Greenpeace asks Hewlett Packard to mark their 20th anniversary in China with phase out of hazardous substances

Press release - 2005-06-20
Greenpeace volunteers today delivered a “special present” and an open letter to Mr. Mark Hurd, the new HP International CEO, urging HP to commit to a complete toxics phase-out as soon as possible. Mr. Hurd was in China for the first time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the company’s China operation. Greenpeace calls on HP, who was recognized for being “China’s most influential transnational corporation in 2004” to use their weight to positively influence environmental protection in China. [1]

Greenpeace activists presented an open letter to Mr. Mark Hurd, the new CEO of HP International, urging HP to commit to a complete toxics phase-out as soon as possible

When a Greenpeace volunteer tried to approach Mr. Hurd and give him the present and letter, Mr. Hurd noticed but did not stop to receive them. Greenpeace gifted Mr. Hurd a finely packaged basket containing obsolete HP computer and printer parts. Greenpeace research over the past months has uncovered unsafe and polluting practices being employed in the dismantling of electronic waste containing toxic substances.

After waiting Mr. Hurd for another half an hour, Greenpeace volunteers passed the present and letter to Mr. Jack Shu, Director of Corporate Affairs and Strategic Opportunities of HP. Greenpeace Campaigner Yue Yihua said: "While celebrating its commercial success, Hewlett Packard should not forget to take full responsibility for its products." [2]

The open letter to Mr.Hurd reiterated Greenpeace's two demands to all the electronic companies "Hewlett Packard should openly commit to phasing out hazardous substancs, in particular, brominated flame retardants (BFRs); and openly show support to the Chinese government in legislating against the use of these substances in electronic products," Yue added.

In May, Greenpeace activists delivered a truckload of electronic waste to Hewlett Packard's European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and at the same time in Guadalajara, Mexico and called on the company to stop using dangerous chemicals in its computers.

In 2003 Greenpeace also released a report, the contents of which exposed HP's Pavilion A250NL computer as containing more BFRs than other companies' products. Greenpeace has also been in negotiations with electronics companies over the past two years, pressing them to stop using toxics in their products. Corporations such as Samsung, Sony and Sony Ericsson have already taken a first step by eliminating BFRs and PVC plastic from some of their products. Sony Ericsson has committed to removing them from all their products by the end of 2005. Nokia has committed to do the same by the end of 2006.

Contacts:

Yihua Yue, Campaigner of Toxics Campaign, Greenpeace China +86 10 6554 6931 Ext. 131
Helen Wu, Media Officer of Toxics Campaign, Greenpeace China +86 10 6554 6931 Ext. 106
Natalia Truchi, Greenpeace International Communications + 86 10 6554 6931 Ext. 153

Notes:

[1] See:Sina,“HP China will celebrate 20th anniversary The new CEO will visit China for the first time” 2005-06-10,http://tech.sina.com.cn/it/2005-06-10/1754632870.shtml (2005-06-20).

[2] Hewlett Packard ’s estimated sales volume of first quarter in 2005 is over 800 thousand personal computers. See:HP Website,http://www.hp.com.cn/services/education/edm/itm/0406/4.asp (2005-06-20).

HP’s annual turnover in China is 22 billion RMB. See Sina,“HP China 20 years’ review”,2005/06/09,http://tech.sina.com.cn/it/2005-06-09/1702631577.shtml (2005-06-20).

HP points out that “In the last four financial quarters till 30th of April in 2005, HP’s turnover is 83.3 billion American dollar”: http://www.hp.com.cn/companyinfo/ (2005-06-20);

According to a report, HP’s “annual growth rate is 20%”: http://finance.sina.com.cn/chanjing/b/20050604/17131656977.shtml (2005-06-20).


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