Greenpeace scales up the pressure on Hewlett Packard

The “Harmful Products” producer of the computer industry

Press release - 2005-12-07
Activists from Greenpeace today delivered postcards carrying pictures and information about the environmental and human health impacts of Chinese electronic waste (e-waste) ‘breaking’ yards to employees to the Chinese headquarters of the computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP), along with xx e-waste components recovered from the Guiyu, e-waste dump site in the Guangdong Province of China. The activists wearing boiler suits bearing the words “HP = Hazardous Products” urged HP employees to work from within and call for hazardous substances in computer manufacture to be phased out.

Greenpeace activists demonstrate against e-waste outside of HP's Beijing headquarters.

The 'direct communication' came one day after Greenpeace activists hung a huge banner bearing a picture of a Chinese girl holding an HP branded keyboard from the Guiyu e-waste yard and bearing the slogan "HP = Hazardous Products"' on the companies international headquarters in Palo Alto, the USA.

"Greenpeace believes that most HP employees are unaware of how their products become toxic e-waste and pollute the environment in scrapping yards like Guiyu, in China. Armed with information we believe they will ask their managers to stop manufacturing such products," said ZHAO Yang from Greenpeace China.

Greenpeace activists hung a huge banner bearing a picture of a Chinese girl holding an HP-branded keyboard from the e-waste recycling yards in Guiyu and the slogan “HP = Harmful Products” on the company's international headquarters in Palo Alto, USA.

Companies, including LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, and Sony Ericsson have already committed themselves to eliminating these harmful substances. Along with HP, other laggards include Acer, Apple, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, IBM, Lenovo, NEC, Panasonic and Toshiba.

"Greenpeace is disappointed with HP's failure to commit itself to the elimination of toxics substances before 1 Dec. 2005, after over 2 years' of dialogue," ZHAO added. [i] "HP should catch up with the trend and make a challenging commitment just like other progressive electronics companies".

Greenpeace is calling on all electronic companies to produce cleaner longer lasting products. Greenpeace further demands they take full responsibility for their products over the whole life cycle and especially when these products become waste.

Greenpeace activists demonstrate against e-waste outside HP's Beijing headquarters. Greenpeace is calling on all electronic companies to produce cleaner, longer-lasting products.

Contacts:

ZHAO Yang, Greenpeace China Toxics Campaigner, +86 10 65546931 Ext.107
WANG Xiaojun, Greenpeace China Media Officer, +86 10 65546931 Ext.151

Notes:

[i] Despite the fact that Greenpeace has been in dialogue with HP for two years and has targeted the company in a series of actions spanning three continents, the company has yet to make a commitment on phasing out harmful substances. In a recent press release (link at at: http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2005/051101a.html ), HP announced its goal to eliminate all brominated-flame retardants (BFRs) from its plastic casings, something that more progressive companies already achieved several years ago. Brominated flame-retardants are toxic chemicals used to resist high levels of heat and in some cases have been known to be hormone disruptors. In recent actions in Beijing and Hong Kong, GP demanded that HP to give clear date for phasing out BFRs and PVC in all products on or before 1 Dec 2005.

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