HP’s Design for Environment (DfE) program began in 1992 and remains important for the company. One goal is reducing the energy needed to manufacture and use HP products. HP has committed to reduce the energy consumption of products by 40 per cent by 2011, compared with 2005. Steps include HP Auto-on/Auto-off technology that puts printers into a mode that uses less than a single watt when not in use. Another example is the HP Compaq 6005 Pro Ultra-Slim Desktop PC – the second HP business PC product that’s free of brominated flame retardant (BFR) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and one of the first AMD PCs to be BFR and PVC free. It power supply is 87-per cent-efficient, meets ENERGY STAR® qualifications, and has EPEAT® registration. A range of preinstalled software tools such as HP Power Assistant help business users track energy savings.
The second DfE priority is innovating materials to reduce the amount used in products, lessen their environmental impact, and provide value at end-of-life. The company eliminates the use of polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame-retardants where applicable, and standardizes its use of plastic resins. Molded-in colors and finishes replace paint, coatings or plating whenever possible. A priority is increased use of pre-and post-consumer recycled materials in products and packaging, and use of fewer packaging materials overall.
Uniquely, HP recycles old cartridge plastic to make new Original HP inkjet print cartridges with the industry’s first “closed-loop” recycling process. HP used 5,000 tonnes of recycled content resin this way in 2009. The recycled plastic in Original HP ink cartridges has an up to 22 per cent smaller carbon footprint than cartridges made from virgin plastic.
The recycling efforts of HP and its customers have kept the equivalent of approximately 1.3 billion plastic bottles and 160 million HP ink cartridges out of landfills. The HP DeskJet D2600 Printer is made from 50 per cent recycled plastic material and uses HP 60 ink cartridges, made from at least 50 per cent recycled plastic, including resin from returned HP cartridges. HP aims to use a cumulative 100 million pounds of recycled plastic in its imaging and printing products this year.
Design for recyclability and reuse are the third (but no less important) priorities in HP’s DfE program, illustrated by its recent sponsorship of the “Green 4 Good” program. When a product reaches the end of its life, it must be able to be recycled simply and effectively, or upgraded to extend its usefulness; this is built into the design. The HP Planet Partners Program allows for the recycling of HP hardware, inkjet cartridges, large-format media and batteries. To ensure that products are recyclable, the company has implemented solutions such as the ISO 11469 plastics labeling standard, minimizing the number of fasteners and tools necessary for disassembly. Materials selection also enhances recyclability. For example, HP Illumi-Lite LED displays are mercury-free and the HP ENVY 100 e-All-in-One printer is the planet’s first PVC-free printer, making these products easier to manage at end of life. Other HP notebooks are designed with a magnesium and aluminum chassis that replaces most of its plastic, making the product easier to recycle.
HP’s DfE strategy is coordinated company-wide by an Environmental Strategies Council, which includes representatives from each global business unit and sales region, as well as from supply chain, operations and other corporate functions. This global network of product stewards works with design and development teams to incorporate environmental innovations into products.
For environmental references, please see HP’s Global Citizenship Report at www.hp.ca/environment
Frances Edmonds is Director of Environmental Programs, Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co. in Mississauga, Ontario. Contact Frances at email@example.com