HP Bit by the 'Green' Bug

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week, I wrote about environmental watchdog Climate Counts' criticism of Apple's sustainability policy. On the heels of that report comes a new initiative by Hewlett-Packard to create a 'green printer'. According to the Climate Counts study, HP scored 68% success, putting it in the "striding" category, as opposed to companies "stuck", like Apple, or just "starting", like Dell and Nokia. (Source: climatecounts.org)

Since, 1992, HP has been intent on improving its environmental record. The company's website claims that it has endeavoured to use recycled materials, minimize containers and use as few materials as possible when packaging products. (Source: hp.com)

The first part of the eco-drive is focused on printing and paper consumption. Primarily aimed at small businesses, the initiative also includes effective managements solutions in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of HP products. In a staggered plan, HP's four environmental goals will be reached between 2008 and 2011. This year the company aims to recycle 250 million of its printer cartridges. By 2010, the company will attempt to again increase the level of recycled materials in its products. Thirdly, HP's photo paper will be made from 100% sustainable forest products. Lastly, the LaserJet and Inkjet printers will be more energy efficient by 2011. (Source: technewsworld.com)

To kick off this new plan, HP released the Deskjet D2545 Printer. Made from 83% recycled plastic, the printer also boasts Energy Star approval. It also includes a "print cancel" button, to help avoid the usual wasteful fumble of shutting off the printer and then then having it print unwanted pages when turned on again.

Aside from products, HP offers a Printing Assessment, allowing customers to estimate how much energy, paper, and carbon emissions are used by their current printing system and suggests better ways (using HP products, obviously) to improve their usage.

All in all, it seems that the next level of competition between large electronics retailers will not only involve product design and performance. The new edge that these producers have to master is to do all that while also being environmentally friendly...something customers are more aware about and will continue to demand.

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