HP: Greenwash or good intentions?

The PC maker has pledged to clean up its environmental act again – this time via a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. We’re not sure what the WWF actually brings to the sustainable IT party – surely they are all about preserving Polar Bear’s like the ones in Sunday night’s excellent BBC Planet Earth programme?

The PC maker has pledged to clean up its environmental act again – this time via a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. We’re not sure what the WWF actually brings to the sustainable IT party – surely they are all about preserving Polar Bear’s like the ones in Sunday night’s excellent BBC Planet Earth programme? But anyway some marketing bod in HP has obviously decided some of their green credentials will reflect favourable on the PC maker. HP has committed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions from its worldwide manufacturing facilities by 15 percent, from 2006 levels, by 2010. Given the fact that HP is probably planning modest expansion in that time – of say 15 percent – then by 2010 we’re probably looking at erm – well no carbon cuts at all – well done HP! Cutting carbon is a nice nebulous idea that makes for good marketing but is actually very hard to prove in reality – so no one can say you haven’t done it. Measuring the toxicity of hardware is a more exact science – which HP found to its cost recently. A Greenpeace report from September – showed that HP's Pavilion dv4000 Series machine contained high levels of a number of chemicals in its components including Brominated Fire Retardants (PBDEs), which HP claims to have removed from its products years ago.