HP tightens stand on e-waste

HP moves to update its corporate policy banning the export of technology to developing nations.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

Hmmm. This is interesting. Hewlett-Packard has issued a statement "clarifying" its position on the whole contentious issue of e-waste. Actually, it's less of a clarification and more of a tightening of its existing policy.

According to the release, HP is adding this clause to the its existing policy:

"HP does not permit electronic waste to be exported from developed (member) countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Union to developing (non-OECD/EU) countries, either directly or through intermediaries."

It already had language in place:

  • Prohibiting the use of child or prison labor
  • Requiring that the export of electronic waste by either HP or authorized vendors, comply with existing international waste treaties and legal requirements
  • Requiring that "reasonable effort" be made to keep electronic waste out of landfills

HP is a strong proponent of the Basel Convention, which comes down hard on the practice of shipping discarded technology into developing nations for disassembly and recycling. There have been many documented instances in which electronics and tech items have been improperly handled in those nations, which is a big environmental problem in places like India and China. Bad bad stuff.

Actually this is only one part of the Basel Convention, so if you're faced with getting rid of technology -- especially as you cycle out systems this year with Windows 7 -- you should become familiar with the policy and ensure that anyone you use to recycle or refurbish your hardware complies.

Editorial standards