Customers that sign up to official recycling programmes by using genuine products, will not only smash CSR targets and contribute to saving the planet, but will attract the next wave of environmentally-conscious talent to their workforce.
Renowned environmentalist Sir David Attenborough said: "Real success can only come if there is a change in our societies and in our economics and in our politics". And the corporate world needs to drive this change. Every company has a part to play, and needs to work harder to ensure the health of the planet is guaranteed for future generations. This includes thinking about how the IT equipment used in offices up and down the globe can be used sustainably.
HP was one of the first 65 companies to have its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative and is striving to not only reduce GHG emissions both internally and through its entire supply chain, but also reduce water consumption by 15 percent by 2025.
Specifically with print products, HP has already done the hard work with an organised recycling programme of its own aimed at its channel partners. For the past 27 years in over 50 countries and territories, customers have been recycling HP ink and toner cartridges for free through its Planet Partner Program initiative.
But there are companies that resort to using cheaper alternatives to save money, and there are still companies that are supplying them with the sub-standard products. These firms are adding a considerable environmental burden onto our already fragile planet.
HP sponsored research has revealed that most companies using imitation toner and ink cartridges need to print up to 29 percent more pages to achieve their optimal results. This not only wastes paper, but uses 40 percent more energy and results in 54 percent more fossil fuel consumption. Ultimately, this poor performance equates to a 55 percent larger carbon footprint. And most of those companies producing these counterfeit or imitation products have no organised recycling programme or their products are not WEEE compatible, which means up to 97 percent of their products end up in landfill.
In comparison, 100 percent of HP's toner cartridges and 80 percent of its ink cartridges contain recycled content, and through the Planet Partner initiative it has used 199 million pounds in weight of recycled plastic, and upcycled over 700,000 lbs of ocean-bound plastic, including more than 25 million plastic bottles.
Another key issue facing many firms across multiple sectors is the growing skills gap and attracting the next generation of talent. The Millennial generation are basing their employment decisions on more than just salary, they want to work for companies that take sustainability and the environment seriously.
A recent study from HP revealed sustainability is becoming a new workplace standard for successful businesses. The report questioned over 20,000 employees and 58 percent of respondents said environmentally conscious practices are key to engaging the future workforce. A further 46 percent said they would only work for companies with sustainable business practices.
Gary Tierney, UK&I print category director at HP stressed the environmental issue would not go away.
"One of the biggest demands of this new era is clear: sustainability," he said. "Office and printing supplies can and should play a role in an organisation's commitment to sustainability - and purchasing eco-friendly supplies is vital for building trust with current and future members of an organisation's workforce.
"In a talent-driven economy that identifies sustainability as a must-have, companies simply cannot afford to look the other way when it comes to office supplies."