HP recently held an analyst conference call on global citizenship, which presented all the different initiatives that HP has on the subject in one concise presentation. This was followed days later by HP’s Q4 earnings; the results for EMEA show that revenues were up 7% to $24.5 billion, so the inference is that being green does not hinder an organization’s ability to increase revenues.
Global citizenship is one of the seven core elements in HP’s corporate objectives. It is also worth noting that HP has been recycling products since 1987, and developed its Designed for Environment (DfE) policy in 1992. These two messages demonstrate that HP has been serious about environmental issues for many years, although it has only just started to market itself in terms of its green credentials.
The global citizenship policy has three key priorities for HP, one of which is energy efficiency. This is not a new topic, as both IBM and Dell also have examples of low-power consumption devices designed to reduce an organization’s overall power usage. However, HP’s perspective is that organizations and individuals need to move from an energy-efficient mode to an energy-effective mode.
This three-stage journey begins with organizations ensuring that the equipment they use is energy-efficient. The second stage then considers the efficiency of an organization’s processes. There is no point in being very diligent and using energy-saving devices in the data center (being energy-efficient), if each device is under-utilized. This second stage involves organizations ensuring that the whole data center is energy-efficient, and utilization rates are increased from a typical 10% to a healthier 70%.
The third stage is to transform society’s behavior. This is the biggest challenge, and one in which HP believes that technology such as Halo Virtual Collaboration Studio (HVCS) can help. HVCS is a high-definition virtual meeting facility that has no delay, and significantly improves the experience of being in a teleconference. HP has 13 of these centers worldwide, and internally it has reduced travel for meetings by 8% in 2005, which avoided 350 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The second priority is product re-use and recycling, which HP has been doing since 1987, and its DfE policy ensures that re-use is designed in as part of the whole lifecycle. HP has standard components that are used across the many different product ranges; another benefit from this componentization is that it has also increased the life expectancy of products. A tangible measure of HP’s commitment to re-use and recycle is a target that it has set to take back one billion lbs of product by 2007. To support this, HP has return and recycling services in more than 40 countries.
Thirdly, raising standards in the supply chain is a key priority. HP has a large and complex supply chain that extends globally, and is worth in excess of $53 billion. In 2002, the company introduced its supply chain social and environmental responsibility policy, which ensures that all of its suppliers operate working practices, health and safety, environmental policies, and an ethical policy that are all in line with HP’s own policies.
To support these existing procedures, HP announced in mid-November that it was entering into a joint initiative with the World Wildlife Fund US (WWF-US) to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from its operating facilities worldwide. The initiative is that HP will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from HP-owned and HP-leased facilities worldwide to 15% below their 2006 levels. To achieve this, WWF-US and HP will identify the best technology and practices to reduce energy use.
It appears that HP has finally woken up to the value that its green credentials are worth in terms of marketing. Very little of the announcement was new, except the joint initiative with WWF-US. However, by publishing its achievements and policies, HP is taking a leadership role in respect of environmental issues in corporate organizations.
It is likely that, over the next year, many more organizations will follow HP’s lead, but only those organizations that, like HP, have a history of environment involvement will be able to market themselves in this way.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)