Customers and investors are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their technology and operations. As efficiency, recyclability, and carbon footprints are placed under greater scrutiny, defining your sustainability strategy is imperative.
While the UK has set legally binding carbon budgets, there is still serious headway to be made for public sector procurement policy to align with circular economy ambitions. With predictions expecting the circular economy to save Europe around €600 billion a year, alongside the widespread benefits to society as a whole, sustainability initiatives are a fundamental part of competitive, successful businesses.
CRN spoke with Neil MacDonald, UK Channel Director at HP, and Lynda Kennedy, UK and Ireland Toner Supplies Business Manager at HP, to learn more.
CRN: Why is 2023 the year to accelerate sustainability efforts or dedicate more resources to this space?
HP: "For any entity, whether in the public or private sector, sustainability is a real hygiene factor in terms of doing business. Every single business and every single operation should have a net zero goal and the procured technology will underpin this and help achieve targets.
"For HP, it is non-negotiable as we look at product design, manufacturing, shipping, and supply outcomes for our customers. We're on the path to be the most sustainable technology company by 2030.
"Right now, the government has not mandated how much recycled content must be in toner cartridges, but this is happening in other parts of Europe. Now is the time to get ahead of the game."
In your view, what are the biggest opportunities for channel partners when it comes to sustainability efforts?
"Today, awareness of net zero and sustainability aspirations or agendas is a necessity. Customers are making decisions based on this and scoring request for proposals (RFPs) accordingly. If you can bring a sustainable solution to your partners and customers, they're prepared to invest in that going forward.
"The faster we race to sustainable solutions, the better for the world as a whole. Engaging with sustainable efforts is going to boost the economy and drive productivity up by 3%."
What is your advice for channel partners wanting to begin their journey to net zero?
"Look at the acceleration we've experienced in the last three or four years - it's on everyone's agenda. There's a need to be aware, upskill teams, and optimise for the future.
"The channel is a very resilient environment; partners reinvent themselves all the time. Sustainability goals do not impact profitability; in fact, it's accretive to profitability. We work with partners to optimise their business to have very clear goals and objectives and demonstrate how they can improve skills and credentials."
How would you define your ‘ideal' circular economy of the future?
"Sustainability should span across multiple aspects of the business. When it comes to print, HP ensures every piece of paper passing through our printers is regenerated as pulp and planted as a tree -on a global scale and within the UK to counteract deforestation.
"We're bringing products to market that underpin circular economy ambitions. Reducing the amount of new plastic in products, reusing existing materials via recycling plants, and recycling toner cartridge plastics for components of our EvoCycle cartridges are a great example of enabling the circular economy."
What is HP EvoCycle and what are the environmental benefits?
"It's a very simple process. Because of our Planet Partners recycling infrastructure, backed by years of innovation and investment, we've been able to launch new solutions like EvoCycle. The new print toner cartridge consists of 76% recycled and reused HP parts,* becoming the most sustainable cartridge in our portfolio.
"The customer buys and uses the cartridge which can then be recycled through our Partners Programme. The cartridge is picked up and taken to a recycling plant for free, where everything is either reused or recycle. The new EvoCycle product is manufactured in the same plant and packaged in recyclable fibre-based packaging (as all our products are)."
How can channel partners ensure they are providing their customers with sustainable choices, without comprising on experience or performance?
"We've done third-party tests lining up original cartridges with the EvoCycle cartridge and found performance, reliability, and quality are matched and to a high standard. There is no compromise and customers have been very happy with the product as there's really no difference - other than a positive environmental impact.
"The choice for the customer is do you want to be sustainable or not?"
Learn more about the HP EvoCycle Toner Cartridge here
*Excluding toner and parts critical for print quality