HP Breaking Green Promises – No More Excuses!

Feature story - July 28, 2009
Greenpeace activists climbed to the top of HP's global headquarters and painted the message "Hazardous Products" in big, bold letters on the roof. The message, applied using non-toxic children's finger-paint, covered over 11,500 square ft., or the size of two and half basketball courts.

This protest follows similar demonstrations against HP at its offices in China and Holland.

Instead of making progress on phasing out toxic chemicals from their products, HP continues making excuses. They are backtracking on their commitment to eliminate PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from their products by the end of 2009.

Greenpeace activists took this big, bold action to highlight the enormity of the problem. The toxic materials the company continues to use puts all of us at risk. PVC contaminates humans and the environment throughout its lifecycle; during its production, use, and disposal it is the single most environmentally damaging of all plastics, and can form dioxin, a known carcinogen, when burned.

BFRs are highly resistant to degradation in the environment and are able to bio-accumulate (build up in animals and humans) and can be released from products during use, leading to their presence in household dust and resulting in increased human exposure.

There is no reason for HP to continue using these toxic products. It's technically feasible and consumers want it too. Apple has proven they can honor their green commitments by unveiling new computer lines that are virtually free of PVC and completely BFR-free.

HP originally made this green commitment in 2007, excluding their server and printer lines. Its delay shifts compliance up to two years from 2009 until 2011.

HP currently stands second to last on the quarterly Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics having been penalized for their backtracking on PVC/BFR phase out. Competitors Dell, Lenovo and Acer have stayed ahead of HP by putting models on the market that are free of or at least significantly reduced in their use of PVC and BFRs.

HP should concentrate on completely phasing out these toxic materials instead of putting their energy towards new excuses for why they are backtracking.

No more excuses, HP. The world needs less poisonous e-waste and toxic products and more corporate accountability and responsibility.