Climate change is a global threat whose impact will be felt by those most vulnerable and least responsible for its causes. The science is clear and the need to act is more urgent than ever. The decisions we make as a society during this critical decade will impact our trajectory throughout the 21st century and beyond.
The role of business is essential. Transforming HP to drive a more efficient, circular, and zero-carbon economy addresses the imperatives presented by climate change and is central to our Sustainable Impact strategy. We have set ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals across the value chain to drive progress and the shift toward an equitable net-zero carbon economy.
The manufacturing, delivery, and use of HP products and solutions require a substantial amount of natural resources and energy use. Our carbon and water footprints cover our entire global value chain, from suppliers1 to our operations and millions of customers worldwide. We have been producing a public sustainability report for 20 years and were the first global IT company to publish a full carbon footprint and one of the first to disclose a complete water footprint. We continue to measure and manage our environmental footprint across the value chain, always pursuing areas for improvement.
Efforts in supply chain
Our production and nonproduction suppliers are essential partners as we work to drive net-zero carbon and resource-efficient transformation throughout the value chain.
For more than a decade, we have worked closely with our suppliers to improve their environmental programs and report progress transparently. Our Sustainability Scorecard is central to our efforts to set expectations, evaluate our suppliers’ performance, and drive ongoing improvement.
We provide suppliers incentives to set and meet their own goals. The environmental criteria we use for supplier management include science-based GHG emissions reduction targets and third-party verification of GHG emissions. To extend our influence within and beyond our industry, we join leading companies in GHG emissions goal-setting and reduction efforts.
We periodically raise our expectations to motivate ongoing improvement. These include supplier environmental management criteria such as science-based GHG emissions reduction targets, third-party verification of GHG emissions, and publication of a GRI-based sustainability report, as well as transparent reporting through CDP of key environmental information, including GHG emissions, energy consumption, renewable energy use, and water management.
We request 98% of our production suppliers, by spending, as well as strategic nonproduction suppliers, to disclose key qualitative and quantitative information about environmental management and impacts through HP’s CDP Supply Chain membership. Requested information includes GHG emissions and goals, total and renewable energy use, water withdrawal, climate and water risks, and governance.
In 2008, HP was the first major IT company to publish aggregated supply chain GHG emissions data. We continue working to drive progress in this area, including through our goals. To reduce supply chain GHG emissions intensity is one of HP’s three value chain goals validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. WWF has publicly supported this goal,2 confirming the rigor of our goal-setting process.
During 2020, we continued engaging with suppliers to drive positive change. For example, we provided training outlining our environmental expectations and how those connect with our Sustainability Scorecard.
We also worked with other organizations to accelerate cross-sector improvements:
- HP collaborated with the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) to update its Code of Conduct with specifics around GHG emissions-related goal setting and reporting.
- In combination with the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, we worked to promote renewable energy use in supply chains.
- We continued to focus on capability building, which included a combined webinar with other companies and CDP on supplier water management and reporting.
- HP and other large technology companies sent a joint letter to the key members of the IT supply chain to reinforce environmental expectations.
Our Energy Efficiency Program in China and Southeast Asia, implemented in collaboration with NGOs such as BSR, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the World Resources Institute, and WWF, helps suppliers to build capabilities, identify ways to improve energy efficiency and explore the use of renewable energy.
To improve efficiency, cut costs, and reduce negative environmental impacts, we work to optimize our logistics network by consolidating shipments, identifying new routes, and shipping directly to customers or local distribution centers. We require our product transportation suppliers to use the Global Logistics Emissions Framework to standardize emission calculations.
We continue to use SmartWay partners for 100% of our products shipped by truck in the United States and Canada.3 The program aims to help improve road transport efficiency and reduce GHG and other emissions.
Efforts in operations
At our 168 sites in 59 countries around the world, we are taking action to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy and water withdrawal, and waste generation. While GHG emissions associated with HP’s operations represent just 1% of our overall carbon footprint, it is the area where we have the greatest control and influence, and therefore the greatest ability to make an immediate impact. By modeling sustainable operations, we also demonstrate our values in action and highlight industry-leading practices as an example to employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, and others.
Most of our GHG emissions from operations are related to the energy used to power our facilities. To save money, drive progress toward our goals, and reduce our climate impacts, we:
- Aggressively reduce energy consumption through optimization and efficiency projects.
- Increase on-site generation of renewable power.
- Procure off-site renewable power, including renewable energy credits (RECs), utility supplier green power options, and power purchase agreements (PPAs).
For most of 2020, our non-critical buildings were closed due to COVID-19, and access restrictions prevented us from implementing many energy conservation projects. Our teams ensured these buildings were set for unoccupancy, using emergency lighting and setting broader temperature ranges than when in normal use.
Although capital projects were curtailed in 2020 due to the pandemic, our focus on operational and efficiency upgrades when replacing equipment remains the same. In 2021, we are implementing energy-saving opportunities such as retro-commissioning projects, chiller plant optimizations, smart building retrofits, use of digital lighting controls, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system replacements.
