This interview appears in CRN Sustainability Report, which is accessible to CRN Essential subscribers here.
According to HP's 2018 Sustainable Impact Report, sustainability was noted as being a key differentiator in winning $900m of new business that year. How do you expect this figure to change in the coming years?
The world has woken up to the plight of the environment and the need to collectively find solutions. Increasingly customers are choosing which businesses to engage with depending on whether they have a clear and positive sustainability strategy - and avoiding those that don't. This will start to affect the bottom line of firms across most sectors.
HP is doing a lot in relation to water conservation, deforestation, recycling plastics and reducing greenhouse gases. How does it work with partners to drive their own sustainability efforts?
We have a range of initiatives to help our partners and their end customers become more sustainable. The HP Planet Partners programme, for example, provides a closed-loop recycling service for a business's hardware and print supplies. Products collected via Planet Partners are part of the 395,200 tonnes of tech recycled by HP globally from 2016 to 2018. We aim to have recycled 1.2 million tonnes by 2025.
With Microsoft last month announcing its ambitious carbon footprint reduction goals and Jeff Bezos announcing a $10bn investment to fight climate change, what message does this send to the IT industry? Has it caused HP to re-evaluate its own investments and goals regarding sustainability?
It's always welcome to see a major player in the tech industry use its global influence to help find environmental solutions. From an HP perspective we already have a long-running and expansive Sustainable Impact strategy, covering people (diversity and inclusion), planet (sustainability) and community (technology-enabled learning).
Earlier this month, HP was listed sixth on Barron's respected 100 Most Sustainable Companies list - our third consecutive year in the top 10. Elsewhere, global environmental non-profit CDP awarded HP ‘Triple A' status for taking climate actions, protecting forests and addressing water security - one of only five companies to make this grade. So we are on the right path. How important will it be for partners to have a green agenda as part of their businesses in the coming years?
As HP's figures show, having a green plan is now a business imperative, as well as a moral one. Deals are being won and lost on issues regarding sustainability - companies with their heads in the sand will soon start to feel the impact on their bottom line.
Have you noticed a shift in attitude from partners as climate change and sustainability has come to the fore in recent years?
The single biggest change I have seen in the last year is that sustainability has moved from being a top 10 criteria - or not being mentioned at all - to being one of the top five in virtually all customer conversations.
With partners being led by customer demands, the channel increasingly wants to know how vendors can help support their customers' sustainability goals.
In your opinion what is the most pressing issue facing the channel with regards to sustainability?
Being able to react quickly enough. Becoming more sustainable isn't easy - it requires new processes and fundamental supply chain innovation. As a vendor with a lot of these methods in place, HP is in a great position to help the channel become greener in 2020.
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