In some ways, the printing and imaging group at Hewlett-Packard is a victim of its own success: it bears much more scrutiny than many other companies when it comes to disclosing the environmental profile of not just its printer technology (and all the accessories associated with same) but of printing and using paper in general.
The company has taken great pains, for example, to collect information showing that watching an LCD TV for five hours (as an example) actually contributes more to your carbon footprint than printing 20 pages of paper. Ditto drying a load of laundry or eating a cheeseburger.
HP's launch this week of additions to its retail publishing portfolio also demonstrates the lengths it is going to design products with the environment in mind. These are products designed with photo stores and retailers in mind, and they are use for things such as creating customized photo books, calendars and the like.
One example is the HP Photosmart ML 1000D Minilab printer, which can print digital photos in up to 16 different sizes AND create two sizes of photo books and calendars. HP pitches this product as a more environmentally friendly alternative to systems that use silver-halide processes, because the consume three times less energy (roughly $1,000 worth) and save up to 800 gallons of chemical and water waste per year. They also jump into action more quickly, starting prints from standby mode in less than 10 minutes. The ink cartridges used in the systems are made out of recycled plastic collected as part of HP's closed loop process for inkjet cartridges.