While the release of HP’s 2012 Sustainability Report was back in May, it’s worth taking a look at a couple of the details again to showcase the considerable efforts that this global company is making to reduce its environmental impact
Scope 3 Emissions
When it comes to reporting carbon emissions the elephant in the room for many companies is Scope 3 emissions.
HP includes the Scope 3 emissions from its employees’ business travel – a welcome but increasingly standard inclusion in sustainability reports.
Much more significant are HP’s efforts to estimate the emissions in a number of other Scope 3 categories, including product manufacturing by suppliers, product transport, product use, and product recycling.
Product use, for example, was estimated at a staggering 47 million tonnes of CO2e – the same as Wales! This indicates just how many HP products are being used across the world and how the cumulative impact of relatively low-energy consuming products like computers can be so huge.
It also reveals how this one category of Scope 3 emissions far outweighs the company’s combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions – ‘just’ 0.24 million and 1.64 million respectively.
Another feature of the report describes HP’s efforts to understand which of its core business activities have the biggest impacts on the wider world in which it operates – a concept known as ‘materiality’.
In terms of environment it was found that HP’s priority should be to improve the energy efficiency, durability and recycling potential of its products.
HP has already demonstrated how it will go about achieving these goals with its Moonshot server and Pro8600 printer series – products which use up to 89% and 50% less energy respectively than industry equivalents.
The company knows that reducing the overall burden of its products is a massive undertaking which will take time and money, for example phasing out potentially dangerous substances like halogens and researching groundbreaking (but expensive) nanotechnologies.
It’s commitment, however, is promising.
The report is long and certainly won’t be to everyone’s liking – some of it is indeed a bit of corporate waffle.
But HP has made a real effort to gather huge amounts of environmental data about energy, water and waste – an undertaking which takes much commitment.
That’s why HP should be proud of the efforts that it’s making and be encouraged to go even further next year.