Corporate Social Responsibility at Hewlett Packard.
Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) is a leading brand of computing products and peripherals. It deals in a large range of technological solutions to serve the computing needs of its customers globally. In 2015, HP was divided into two companies Hewlett Packard (HP) and Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE). HP became the computing product division and HPE became the cloud services division. The company has managed a strong reputation in the global market and apart from its focus upon quality and innovation, it has been recognized for several other things as well. Forbes ranked it among the top 100 digital companies in 2018. The company also ranked in Forbes ‘best employers for the new grads’ list. Headquartered in California, HP deals in a large range of personal computing and other access devices, imaging and printing products, and related technologies, solutions, and services.
During the last three years, the company has enjoyed impressive growth in net revenue driven by stronger brand equity. Apart from individual consumers, HP sells to small and medium businesses (SMEs) and large enterprises. While Hewlett Packard is well known globally as an innovative technology brand, its focus has remained on maintaining a strong and socially responsible image worldwide. Growing competition in the computing industry has made it more important than ever to focus on managing a strong image and brand equity. It is mainly because these factors now affect sales more directly. However, investing in CSR and sustainability has become important for several other reasons too. Investing in these areas helps businesses and the communities they serve. This article explains how HP is investing in communities and the environment and what are the most critical milestones it has achieved.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy of HP.
In recent years, most leading companies are focusing on corporate social responsibility to manage their reputation and create higher social impact and empower the communities they operate in. However, in the longer run, investment in social responsibility or social impact can offer larger returns in the form of strengthened market position and stronger image. Some of the most critical areas where the focus of HP’s CSR program lies include education using digital tools, creating higher opportunities for employment, bridging the digital divide as well as the empowerment of workers in its own system and in its supply chain.
HP Foundation :
The HP Foundation uses its scope and scale, together with the several strategic partnerships it has created to connect millions of people around the globe with higher economic and social opportunities. The foundation has committed itself to enable better learning opportunities for more than 100 million people throughout the globe by 2025 through the use of technological tools and solutions as well as financial contributions.
Business and Technology Education & Training:
Education is a core pillar of HP’s CSR program. The company is helping bridge the digital divide and creating learning opportunities for millions in various corners of the world from Europe to North America, Asia, and other regions. In this regard, HP is partnering with other companies and organizations to grow the impact of its CSR programs and reach millions through these synergies. For example,‘Reinvent the Classroom’ (a partnership between HP and Microsoft) is an ambitious educational program. It is a global initiative whose main aim is “to inspire, create and design next-generation learning experiences by leveraging HP technology and Microsoft solutions”. ‘Learning Studios’ is a part of Reinvent the Classroom initiative. It is a network of learning spaces around the world. These spaces are equipped with powerful, cutting edge technologies that are designed for creation and collaboration.
Learning Studios are managed by a nonprofit organization called Digital Promise Global. This organization seeks to grow learning opportunities for people throughout the world with the help of technology and research. Currently, the organization manages up to 60 schools internationally. Throughout these schools, the students in a learning environment leverage the power of technology to engage in activities to help them learn creative skills and concepts like design thinking, 3-D design, and social entrepreneurship. Across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand, there are more than 80 schools that have benefitted from the Learning Studios.
HP Life is another program targeted at empowering users through technological education. A global online program by HP foundation, HP Life provides IT and business skills training to people all over the world free of cost. These modular, interactive and informative courses are designed for helping the users develop IT and business skills. Users can learn from these courses at their own pace. There are more than 30 courses included in ‘HP life’ like starting a small business, raising capital, marketing, and design thinking. These courses are available in seven languages. To make HP Life courses available in all corners of the world, the company has also partnered with a large number of organizations and institutions. The HP foundation enrolled more than 687,000 new users in HP life courses between 2012 and 2017. This number grew to 750,000 in 2018 where more than 56,000 new users joined in the latest year. The largest number of new users were from Brazil, Egypt, India, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United States. In 2017, UNIDO, HP and HP Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to renew their partnership to grow employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the developing economies and expanding their work in Africa. HP foundation launched HP Life in Nigeria in 2018. In this way, the company is helping the underserved communities and would-be entrepreneurs unlock their potential. Through its ‘Matter to a Million’ program in partnership with Kiva, HP has enabled 1.1 million people to make their lives better. HP employees too made more than 25,000 loans in 2018 totaling $639,000 to small scale entrepreneurs in 39 countries using $25 credits from the HP foundation.
