IS HP TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT RECYCLING ?
IS HP TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT RECYCLING ?
2008-02-05 at 10:47:00 am #19361
But How Much Ink Is Used in Green Announcements?
Companies trying to be green are coming up with enough colorful comparisons to cover the Amazon River basin–twice.
In November, Xerox announced that since 1991 it had reused or recycled a total of 2 billion pounds of spent toner cartridges, outmoded printers and such — enough waste, it said, to fill more than 160,000 garbage trucks, stretching more than 1,000 miles, from Seattle to the Mexican border.The Environmental Protection Agency says that, in 2006, the electronics manufacturers and retailers that have joined its “Plug into eCycling” program had, by collecting and recycling ink cartridges and machines, saved enough electricity to power more than 7,000 homes.And today Hewlett-Packard said that in 2007 alone it recycled 250 million pounds of hardware and printer cartridges — the equivalent of “more than double the weight of the Titanic.”It makes one almost nostalgic for the hackneyed “the length of ten football fields” comparison.
But behind the descriptions is a real race among electronics companies to how how serious they are about going green. It has never been easy. The design tricks printer companies have used to make it harder for outsiders to refill their cartridges has also made it hard for the companies themselves to refill them. And despite myths about the pace of technological obsolescence, H.P. has found that people hold onto printers, on average, for 7 years, and computers for 12. Even charities don’t want them by then, and few of their parts are usable.“I keep hearing people say that half of the equipment we take back is reusable, but it’s just not,’’ said Renee St. Denis, who heads H.P.’s Product Takeback project in the United States.
H.P. did refurbish about 65 million pounds of equipment last year, some of it resold, much donated. H.P. said that it has recycled more than one billion pounds of materials since 1987, and expects to hit the 2 billion mark by 2010.Most of the old equipment gets shredded and sorted into steel, plastic, and other materials that can then be used for anything. The cartridges, though, Hewlett-Packard keeps for itself — it has started making them from PET, the same plastics used to make water bottles, and the same plastics that Patagonia uses to make fleece clothing.One could argue that, with so many uses for PET, H.P. would have been doing more for the environment if it had continued to refill old cartridges, or figured out a way to successfully recycle other plastics. But the company is diverting at least a few football fields worth of waste from landfills — and from re-manufacturers.
HP Recycles Nearly 250 Million Pounds of Products in 2007 – 50 Percent Increase Over 2006
PALO ALTO, Calif.–HP today announced it recycled nearly 250 million pounds of hardware and print cartridges globally in its fiscal year 2007 – an increase of approximately 50 percent over the previous year and the equivalent of more than double the weight of the Titanic.
HP also reused 65 million pounds of hardware to be refurbished for resale or donation, increasing its annual reuse rate by 30 percent.
In 2007, HP surpassed its goal to recycle 1 billion pounds of technology equipment and is well on its way to reaching its new goal to recover 2 billion pounds of products by the end of 2010.“HP set the most aggressive recovery goal in the IT industry and we’re on track to meet it,” said Pat Tiernan, vice president, Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility, HP. “This progress demonstrates our success in offering convenient and comprehensive recovery services around the world and is another milestone in HP’s longstanding environmental commitment.”
Highlights from HP’s recycling programs in 2007 include:
* In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, HP nearly doubled the amount it recycled over last year to 170 million pounds (77,111 metric tonnes) of equipment.
* In the Americas region, HP recycled an estimated 65 million pounds (29,484 metric tonnes) of equipment.
* In the Asia Pacific region, HP recycled 13 million pounds (5,897 metric tonnes) of equipment.
Designing with the environment in mind
Last week, HP announced it has developed an engineering breakthrough that enables the use of post-consumer recycled plastics in the production of new Original HP inkjet print cartridges. The company’s innovative recycling process facilitates the combination of multiple sources and grades of recycled plastics – from everyday water bottles to highly technical HP inkjet cartridges returned through HP’s Planet Partners program.In addition to closing the design loop, using recycled content saves energy and keeps plastic out of landfills – since first piloting the process, HP has used enough recycled plastic to fill more than 200 tractor trailers.(1)Using recycled content is the latest advancement from HP’s Design for Environment program, which reduces the company’s environmental impact through material usage, ease of recycling and packaging efficiency.
Recycling at HP
Started in 1987, HP’s recycling program now operates in more than 50 countries, regions and territories. The program seeks to reduce the environmental impact of IT products, minimize waste going to landfills and help customers conveniently and responsibly manage products at their end of life.
Plastics and metals recovered from products recycled by HP have been used to make a range of new products, including auto body parts, clothes hangers, plastic toys, fence posts, serving trays and roof tiles. In addition to recycling, HP offers a variety of product end-of-life management services including donation, trade-in, asset recovery and leasing.
HP and the environment
For decades HP has worked to manage its environmental impact by adopting environmentally responsible practices in product development, operations and supply chain. The company strives to be a global leader in reducing its carbon footprint, limiting waste and recycling responsibly. More information about the company’s environmental programs is available at http://www.hp.com/environment.