HP has committed to powering its global operations with 100 percent renewable energy — and says it plans to reach the 40 percent renewable electricity mark by 2020 — because, as Nate Hurst, HP’s chief sustainability and social impact officer says, “both cost-effective and low carbon sources of energy are essential to the future and the growth of HP’s business.”
To help the tech company reach its goal, HP has joined RE100, a global initiative of top businesses such as Unilever, Starbucks, Nike and Johnson & Johnson, committed to 100 percent renewable electricity. Led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, RE100 works with companies to help them transition to renewable energy sources.
On April 1 RE100 member companies Adobe, Ikea, Mars, Google and Microsoft filed friends of the court briefs supporting the Clean Power Plan, which the businesses say will help “cut costs and hedge the risks of relying on entirely on increasingly volatile fossil fuels.” The plan, which has been challenged in the courts, would cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
“We know that using renewable electricity sources at our facilities reduces the consumption of natural resources, lowers costs and provides a hedge against rising fossil fuel prices,” Hurst told Environmental Leader. “By demonstrating the corporate demand for renewable electricity, we and the other industry leaders that are part of RE100 can help drive the creation of more renewable energy in the grid that is available to us and others, including our customers and partners.
Hurst says the company’s current global energy mix includes about 13 percent from renewable sources. Of this 13 percent, about 1 percent is generated on-site at HP facilities. In addition to saving the company money on electricity bills and reducing its climate-related risk, HP expects the shift to 100 percent renewable energy will increase revenue through new business.
“We want customers who care about ethics, sustainability and diversity to recognize HP as the brand for them,” Hurst explains. “Our legacy is one of strong sustainability performance and our pledge to reach 100 percent renewable electricity in our global operations is just one way of ensuring our legacy comes with us to the new company.”
In November, Hewlett-Packard split into two companies: HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.
Hurst says HP has a three-phase strategy to reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal:
- Reduce energy consumption by optimizing operations/building efficiency and implementing new efficiency projects. This includes retrofitting facilities with new LED technologies.
- Increase the use of on-site renewable power. As an example: HP is investigating the use of on-site solar power at its Singapore facility.
- Acquire or generate off-site renewable power to offset brown power emissions, including the use of renewable energy credits and power purchase agreements.
Hurst says improving the company’s energy efficiency is the most effective way to reduce its direct energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions, while saving money. That’s why it’s the first phase of the company’s renewables strategy.