Global manufacturer proving saving the environment can also have savings on the bottom line
When a toner cartridge from a laser printer ends up in a landfill, reports note that it can take hundreds of years to decompose, and fewer than 30 percent of ink and toner cartridges are recycled annually.
It is a serious issue which is being addressed by one of the foremost producers on the planet, as Hewlett Packard (HP) thrusts sustainability to the very top of the agenda.
Nate Hurst, HP’s chief sustainability and social impact officer, said, today it would take the natural resources of 1.6 earths to sustain humankind’s current demands for resources, and there may be four billion more of us crowding onto the planet by 2100.
As a large global manufacturer of a wide array of imaging and printing products, many of which include plastic components, HP has been working to build and fine-tune closed loop manufacturing systems – starting with its product design – since 1992.
A few years later in 1995, HP’s Planet Partners take-back and recycling programme for ink cartridges was launched, and HP started closing the recycling loop in 2000, when it began creating toner cartridges with plastic recycled from the programme.
Through Planet Partners, HP has collected more than 3.3bn pounds of hardware and supplies — the equivalent weight of more than 150 Eiffel Towers.
To date, HP has manufactured more than three billion ink and toner cartridges, using more than 218 million pounds of recycled content material, including 784m used HP cartridges and four billion plastic bottles.
David McQuarrie, chief operating officer, HP Print, said: “Anyone making technology purchase decisions, especially for office environments, should make sustainability part of the decision criteria, and it looks like those decision makers buyers are getting on board fast.
“In fact, HP estimates that in 2017, at least $700m in new revenue was the result of contracts or sales in which sustainability factors were a key differentiator. It turns out that sustainability is good for business, not at odds with it.”
Another area where sustainability is a key focus for HP is in tackling the scourge of counterfeit supplies.
Research found that the use of ‘knock-off’ cartridges can result in people having to print up to 29 percent more, which can contribute to 40 percent more energy, consume 54 percent more fossil fuels and create a 55 percent larger carbon footprint.
In a recent 20,000-participant global survey commissioned by HP, almost 35 percent of office supply decision makers admitted purchasing knock-off supplies and nearly 45 percent said it was possible they could have unknowingly purchased counterfeit cartridges.
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