Hewlett Packard Changes its Polluting Practices

Feature story - March 15, 2006

Today's high-tech gadgets are faster, smaller and smarter by the day.  But as these expensive toys shrink in size, the mountain of electronic waste they generate grows larger and larger.  We convinced Hewlett Packard to clean up its act, and the industry leader is rising to the challenge.

Hewlett Packard has agreed to eliminate a range of hazardous chemicals from its products - admitting is decision was influenced by "consumer requests."  But HP's policy change didn't happen overnight. Back in 2003 we learned that one of its computers contained particularly high amounts of a toxic chemical.  Since then, we've been confronting Hewlett Packard head on.  In December 2005, we staged a protest at its headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

Greenpeace China campaigner, Kevin May, has witnessed and exposed the e-waste "recycling" yards firsthand.  He came to California during the company's annual general meeting to thank the executives for their innovative approach to reducing e-waste.  He also made a point of reminding the company that we will be watching every step of the way to make sure it fully implements the agreement without loopholes, conditions or delays.

Who's Next?

Thanks to consumer power, Hewlett Packard is the latest in a long line of companies that have made commitments to eliminate the use of some hazardous chemicals in the near future. Other companies like Acer, Apple, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, IBM, Lenovo, Panasonic, Siemens and Toshiba have so far refused to commit.

We're challenging these companies to stop dragging their feet and address the serious environmental and human health concerns created by their products.

E-Waste Hall of Shame

Check out these pictures of e-waste that you won't find in any of the industry's glossy PR materials.