Hewlett-Packard announced Tuesday that it would be setting a "carbon footprint challenge" for its 4,000 employees in Ireland to help make the company greener. The challenge is part of a company-wide effort to reduce energy usage by 20 per cent before 2010. "Energy efficiency is a key priority for HP and we know that …
HP can start with their packaging
HP would do better to review the amount of waste they generate on the packing they use, shipping kit to their customers. I was horrified recently to receive about a dozen cardboard boxes for Integrity Virtual Machine software. Each one was A4 sized in height and width, and about an inch or more thick. Only one had a real kit in it. The rest just contained a single sheet of A4 stating that there wasn't actually any media required, and informing me of my right to use the product. So I filed the sheaf of papers (which could have been sent in a single paper envelope) and disposed of the huge pile of useless cardboard they'd sent them in.
It never ceases to amaze me how much computer vendors waste when they send equipment to customers. The first thing you do when unpacking it all is sift through the piles of duplicate instruction books and assorted paraphernalia that comes with it. Buy a server with 4 HBAs and 4 TX cards and you get 8 copies of all the manuals (one per card). So you keep one each and throw the other 6 in the recycle skip. Buy 10 servers and the problem is 10 times worse. You'd think they would see this as a way of cutting costs?
I'm really looking forward to the European driven proposals that will enable local UK councils to charge for waste disposal based on volume. I hope they hit businesses hard with it. Right now there is no pressure in the system, no financial incentive for businesses to really pay attention to what they thow away. If customers start getting charged for disposal of their computer vendor's rubbish, then it'll provide an incentive for them to complain. Maybe then we'll see some real change and companies like HP will package in a more environmentally responsible manor.
20% drop? Easy, just sell cr#p and see sales drop
There's nothing hare about reducing HP's carbon footprint by 20% in 3 years. Just stop working on R&D, stop fixing broken products, sell cr#p, and see sales drop. I'd be willing to bet they can hit 30%, maybe 40%, without even half trying. Stop focusing on core business -- works every time it's tried.
Stop flying internationally to meetings
HP could achieve a huge reduction simply by making more use of communications technology instead of flying its people around the world to attend useless meetings.