Gary Tierney (pictured), United Kingdom & Ireland printing director at HP explains how HP's sustainable printing strategy has saved the equivalent of 25 million plastic bottles ending up in our oceans
1. How important is sustainability to HP overall, and how long has the company been actively encouraging recycling?
Sustainability is a key business priority for HP - we're investing in our product portfolio so that recycled plastic becomes a part of our products ranges. Sustainable impact has been a core part of HP's DNA, and marks our commitment to creating positive, lasting change for the planet, its people and communities.
2. What is HP's official strategy on sustainability and recycling?
HP believes sustainable actions are good for our business and the businesses that use our products. This is a belief the company has held for a long time, and we are constantly looking at ways to reduce the amount of plastic and the overall carbon footprint of the products we sell. Additionally, our innovative recycling programs and service models help to reduce waste and negative environmental impacts around the world.
Our recently released 2018 Sustainable Impact Report affirmed our commitment to ‘People, Planet and Community,' with industry-leading goals to increase recycled content plastic in our Personal Systems and Print hardware and supplies to 30 per cent by 2025; power our global operations with 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035; and enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025 through quality education programs and partnerships.
3. Can you share any recent sustainability campaigns and results that you are most proud of?
Recently, HP announced a sustainable publishing partnership with ELLE Magazine using our print on demand capabilities. This enabled ELLE to deliver the industry's first sustainable fashion magazine made from 100 per cent recycled materials for the cover, and 30 per cent recycled materials for the pages within the magazine.
Since 2000, more than 90 million kilograms of recycled content plastic have been used in 3.9 billion HP Original ink and toner cartridges. This includes diverting 325,000 kilograms of plastic from reaching the ocean - the equivalent of more than 25 million plastic bottles - and repurposing it into HP cartridges.
4. How important has the channel been in helping achieve HP's sustainability goals?
Partnering with environmentally-conscious channel partners has made fantastic headway in educating business leaders and IT decision-makers in the benefits of HP's sustainability programmes, and their advantages for the end-user. We will continue to develop our goals and initiatives alongside our channel partners in the future.
5. Are customers and partners more environmentally aware now, or do you think there is still education work to be done?
Globally speaking, customers and partners are definitely more aware of environmental concerns than in previous years; they're asking the important questions about recycling and sustainability, which in turn encourages brands to be ‘greener' and adopt more ethical manufacturing and production practices.
I think there's also a healthy amount of corporate cynicism from consumers, cautious that brands don't put their money where their mouths are, which is why the programmes and initiatives we have in place are so important to us, and offer real, tangible benefits for both the environment, customers, and our communities.
6. It seems the print division of HP is particularly environmentally conscious - what are the main sustainability benefits for both partners and customers if they buy genuine products?
HP invests in R&D to offer quality products such as Original HP ink cartridges made with plastic from bottles collected and recycled in Haiti. Additionally, 100 per cent of HP toner cartridges and 80 per cent of HP ink cartridges utilise recycled content.
Sub-optimal imitation cartridges perform relatively poorly, and as a result, people must print up to 29 per cent more pages for quality results which causes avoidable waste. This extra printing can use 40 per cent more energy and consume 54 per cent more fossil fuels, which contributes to a 55 per cent larger carbon footprint.
7. What would you say to those customers and partners who go for the cheaper counterfeit products, but still think they are helping the environment?
Customers need to be aware that failure to use original authentic products has environmental repercussions which undercut their sustainability efforts. Around 97 per cent of imitation cartridges end their lives in landfills as, unsurprisingly, most imitations manufacturers fail to collect their own products.
HP has an altogether different approach, making recycling free and easy for customers. For more than 27 years, across more than 50 countries and territories worldwide, customers have been recycling HP ink and toner cartridges for free through the HP Planet Partners programme. As partners and customers adopt initiatives to protect the environment for future generations, it's critical to take into account those seemingly smaller choices that can have a great collective impact.