Sources of renewable electricity in 2020 included RECs and IRECs (88.3%), direct purchases (10.1%), and renewable energy generated on-site and on-site PPAs (1.6%). Through these purchases, we once again achieved our objective to use 100% renewable electricity in the United States and helped to advance the global market for renewables.
Building on previous renewable energy initiatives, including our solar-covered roof at our Palo Alto headquarters, we signed two on-site solar PPAs in 2020. The first, at our manufacturing site in Corvallis, Oregon, will provide approximately 495 MWh per year. The second, at our manufacturing site in Penang, Malaysia, will provide approximately 4,000 MWh per year, equivalent to 9% of the site’s annual electricity use.
To help drive further action across our industry and the private sector, we are part of several global and national coalitions:
- In early 2019, we were among the first companies to sign the Renewable Thermal Energy Buyers’ Statement.
- In 2018, we became one of the largest green power users among technology and telecommunications partners within the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program.
- In 2016, we joined RE100 led by The Climate Group.
- In 2015, we signed the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles.
To decrease emissions, we provide employees low-impact travel choices through collaboration with travel providers, planning tools, and transportation alternatives such as the Zipcar vehicle share program at our headquarters in Palo Alto. Car sharing decreases the need for employees to own a vehicle. HP is one of 10 founding members of EV100, a Climate Group initiative launched in 2017 to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide. We have committed to installing EV infrastructure at all feasible sites worldwide by 2040.
Efforts in products and solutions
We help our customers invent the future with innovative products and services to provide an increasingly circular experience. Our vision is to become a fully circular company powered by service models, which will affect every part of our business. To minimize environmental impacts, we are working toward reusing products and parts, using only recycled or renewable materials in our products, and eliminating potentially harmful substances. We extend product life through maintenance, upgrades, repair, and innovative service-based business models. At end of service, we strive to reuse or recover all products. Underpinning these efforts, we aspire to 100% use of renewable energy and zero waste processes in manufacturing.
To support HP’s efforts to become a more circular business, we assessed our performance using the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) Circulytics tool in early 2021. Developed by the EMF to accelerate the transition to the circular economy, it is a comprehensive circularity measurement system for companies. The assessment has established a strong baseline for us and confirmed our areas of focus. We plan to repeat the analysis annually to inform our approach and help drive progress.
We apply rigorous circular design principles to drive progress and will continue to innovate throughout our product portfolio and work with suppliers and channel partners to increase circularity.
HP uses life cycle assessment (LCA) and product carbon footprinting (PCF)4 to quantify the environmental impacts of our products, analyze possible alternatives, and target product performance improvements that deliver value to our customers and our business. We have conducted LCAs and PCFs of hundreds of products over the last several years, covering our product portfolio. As we develop and expand our service-based models (which we refer to as circular business solutions), we will continue to study and quantify the potential they have to reduce environmental impacts and drive progress toward a circular and net-zero carbon economy. In 2020, we:
- Conducted or updated 38 LCAs of HP desktop, DesignJet, Scanners, and enterprise printers.
- Completed 117 PCFs of new business HP desktops, notebooks, tablets, workstations, thin clients, all-in-one computers, and displays to better understand performance and inform ongoing design improvements.
- Began development of a “cradle-to-grave” environmental impact assessment tool for Indigo Flexible packaging customers, to build and compare different scenarios for flexible pouch production using the HP Indigo 25K digital press.
- Quantified the environmental benefits of recycling Original HP supplies through the Planet Partners program. Customers will be able to generate a customized report on the Planet Partners website regarding materials breakdown and GHG emissions reduced.
- Conducted a carbon footprint and material flow study of HP’s Customer Support organization, establishing net zero carbon and circular economy baselines to identify focus areas and support decision-making and investments.
- Compared traditionally manufactured metal parts used in the production of HP DesignJet T3600 large format printers with plastic alternatives, created using HP Jet Fusion 3D printers. The plastic parts may result in up to 74% less GHG emissions or up to 87% if manufactured using renewable energy.
Keep products and materials in use
We design our products to last and make them easy to repair, so they can stay in use for as long as possible.
HP products are also often highly rated for durability and repairability. We offer services related to optimization, maintenance, and renewal that extend product life, capture more value from natural resources, and reduce environmental impact.
HP’s service-based solutions are designed to deliver increased value to customers through reduced environmental impact and capital costs. Customers can access the latest technology, while HP manages the fleet, and an ongoing relationship provides valuable insights on end-user behavior and needs. Our service offerings include regular maintenance, which has the potential to keep the hardware in use for longer and reduce waste. Decreasing individual product shipments and customer store visits also reduce GHG emissions.
When our products eventually reach the end of their service, our robust repair, reuse, and recycling programs help to ensure that products and materials are repurposed, which keeps them at their highest value state for as long as possible. This circular flow reduces waste and can give materials and products renewed life. These efforts support our transformation toward a more materials-efficient circular model.
