Published 13 hours ago
Submitted by HP Inc.
After a year of unprecedented ecological disasters and a pandemic in Europe, the The EU officially adopted the legal framework to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. We invited three HP managing directors in the region to a roundtable focused on the company’s sustainability goals for 2030. Bernhard Fauser (Central Europe), Helena Herrero (Southern Europe),And Dave Prezzano (Northwest Europe) reflect on what’s been achieved and the challenges that lie ahead on the company’s sustainability fronts: climate action, human rights, and digital equity.
What or who has influenced your approach to sustainability?
Helena Herrero: Our planet is sending warnings that either we change the way we consume and act or there’s no turning back. We are now experiencing more frequent and severe heat waves, droughts. Everyone — citizens, businesses, and governments — must change their consumption, production, and distribution patterns. Either we all commit, or we can’t save the planet.
Bernard Fauser: I am impressed by the European Union’s ambitious target to Reduce carbon gas emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. My two teenage children often hold me accountable for personal sustainability decisions.
Dave Prezzano : My family and i are very active in outdoor pursuits. We see how important it’s to preserve natural landscapes to counter the effects of climate change. We all need to conserve biodiversity and recognize that reversing climate changes will require a collective effort.
Do you have a personal connection to HP’s Sustainable Impact goals?
BF: With an upsurge of extreme weather, HP’s climate action goals resonate with me. Parts of Germany recently saw one month’s rain in just three days, and as a skier, seeing the glacial retreat in the Alps makes climate change all too real. We can all do more to advance our carbon neutrality progress — making the right real estate, car fleet, or product decisions — while making meaningful investments in our communities and building a deep bench of diverse leaders.
DP: I consider my self the Chief Sustainability Officer of our home. I’m ambitious in limiting my own carbon footprint, and I’m proud to work for a company that has set comprehensive climate action goals. I’m also motivated to encourage more young women to study STEM (my daughter is a chemical engineering student at university), and I believe we need to see greater tangible change in industries to attract and retain young talent and provide them with equal opportunities and equal pay. Locally, we’ve partnered with the Tech Talent Charter to drive equality in the UK tech sector, but we’ve got more work to do.
HH. Bridging the digital gap and addressing diversity equity and inclusion are my top priorities. I personally believe in equality within the company and in encouraging girls to be interested in science, technology, and innovation. I am a member of the board of trustees. Spain, Junior Achievement, which provides opportunities for young people to acquire skills for the future.
Europe saw record floods in 2021. Wildfires and extreme weather were also common. What programs and how are you approaching climate action in your region?
BF: Turbulent weather in Europe is an alarm bell that we can’t ignore. Businesses need assistance, but it is not a long-term solution. Long-term change takes into account the needs of investors, customers, and the climate. We developed a pilot program to renew ink cartridges in Thurnau, Germany. We give cartridges a second existence, which goes beyond recycling. It’s another step toward reducing our manufacturing footprint, and can potentially be exported globally.
DP: The pilot program of an electric vehicle fleet was launched by HP Netherlands in October 2020. It was extended to Belgium early 2021. Most team members prefer EVs because they can help reduce our environmental footprint. Other initiatives in Northwest Europe include customer Green Boxes that contain seeds, stickers, information about our carbon-neutral Managed Print Services, and information on our managed printing services. MPS with its Sustainable Impact Reporting and Analytics [SIRA]Customers can be more sustainable with this tool. We organized virtual events in the United Kingdom and Ireland where employees volunteered to clean up litter in their communities. This simple act connected us all and made us feel more engaged.
Reforestation is a key focus of global HP efforts. What is HP doing in your area on this front?
HH: Spain is one of the top five countries in Europe for forest coverage and is highly at risk. We’re working to prevent fires and deforestation, and raise awareness with the public, our partners, and other stakeholders. We have joined Asociación Áreas Verdes’s “Recover Your Forest” program, which aligns closely with the HP Forest Positive initiative. By reforesting an area in Castilla y León with 2,000 native trees, we’re making a small step toward an important goal.
DP: Tree planting is a vital, effective way to reduce carbon emissions and restore natural ecosystems. The United Kingdom only has 13% tree coverThe average European average of 37% is the lowest in Europe at 37%. Locally, we have organized tree planting initiatives in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and planted 27,100 trees in the last few years. This has helped local communities, while also supporting our global Forest Positive commitments. Through the Arbor Day FoundationAnd Trees of the LandWe are continuing to build momentum and plan to plant more trees in the winter.
BF: In Germany, we planted a “partner forest” with the Plant-My-TreeOrganization and discovered that planting mixed species, and not monocultures, reduces pests and disease. We’re also rolling out a carbon- neutral managed print services (MPS) program.
What are your greatest challenges in sustainability?
BF: We still see a large divide in Europe when we look at digital equity. ITU, for example. [International Telecommunication Union]Data shows that 36% of the population of Central and Eastern Europe is still not connected with 4GThis compares to 19% in Western Europe. We are investing through digital education and skills. HP Foundation’s HP LIFE program, and we’ve enrolled over 66,000 students in Romania, with partnerships starting in Hungary, Bulgaria, and beyond.
HH. To reduce the digital divide, we recognized that educators and students needed different tools. Through the open-access, free online platform, teachers in Spain have been able develop their teaching skills. HP Online Teaching Assistant, which reached more than 132,000 teachers in its 200-days first year. On gender diversity, there’s still work to be done, but we’ve made progress in Southern Europe: HP Iberia’s Management Committee is 46% female.
DP: Customers and companies must bear the cost of going green, but I believe the benefits outweigh the risks. We also need to examine our value chain for opportunities to reduce carbon emissions — sustainable by design, R&D, and end-of-life product strategy.
HP’s sustainability report puts a strong emphasis on stakeholder engagement. Why is HP Amplify Impact important to HP’s sustainability goals?
DP Over 80% of our UK and Ireland partners have signed a pledge with HP that taps into HP’s knowledge, training, and resources to assess and improve their sustainability performance while optimizing sustainability driven sales. This allows us to identify common priorities and work together through the HP Amplify ImpactEducate them about the most pressing sustainability issues. The pledge was signed by around 90% of Swedish and Danish partners as of last summer.
HH: Customers are increasingly demanding from suppliers that they commit to a low carbon economy and take action to reduce global warming and protect the environment. For HP and our channel partners, it’s essential we connect with this new consumer profile. For progress, transparency with international and national organizations is essential.
BF Response to HP Amplify ImpactThe results in Central Europe have been very positive. On the program’s Catalyst track for those with sustainability plans already in place, close to 100 partners in Germany have pledged to improve sustainability performance. We’re now rolling it out in the rest of Central Europe.
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Sustainable Impact at HP, Inc.
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