The announcement coincides with the milestone publication of HP’s 20th annual Sustainable Impact Report, that highlights the progress the company is making across its core pillars of climate action, human rights and digital equity. It follows recent actions the company has taken to accelerate progress, including some of the industry’s most comprehensive climate action goals, as well as aggressive steps to drive diversity, equity and inclusion and respect human rights across its ecosystem.
“Our sustainable impact strategy is helping to strengthen our communities while spurring innovation and growth across our business. Creating technology that inspires progress has always been one of HP’s greatest strengths, and we continue to hold ourselves accountable for achieving the goals we have set,” said Enrique Lores, president and CEO, HP.
“As digital technology transforms seemingly every aspect of our lives, there’s a real danger of more and more people getting left behind. We cannot allow that to happen, and HP will work to break down the digital divide that prevents too many from accessing the education, jobs, and healthcare they need to thrive.” Lores added.
Accelerating digital equity
The Covid-19 pandemic didn't create the digital divide, but it has certainly exacerbated it. Digital inequity is at an all-time high and will only continue to grow if we do not work together to find solutions. During Covid-19, one-third of the world’s school-age children, or 463-million students, could not access remote learning, according to Unisef. Beyond education, the growing digital divide can stand in the way of accessing modern healthcare and competitive job opportunities as digital transformation continues to accelerate. There’s also a cost to digital equity: the US alone loses more than USD 130-million a day in economic activity when people aren’t online, according to Deloitte.
HP believes digital equity is a human right and has invested in HP LIFE, a free IT and business skills training programme offered by the HP Foundation, and supports and teams up with organisations including Girl Rising, MIT Solve and NABU to tackle this challenge.
Building on these efforts, HP commits to develop, launch, and manage a digital equity accelerator, that seeks to support the digital equity of disenfranchised communities by activating innovative solutions and services for 150-million people by 2030.
HP believes true digital equity requires four key elements: hardware (laptop or printer); connectivity (access to the internet); quality, relevant content (learning materials); and digital literacy, (skills to use the technology). HP’s work will focus on four specific communities that are most likely to experience digital divide — women and girls; people with disabilities (including aging populations); communities of colour/ marginalised groups; and educators and practitioners, to address their respective digital inclusion constraints and opportunities.
HP’s Partnership and Technology for Humanity accelerator will pave the way for digital equity in underserved communities around the world, through partnerships, activation, innovation, collaborations, and direct communication with local leaders.
PATH’s initial phase will be centered on convening conversations to engage, listen and learn from communities around the world to better understand the root-cause issues and what resources and support are needed to create change together. From there, it will influence HP’s product innovation, partnerships, and acceleration of solutions that will drive impact. As part of this flagship accelerator, HP will also activate a fund that offers bundled, custom solutions. HP will continue to develop transformative innovation in HP products and services that accelerate digital equity while focusing on the company’s goal to drive better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025.
2020 Sustainable Impact Report
HP Sustainable Impact is integral to helping the company become the world’s most sustainable and just technology company. This work is essential for the sustainability of the planet and society, and it is an increasingly important driver of customer purchasing decisions, helping win more than USD 1-billion in sales in 2020—for the second consecutive year.
HP has remained steadfast in its commitment to accountability and transparency since the company published its first environmental and social impact report in 2001. In this year’s Sustainable Impact Report, HP outlined the progress made in 2020 as well as improvements still needed – below are highlights and the full report executive summary can be found here.
Achieved reductions in HP’s global carbon footprint (4%) and product use GHG emissions intensity (33%), increased recycled plastic across the portfolio (to 11%) and decreased single-use plastic packaging (19%)
Maintained 100% zero deforestation for HP paper and more than 99% zero deforestation for paper-based product packaging
Launched the world’s most sustainable PC portfolio, the planet’s most comprehensive carbon-neutral Managed Print Service offering, and more than 50 products made in part with ocean-bound plastic including the HP Elite, Pro, Z, Chromebook Enterprise, and Pavilion—the world’s first consumer notebook to include ocean-bound plastic
HP Singapore was recognised this year as a Lighthouse Factory by the World Economic Forum for achieving decreased manufacturing costs by 20%, and improved productivity and quality by 70%. Reskilling its workforce has also been a key focus