Green Spot: Hewlett-Packard, Co.: How Green Gets Done

Nov. 16, 2007
The world's largest technology vendor on their supply-chain management, energy efficiency and green operations.

As the largest technology vendor on the planet, HP is well-known around the world for staying ahead of trends. Not surprising, then, that the Palo-Alto, Calif.-based company has an extremely progressive and innovative green policy in place, both for itself and for its worldwide customer base. Read the Q&A below with Dr. Judy Glazer, director of HP's global social and environmental responsibility operations, to see how green gets done.

IW: How are you addressing energy efficiency?

Glazer: Energy efficiency is an increasingly important issue affecting society and today's global economy. Related to this issue is mounting pressure from consumers, the business community, policy-makers and NGOs to address energy demand and resource conservation. HP understands and recognizes the significant and growing importance of energy consumption and energy efficiency in terms of impact on the environment, and as part of social responsibility. This recognition is reflected in the design of HP products, as well as the way the company does business day to day.

HP designs energy efficient products and services:

  • HP's goal for 2010 is to reduce the combined energy consumption of HP operations and products 20% below 2005 levels, ten years before the EU's comparable goal.
  • 66 business PCs, notebooks, workstations and monitors registered with the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) for institutional green procurement, including the industry's first Gold-rated product (RP5700 long life desktop).
  • Select HP desktop business PCs offer 80% efficient power supplies that meet the U.S. EPA's ENERGYSTAR 4.0 requirements. The new power supplies are 33% more efficient than current power supplies.
  • In 2007, HP redesigned its Deskjet printers to reduce their off-mode power consumption to less than 1W.

HP continually increases the energy efficiency of its global operations

  • HP's company-wide goal is to reduce energy consumption and the resulting carbon dioxide emissions from HP-owned and HP-leased facilities worldwide to 15% below 2006 levels.
  • In 2006, HP purchased 11 million kWh of renewable energy. In 2007, we plan to purchase 50 million kWh of renewable electricity, an increase of more than 350% over last year.
  • In 2006, HP completed 45 facility energy audits which have resulted in energy savings of approximately 27 million kWh/year ($1.9 million).
  • HP sites worldwide are replacing CRT monitors with flat panel displays that will reduce energy use by more than 4 million kWh/year, which equals approximately 2,000 tonnes of CO2 or about $320,000 in annual savings. HP is also installing networked printers, which use less energy than desk-side models, and have demonstrated a 10% reduction in paper consumption.

IW: Have you evaluated renewable (i.e., solar and wind) energy, either on-site or through REC purchases?

Glazer: HP uses sustainable design principles to improve our facilities, for instance:

  • HP recently installed its first-ever, large-scale solar power installation through a power purchase agreement with SunPower Corporation. The installation includes 5,000 solar panels atop five of HP's seven buildings at its R&D manufacturing site in San Diego, Calif. The panels, which are made up of many, smaller photovoltaic cells, will convert the sun's light energy into 1,676,000 kilowatt hours of electrical energy -- enough to provide more than 10 percent of HP's energy use locally.
  • HP's "green" building projects include day-lighting, low-E windows, upgrading to more efficient facility equipment (variable speed drives, magnetic gas economizers), and changing operating parameters and schedules (temperature set points, turning off boilers in the summer).

HP continually increases the energy efficiency of global operations:

  • In 2007, HP began encouraging all of its logistic and carrier partners to join SmartWay -- a voluntary partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the freight industry aimed at reducing fuel consumption, greenhouse gases and other air emissions through better transportation technology.
  • In 2006, HP purchased 11 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy for use in its operations. HP also joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Purchase program -- a challenge to Fortune 500 companies to double their renewable energy purchases by the end of 2007. HP plans to increase renewable energy purchases by more than 350 percent by procuring 50 million kWh of renewable electricity during 2007.

IW: How are you addressing supply chain management?

Glazer: HP recognizes the importance of working with its suppliers to optimize social and environmental performance. In accordance with HP's commitment to global citizenship, HP sets clear social and environmental expectations for HP product and material suppliers. These suppliers must meet specific requirements regarding environmental, ethics, occupational health and safety, labor, and human rights issues. Working together with suppliers, HP is building the systems, processes and structures to minimize the social and environmental impact of our design, manufacturing and operational practices.

HP is a leader in responsible supply chain management

  • HP launched a supply chain social and environmental responsibility (SER) program in the late 1990s. In 2002, HP was the first electronics company to formally launch a Supplier Code of Conduct. In 2004, HP played a major role in the creation of the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct (EICC).
  • Today, HP is leading the industry and partnering with government, NGOs, academia, socially responsible investment entities and world-class companies in other industries to continually improve the program and suppliers' practices.
  • Specifically, HP currently plays a lead role in the European-based Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). HP is also vice chair on the Board of EICC Implementation Group and belongs to the EICC steering committee and work groups which actively pursue common industry tools and processes.

HP has high standards for supply chain responsibility

  • HP's Supplier Code of Conduct covers environmental standards in Product Content Restrictions, Chemical and Hazardous Materials, Wastewater and Solid Waste, Air Emissions, Environmental Permits and Reporting, Pollution Prevention, and Resource Reduction.
  • All HP suppliers must sign contracts and independent supplier agreements committing them to the EICC and HP's General Specifications for the Environment (GSE).
  • HP prefers to work with companies with ISO 9000, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification and requires that suppliers provide demonstrable management system programs and processes to support these certifications.

HP conducts regular audits of our suppliers:

  • HP regularly audits suppliers and works with suppliers on corrective action plans. As of November 2006, HP has audited 115 direct material suppliers at 255 sites in Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. In 2007, our goal is to audit an additional 45 suppliers and conduct new and follow-up verification audits at 100 sites.
  • As of the end of 2006, we have introduced our supplier SER program to 557 suppliers. Of those, 445 have completed self-assessments and 115 suppliers have been audited at 254 sites.
  • In 2007, our goal is to engage and assess 95% of product materials, components, manufacturing and transportation suppliers by number and by spend, and audit 95% of high risk product materials, component and manufacturing supplier sites.

IW: How do you see sustainability fitting into core business strategy?

Glazer: HP is committed to reducing our own environmental impact, as well as that of our customers, partners and suppliers. We do this by providing products and services that are environmentally sound throughout their lifecycle and by conducting our operations in an environmentally responsible manner. Environmental sustainability is a key element of global citizenship at HP and is vital to our long-term business success.

As a technology industry environmental leader for decades, HP is making a difference with a comprehensive Design for the Environment Strategy that touches upon every aspect of our business, including our products and services, development and scientific research, supply chain and operations throughout the world. We feel this gives us an unmatched ability to drive simplicity, to innovate, to influence industry action and to drive our own stewardship in a way that is good for customers, good for business and good for the planet.

For more features like this, see Green Spot: Best Practices in Sustainable Manufacturing. To participate in IW's Green Spot leadership in manufacturing program, email IW Making Green Editor Brad Kenney to start the application process.
About the Author

Brad Kenney | Chief Marketing Officer

Brad Kenney is the former Technology Editor of IndustryWeek and now serves as director of the mobile/social platforms practice at R/GA, a global marketing/advertising firm in New York City.

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