HP Manufactures One Billion Recycled Plastic Ink Cartridges

HP’s recently released CSR report touts a variety of accomplishments worthy of praise. The company has manufactured over one billion ink cartridges that contain some degree of post-consumer recycled plastic among other things. For example, HP replaced the 100 percent virgin fiber in HP consumer photo paper with 100 percent recycled fiber that contains a minimum of 35 percent post-consumer recycled content, with the rest being post-industrial recycled content. Two other examples are the new packaging HP introduced for the Palm Pre 23, which reduced volume by 20 percent, and the reusable bags made from recycled plastic bottles all HP Deskjet and Photosmart printers are packed in.

Last year, HP avoided using 320 tons of packaging materials by using its Clearview packaging to ship high-end printers, which decreases weight by up to 70 percent compared with corrugated cardboard and foam packaging. HP also avoided enough plastic to cover 300 football fields by removing polythene from HP Photosmart and Deskjet printer lines.

All foam cushions used in shipping desktops in North America are made from 100 percent recycled material. Recycled and recyclable molded pulp is used for plastic shipping cushions. HP uses expanded polystyrene foam cushions made from 100 percent recycled content.

Reducing energy use and using more renewable energy

The report highlights HP initiatives to reduce energy use and use more renewable energy. HP invested over $11 million in energy-efficiency improvement projects, which will reduce the company’s annual energy use by approximately 70 million kilowatt hours (kWh), and save $5.7 million. Lighting efficiency projects reduced energy consumption by about 10 million kWh last year.

Last year, HP bought about 311 million kWh of renewable energy, more than twice what it purchased in 2009. This large figure is equivalent to over eight percent of the overall electricity used in its facilities. Energy generated on site and renewable energy credits (RECs) purchased are included in the renewable energy purchased.

Working with suppliers and making its paper more sustainable

HP is working with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) on a year-long pilot program to help its Chinese suppliers reduce energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Eight of its suppliers in China joined the initiative. HP is first major IT company to report the GHG emissions of its suppliers in 2008, including many of its Chinese suppliers. In 2009 (last year data available) the estimated total emissions were the same as 2007.

HP is on track to meet its goal of 40 percent of its branded paper being Forest Stewardship Council (FSC certified), and contain over 30 percent post-consumer content by the end of this year. Last year, 14 percent of the HP-branded paper met the criteria, over five times the amount in 2008.

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

2 responses

Leave a Reply