How HP does green

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Hewlett Packard (HP) has been focused on the green movement before there was a green movement.  Starting with the Global Citizenship objective in the 1950’s, HP has been and will continue to be a strong advocate for “environmental responsibility in a rapidly changing digital world.”

But what does that mean to you, the consumer?  Everyone wants to reduce their carbon footprint and be “green” but many people today are wary of the additional cost and effort.

Fortunately, the programs that the HP Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) have put into place over the past two decades take these views into account while striving to meet their three main objectives over the next three years.

By the end of this year – 2009 – HP plans to have 100 percent of their consumer photo paper derived from sustainable forest certified suppliers at no additional cost to the consumer.  They have already achieved this goal with their everyday papers.

By 2010, the IPG’s goal is to have tripled the use of recycle materials in their inkjet products – that includes inkjet cartridges as well as new models of inkjet printers.  For more information on this project, check out our HP recycling facility article.

Finally, by 2011, HP plans to improve the energy efficiency of both inkjet and Laserjet printers by 40 percent.

They plan to accomplish these goals through consumer programs such as Planet Partners, in-house programs like Design for Environment (DFE), device features like Auto-off technology and useful online tools like the HP Carbon Footprint Calculator.

HP Planet Partners
The HP Planet Partners was started as a recycling program for Laserjet cartridges but has evolved over time.  Today, it is a return and recycling program that has received over 265 million Laserjet and inkjet cartridges.  And not one original HP cartridges received through the program is sent to a landfill.  Pretty impressive, right?

But that’s not all.  Consumers can return more than just HP original inkjet and toner cartridges through the Planet Partners program.  HP will take any brand of computer hardware and rechargeable batteries and “ensures that returned products are recycled properly… diverting millions of tons of waste from landfills.”

And all of this is provided to consumers at little or no cost (HP may charge for some computer hardware depending on the quantity) through HP’s website or the local Staples.  See consumer reactions here.

Interesting in hearing more about the recycling program and facilities?  Read all about our tour of the HP’s recycling facility in Nashville, Tennessee.

Want to recycle cartridges or hardware?  Visit www.hp.com/recycle for more information.

Design for Environment
The Design for Environment (DFE) program was established by HP in 1992.  The goal was to set and implement environmental goals for every product from the design level through end of life.  For each product design team, HP assigns an environmental steward to follow the product in beginning stages and reinforce the environmental standards.

But DFE isn’t just about the printers; they take every product into consideration.  For instance, HP has recently launched new packaging in North America for their inkjet cartridges.  The packaging will be reduced by 40 percent which HP estimates will eliminate 1.2 million pounds of paperboard and half a million pounds of paper inserts and envelopes.  According to HP, these reductions will “translate to a total net benefit of approximately 1.7 million lbs. of C02 equivalents.”

This isn’t the first time HP has redesigned their packaging through DFE.  In 2007, they estimate they reduced greenhouse emissions by 37 million pounds by redesigning ink and toner cartridge packaging.

Auto-off Technology
The HP Auto-off technology is an industry first and can save users up to 25 watts of energy depending on the size of the device (see graphic below).

This new technology allows printers to fall into a deep sleep mode after a period of no activity but doesn’t turn off completely avoiding lengthy warm ups.  For inkjet printers, this isn’t a huge savings since these printers use very small amounts of energy to begin with and little to no warm up time is necessary.  But for large enterprise printers and small business class printers, the savings can be tremendous over the long run.

HP Carbon Footprint Calculator
Like Auto-off technology, the Carbon footprint calculator (found on HP’s website) can be used to help reduce energy as well as paper and costs.  HP has two different calculators: evaluating printer fleets and comparing individual products. 

For users on the fence between an HP product and a competitor’s model try the individual product calculator.  You’ll need to specify what country you reside in and the products you are interested in comparing (two HP’s or an HP vs. competing brand). The calculator will then calculate the yearly electricity costs or the annual carbon footprint based on pages printed per year and comparison time period.

The printer fleet calculator is more advanced and is designed for businesses trying to evaluate their day to day energy consumption along with their printers.  You’ll need more detailed info for this calculator.

Both calculators can be found on the HP website.

Visit our Earth Day 2010 roundup!

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