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HP ‘Living Progress’ Report Highlights Stakeholder Engagement and Environmental Stewardship Efforts

HP is redoubling its efforts towards improved governance and stakeholder engagement, according to the company’s 2014 Living Progress Report, released Wednesday. The report describes HP’s global citizenship policies, programs and performance through the company’s fiscal year 2014.

“Living Progress” is how HP refers to its efforts to integrate sustainability into its business strategy. It’s the framework the company uses as it develops its products, services and solutions, manages its operations and drives interactions with its customers, partners and communities.

In an effort to close the communications loop in sustainability reporting, HP is looking to go beyond simply sending out a sustainability report by soliciting continuous feedback from stakeholders. Rather than waste time and money gathering and reporting information irrelevant to stakeholders, the tech giant can learn what is and isn’t necessary to include.

The report also includes several human, environmental and economic commitments. HP has committed to requiring direct employment of foreign migrant workers throughout the supply chain to a 15 percent improvement in Social Accountability International’s Social Fingerprint benchmark. The company also employed hundreds of thousands of people at supplier sites it audited through the Supply Chain Responsibility program. Both efforts show how HP is looking to find new ways to engage and safeguard workers throughout the supply chain.

HP also invested in helping customers meet new sustainable procurement requirements, which has a $24 billion financial return in existing and potential business revenue.

On the environmental front, HP is attacking the dilemma of maintaining growth while reducing its carbon and water footprints through a per-product approach, focusing on producing more energy-efficient products that help customers save energy — such as the water-cooled HP Apollo 8000 System, which uses 28 percent less energy than air-cooled servers, saving up to 3,800 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.

In an effort to reduce the carbon intensity of shipping, HP has also released a new, thinner paper made from FSC-certified feedstocks.

The company also added a new closed-loop process for polypropylene in the form of an inkjet cartridges made entirely from material recycled by customers. HP claims there is now recycled plastic in more than 75 percent of HP inkjet cartridges shipped for commercial sale. Notably, HP recovered 157,500 tons of hardware and supplies, which included HP and non-HP products. The company was able to repurpose 39,100 tons of hardware units, and recycled the remainder.

HP also is empowering its own employees to help small business owners around the world through a partnership with Kiva. Matter to a Million is a five-year, global partnership where HP has given all of its employees worldwide a $25 credit to lend to borrowers on Kiva. To date, HP employees have given millions of dollars in loans to help farmers, teachers, doctors and business owners worldwide grow their businesses and help their communities.

HP employees are sharing the most loans in the agriculture, food and retail sectors. The top countries receiving the loans are Kenya, the Philippines, El Salvador and India, although thousands of loans are also going to help communities in Europe and North America.

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