HP says it will cut emissions – and ensure its suppliers do too

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HP has pledged to cut its ever-growing greenhouse gas emissions by half of this decade from 2019. It plans to achieve “net zero” emissions by 2040, meaning it will not emit more climate pollution than it from the atmosphere.

Those goals are in line with what scientists have found is needed worldwide to avert the worst consequences of climate change. It also tracks climate commitments recently entered into by Apple and Dell. Apple has a faster approaching deadline to reach net zero emissions by 2030. Dell pledged to reduce global warming pollution from its operations and electricity consumption by half of this decade by 2019.

HP’s plan to reduce emissions has a shorter timeline than Dell’s. Dell plans to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, ten years ahead of HP. And unlike Dell, HP also pledged to halve the emissions it is indirectly responsible for this decade. That includes pollution from supply chains and from the use of its products.

Environmental advocates are pushing companies to grapple with indirect emissions, as these typically make up the largest portion of a company’s total carbon footprint. Such is the case for HP, whose pollution in this area has increased in recent years, while other emissions have decreased. As the business grew, the company’s overall carbon footprint grew 5 percent in 2019 compared to the year before.

HP plans to focus on using more renewable energy while making its products more energy efficient. It also says it will turn to electric vehicles and alternative fuels to ship products, and push its suppliers to reduce similar CO2 pollution.

In addition to addressing climate change, HP also announced initiatives to protect forests and reduce waste. By the end of the decade, it says 75 percent of the total annual content of products and packaging will be made from recycled, reused, or renewable materials. Last year, the company achieved its goal of sourcing 99 percent of the materials for its paper products from recycled sources or responsibly managed forestsNow it wants to offset deforestation caused by other companies by investing more in forest restoration.