As a major paper user and vendor, HP has greater influence than most other computer companies to positively impact its customers’ corporate paper usage, according to a new sustainability update from Technology Business Research (TBR).
The sustainability update covers HP’s two sustainable paper policies: one for efficient internal paper usage and the other for efficient customer paper usage.
HP’s strategies for internal paper usage encompasses five main tenets: follow the company’s six key principles, emphasize paper in waste disposal, implement local waste programs, create products that encourage efficient paper usage and reduce the amount of paper shipped to customers.
The company’s six guiding principles include efficient use of raw materials, sustainable forestry practices, responsible and low-carbon production, waste minimization, community and human well-being, and environmental leadership and management.
In 2009, HP joined World Wildlife Fund’s Global Forest & Trade Network in North America to support the trade of responsibly sourced forest products.
Under its waste disposal effort, HP has diverted 91.3 percent of its waste in 2008, exceeding its target of 87 percent. In 2008, the company’s non-hazardous waste reduction program helped the company avoid sending 83,866 tons of waste to landfill, which was primarily paper waste. TBR says this strategy saved the company nearly $7.7 million from reusing items and avoiding landfill costs, and generated $2 million in revenue by selling material to recyclers.
By encouraging locally implemented waste programs, the company’s global recycling programs diverted more than 91 percent of waste from landfills in 2008. A binless approach — using central recycling points instead of desk-side receptacles — helped one site increase its recycling rate from 70 percent to 94 percent.
To encourage efficient paper usage, HP started offering double-sided printing as standard in its office printers in 2008. TBR says this reduced the number of printers at HP from more than 60,000 to fewer than 10,000, and cut the number of standard models in use from more than 100 to approximately 10. It also cut the company’s total costs associated with printing by 30 percent. HP also launched a new Environmentally Preferable Paper Policy that outlines its goals to reduce its own paper use, recycle paper when possible and increasingly source paper from suppliers that are committed to sustainable forestry practices.
To reduce the amount of paper shipped to customers, HP has changed the specs of its manuals, which includes smaller fonts and thinner paper, and is switching to electronic delivery.
HP’s five strategies for efficient customer paper usage include raising general awareness, offering customers sustainable paper sources, supplying technology that makes printing more efficient, providing more efficient printing services, and working with specific industries to reduce paper waste.
HP is increasing the proportion of printer and copier paper it sells that comes from sustainable sources. The company also has pledged that 10o percent of its consumer photo paper will be derived from sustainable forest-certified suppliers in 2009.
HP also offers several software and hardware packages that help reduce its customers’ paper consumption, including HP Exstream software, HP Web Jetadmin and HP Universal Print Driver and HP Smart Web Printing tool.
In addition, HP’s Digital Publishing helps the publishing industry minimize waste by printing smaller runs on demand.