I'm keenly aware of how much paper and ink I waste with my measely personal inkjet printer, I can't even imagine what it's like for a company the magnitude of Hewlett-Packard, which has decided to tackle the problem big-time with a series of new products and services coming out of its Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) this week.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The company's new Eco Highlights and Eco Solutions branding pushes will be echoed across all of the other product divisions, according to Ron Coughlin, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for IPG. "We are simply the first business unit to have these products," Coughlin says.
So what's up, specifically?
For HP's massive printing franchise, the first wave of the companywide HP Eco Solutions program will be expressed in the following ways:
- New HP ECo Highlights labels, which simply summarize the features in a particular product that could be consider "green." Think of this like the label you find on pretty much everything you buy at the grocery story. Right now, at least, the criteria for this labeling is pretty arbitrary and it will depend on the product category, Coughlin admits. The labels will show up first on LaserJet printers: The HP LaserJet P4051x, LaserJet P4515x and LaserJet P4515xm models. One thing that is kind of cool about these new printers is the packaging, which mimics what consumer electronics companies have been doing for years with appliances to cut down on waste.
- Through HP Auto-On/Auto-Off features that enable a printer to go into a deep sleep mode in which it uses only 1 watt of power. (Kind of like an induced coma, only the printer wakes up a whole lot quicker than you would.)
- A new HP Carbon Footprint Calculator for Printing: This provides a way for companies to compare the environmental impact of their existing printers and imaging technology against new options. It looks at paper usage, power consumption, ink and other things that might affect a product's overall carbon profile. There's also a specific calculator for LaserJets. The company's Eco Printing Assessment looks at a company's entire printing consumption footprint, not just what it's doing with just one printer.
- Also being introduced this week is the HP Deskjet D2545, a $49 printer that HP touts as being made almost entirely from recycled content (83 percent of the system). The printer uses HP 60 cartridges that also were made from recycled plastic.
- And what eco-announcement would be complete without the requisite corporate green pledges? As it relates to printers, HP has promised to improve energy efficiency by 40 percent by 2011, relative to 2005 levels. It will triple the amount of recycled materials that go into its inkjet printers by 2010, relative to 2007. It will continue its long-time printer recycling push, aiming for 2 billion pounds of computing and printing equipment by 2010. It will also put a big emphasis on making sure that the photo paper it sells is made from materials that are harvested under certified forestry program. Here's more on its developing paper policy.
Finally, I'd like to mention what HP is doing with its Halo Collaboration Studios, which are essentially collaboration and videoconferencing work centers (although I realize the hip word really is "telepresence"). HP will quadruple its studios by 2009, which it believes will cut out 20,000 trips and millions of travel dollars. This effort is aimed both internally at HP's own workforce and externally to potential customers. I believe it's this kind of process reengineering that will make technology truly green.