Create a net-zero carbon future
The energy consumed by our products during use is one of the largest contributors to our carbon and water footprints. To help our customers decrease energy consumption and GHG emissions, we design for energy efficiency and offer convenient service-based solutions that are designed to deliver increased value to customers through reduced environmental impact and capital costs. We use multiple metrics to assess progress and drive improvement.
GHG emissions associated with product use equaled 15,800,000 tonnes of CO2e in 2020, 35% of our overall carbon footprint. The decrease of 13% in absolute emissions from product use compared to 2019 was due to a 7% combined decrease in personal systems and printer electricity consumption of models shipped in 2020.
Design out waste and use materials responsibly
To create a circular and net-zero carbon economy, we must gain the most value possible from the materials we use. We work to eliminate waste through innovative design and efficient manufacturing and create quality products that are durable and repairable. We pursue greener chemistry through safer alternatives and are increasing the recycled and renewable content of our products. We use materials thoughtfully so that they can circulate efficiently and responsibly through the economy.
HP is a signatory to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to eliminate plastic pollution at its source. The three key principles of its framework—eliminate, innovate, and circulate—underpin our broad approach to all materials used in our products and packaging.
In 2020, we used 942,000 tonnes5 of materials in our products and packaging, 5% less than in 2019. Key factors included a shift toward lighter printers better suited to printing at home and reduced paper sales. Of the materials we used in 2020, 41% were recycled content plastic or recycled or certified fiber.
Regenerate natural systems
A circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources. However, to address the tremendous environmental challenges that we face, we must look beyond our value chain to actively strengthen the natural systems that support us all. This requires collaboration within and across industries, and between businesses, governments, NGOs, academics, and others.
In 2016, HP launched an ambitious program in Haiti to help tackle the growing challenge of ocean-bound plastics. In partnership with the First Mile Coalition and our supplier partners, we have built a self-reliant ocean-bound plastic supply chain that contributes to the circular economy and provides income and education opportunities locally. Since 2016, these efforts have diverted more than 1.7 million pounds (771 tonnes) of plastic materials—more than 60 million bottles—preventing this plastic from reaching waterways and oceans.
In October 2018, HP joined NextWave Plastics, the collaborative and open-source initiative convening leading technology and consumer-focused companies to develop the first global network of ocean-bound plastic supply chains. The coalition has set a goal to divert a minimum of 25,000 tons of plastics—the equivalent of 1.2 billion single-use plastic water bottles—from entering the ocean by the end of 2025. In 2020, NextWave companies diverted 1,356 tonnes of ocean plastics, with HP leading the way.
In 2020, HP was announced as a founding member of the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network, a membership community dedicated to addressing ocean plastic pollution.
In fall 2019, HP pledged $11 million to support WWF’s efforts to restore part of Brazil’s threatened Atlantic Forest and improve the management of state-owned and private forest plantations in China—to ultimately restore, protect, and transition to responsible management 200,000 acres of forests. Through this collaboration, we are also contributing to the development of science-based targets for forests designed to provide guidance on the quantity and quality of forests needed in key regions to protect the ecosystems’ resilience.
In November 2019, we launched the HP Sustainable Forests Collaborative, supporting our strategy to create a forest positive future for printing. The Collaborative is driving progress toward our ambition for HP Consumer Printing worldwide to be forest positive by 2025.6
Please find HP’s Climate Action Policy Position at http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/global-citizenship/governance/policies.html..
For further information on our climate strategy, collaboration efforts, and performance, please see the 2020 HP Sustainable Impact Report at: www.hp.com/go/report..
1 Carbon and water footprint data presented in this section related to our suppliers are calculated using product life cycle assessment-based estimates for materials extraction through manufacturing and product transportation. Supply chain GHG emissions and water withdrawal data presented on page 53 is based on a different methodology.
3 Due to COVID-19, in limited cases SmartWay partners were not available during 2020.
4 We conduct product carbon footprints (PCFs), a subset of life cycle assessment, of business HP desktops, notebooks, tablets, workstations, thin clients, all-in-one computers, and displays to better understand the performance of individual products and our overall portfolio. These estimate total GHG emissions associated with a product over its lifetime and include emissions from materials extraction, manufacturing, distribution, use, and end-of-life management. To assess and report our complete personal systems product carbon footprint, we extrapolate these results to cover 99% of overall personal systems product sales (by unit and by revenue) during the reporting year.
5 This data does not include the following products or packaging for these products: commercial, industrial, or 3D printing products; scanners; personal systems accessories sold separately; spare parts; or the weight of ink and toner in cartridges.
6 HP Forest Positive Framework goes beyond existing HP sustainable fiber sourcing programs. It includes NGO partnerships targeted to protect forests, improve responsible forest management, and help develop Science Based Targets (SBT) for forests. Our vision is that printing with HP will protect forests regardless of what brand of paper customers use. This is applicable to the entire installed base of HP Consumer printers.