping across the supply chain. HP anticipates this amount could increase in the future, due to the acquisition of Samsung Electronics’s printer business.

The acquisition also saw HP’s absolute supply chain emissions increase 12% year-on-year, with a 12% rise in emissions from purchased goods and services and a 15% increase for transport.

As for water, the firm’s overall footprint decreased by 1% compared to 2016 figures, but supplier water consumption increased by 7%.

To minimise its carbon and water footprints going forward, HP has pledged to implement energy-efficiency measures at its facilities, purchase more renewable energy certificates and incorporate less GHG-emissions intensive products in its supply chains. 

The firm also re-affirmed its ongoing target of sourcing 100% renewable electricity for its global operations through its membership to the Climate Group's RE100 initiative. Through 2017, HP surpassed its interim target to reach 40% renewable electricity in global operations by 2020.

Sarah George


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Corporate Social Responsibility | technology | supply chain | Circular economy

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