HP and energy claims raise questions

HP becomes the latest company to make ambitious pledges of energy reduction this week. It says it plans to reduce energy use in its volume desktops and PCs by 25 percent by the year 2010.

HP becomes the latest company to make ambitious pledges of energy reduction this week. It says it plans to reduce energy use in its volume desktops and PCs by 25 percent by the year 2010. Well it is an ambitious claim. Cutting consumption by a quarter is a great headline figure and one that various media outlets took from HP and followed. But you don’t have to look very far in HP’s small print to spot the issue here. In fact note one of the footnotes (naturally positioned right at the end of the piece) says quite clearly: “By 2010, HP plans to reduce the energy consumption of volume desktop and notebook PC families by 25 percent, relative to 2005.” Ah. So HP is says not that it is reducing consumption by 25 percent in the next three years (2008 to 2010) but instead over six years (2005 to 2010). Obviously it was never HP’s intention to mislead on this, surely? So when it writes “today …HP committed to reduce the energy consumption of its volume desktop and notebook PC families by 25 percent by 2010” the company knew it meant five years, did it not? Or perhaps it means that it aims to lose the 25 percent ON TOP OF any savings made in the last few years. As the company, like others, has spent the last few years trying to find ways to introduce energy savings I am sure it will.

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