HP Sustainability Report: CO2 Goal Met Two Years Early
Technology firm Hewlett Packard has met its 2013 goal of a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas from its operations over 2005 levels two years early, according to the company’s 2011 global citizenship report.
In 2011, HP produced 1.856 million metric tons of CO2, down from 1.865 million metric tons in 2010 – a 0.5 percent reduction – and 2.165 million metric tons in 2008. The report does not provide figures for the 2005 baseline.
Year-on-year the company has reduced its carbon intensity from operations by a hair over 1.5 percent, from 15.95 to 15.71 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per $1 million of revenue. Since 2008, the company has reduced its carbon intensity by 21 percent, from 19.90 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per $1 million of revenue (see graph, below).
Energy use accounts for 97 percent of greenhouse emissions generated by HP’s operations. The remaining 3 percent comes from refrigeration equipment, the use of diesel for backup generators, and a small number of HP manufacturing processes, the report says.
In 2011, HP employee business travel generated 461,600 metric tons of CO2e, a 3 percent increase from 2010. However, emissions per employee decreased 4 percent over the same period, and have decreased by 51 percent since 2007, the report says. Some 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from business travel are from commercial air travel, followed by use of the HP auto fleet (27 percent) by the company’s mobile sales force, and the HP air fleet (3 percent).
HP operations consumed 4,122 million kWh of energy in 2011, a small decrease from 4,140 million kWh in 2010. The company saw an 11 percent decrease in natural gas use and a 1 percent increase in electricity use compared with 2010. HP’s energy intensity, which is measured as energy use per $1 million of net revenue, dropped 1 percent from 2010 to 2011, and decreased 13 percent compared with 2005.
As with many tech firms, data centers account for a large chunk of HP’s energy use. In 2011, HP reduced its data center and computer lab floor space by close to 48,000 square meters. Through these changes, which included decommissioning older servers and switching some physical servers to virtual ones, HP estimates that it will avoid about 170 million kWh of energy use and nearly 90,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions per year.
Last month saw the company reveal the design for a net zero data center.
In 2011, the company’s Boise, Idaho, campus completed the installation of a new server room. The upgrade is expected to save an estimated 4 million kWh per year due to the use of ambient air and water for cooling, and cut the use of traditional refrigeration by 90 percent.
Last year also saw HP achieve its goals for the reduction of energy use and carbon emissions from its products, nine months ahead of schedule. The company has cut this metric by 50 percent over 2005 levels. Its original goal was a 40 percent reduction on 2005 levels.
In 2011, HP generated about 93,800 tonnes of waste, down 14.5 percent compared with 2010 levels. The vast majority, 92 percent, was nonhazardous, consisting of solid waste such as paper, pallets, metals, and packaging, the report says.
The company diverted 82.2 percent of non-hazardous waste from landfill in 2011, down from 84.9 percent in 2010. The lower figure was the result of a closure of some operations that had high diversion rates, including distribution and product completion facilities, the report says.
HP generated about 7,400 metric tons of hazardous waste in 2011, a 12 percent decrease compared with 2010. The company attributes the drop to ongoing waste reduction programs at its manufacturing sites and fewer battery replacements at data centers.
In 2011, HP used just over 8 billion liters of water worldwide, a 1.4 percent decrease compared with 2010. The company used water predominantly for domestic use in buildings, cooling, and landscape irrigation, the report says.
Despite its business not being particularly water-intensive, HP is using both an internal method and the Global Water Tool developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to assess the water impacts of its facilities. Sites identified as water stressed by both these measures will see water saving plans initiated, the report says. The company has committed to reduce its freshwater use at sites identified as water-stressed by 3 percent by 2015, compared to 2011 consumption at those locations.
Other new sustainability goals include the company’s pledge to recycle 3.5 billion pounds of electronic products and supplies by the end of 2015 (from a 1987 start date) and to reuse 40 million electronic product and accessory units by the end of 2015 (from 2003).
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