In India, the company has implemented a major learning program that is aimed at connecting millions of users from the rural parts of the country with technological learning opportunities. Its program in India has been live for around 2 years and has reached people across 16 states in 1088 villages. Its CSR initiatives have reached more than 2.7 million people in India alone. The HP ‘world on wheels’ learning labs is trying to bridge the wide digital divide in India. It is based on a public-private partnership model and aims to drive digital literacy across India. HP uses mobile learning labs or HP Wow vehicles ( Wow vehicles are self-contained, solar-powered and internet-enabled mobile learning labs) to make people in remote corners of the country IT literate.
Overall, since 2015 more than 14.5 million students and adult learners have benefitted from HP’s education programs. HP is working to bring learning to refugees and displaced people. In this area, it has partnered with the Clooney Foundation and UNICEF. Together they are providing technology training to Syrian refugees and Lebanese students as well as teachers in nine Lebanese schools. In 2017, HP collaborated with the UN Refugee Agency and several more partners for launching the first two of six HP Learning Studios in the Middle East.
Investing in Local Communities :
Apart from investing in technology education and training, HP is also investing in local communities for creating vibrant and healthy communities. It invests time, skills and resources (financial and non-financial) to make communities healthier and happier in areas where it operates. HP and its employees contribute to the communities where they live, work and do their business. In 2017, more than 5600 HP employees contributed more than 89,000 hours in total to local voluntary efforts. Their voluntary contributions were valued at around $3.5 million. Apart from contributing their time and skills, employees of HP also made financial donations to qualifying organizations in 2017. Overall, they donated around $1.7 million in cash through HP Inspires Giving Program in 2017. Again in 2018, more than 6400 HP employees contributed more than 140,000 hours in local voluntary efforts. Their contributions were valued at around $4.3 million. In 2018, HP’s ‘Doing Good Campaign’ that lasted 40 days delivered more than 7,000 volunteering hours which was complemented by grants from HP Foundation worth $412,000 to 64 organizations that provide education and technology-related learning. Apart from donating time to local voluntary efforts, HP employees also donated $2.07 million in cash to the qualifying organizations in 2018 through the HP Inspires Giving Program. Moreover, the HP Foundation Contributed $1.89 million in matching funds.
Disaster Recovery and Resilience :
HP Foundation invests in the community in several areas and that includes helping people struck by natural disasters. HP Company, HP Foundation as well as the HP employees together provide financial support to people and communities affected by natural disasters and other emergencies. They have also partnered with several other organizations and agencies in this regard including American Red Cross, ITDRC, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as well as Save the Children. Together these organizations work to speed up recovery and reconnect the vital networks. Hewlett Packard has created HP Connection Spot to help people connect and communicate when a disaster strikes. HP Connection Spot is a custom-built trailer equipped with internet and computers and staffed by HP volunteers. The resources onboard the trailer are available to people as well as the first responders and nonprofit volunteers working on providing disaster relief. In October 2018, The HP Connection Sport was deployed for 19 days, staffed by 10 HP volunteers and visited Bucksport, South Carolina, and Chattahoochee and Panama City Beach, Florida. According to HP’s 2017 sustainable impact report, “In 2017, HP Foundation provided $505,000 to assist with disaster relief and recovery efforts in Mexico, Peru, South Asia, and the United States, and funded $250,000 in disaster preparedness initiatives”.
HP Environmental Sustainability Strategy and Policies.
Sustainable production network and supply chain and minimum carbon impact are the core focus of HP’s sustainability strategy. Of the three core pillars of its sustainable impact strategy, one is the planet and the other two are people and community. HP aims to create lasting, positive change in each of the three areas. Regarding the planet, HP wishes to transform its business in a manner that drives a more efficient, low carbon circular economy. This will control its environmental impact and keep the planet healthier and happier. The company has set bold long term goals for the future and is targeting its strategy and efforts for the highest impact. Some of the new goals HP has set for itself in the main areas are as follows:-
Products and Services Sustainability Goals :
The company plans to use 30% post-consumer recycled content plastic in its portfolio of computing and printing products by the year 2025. It has already achieved 23% of this goal by 2018. Through the end of 2018, HP had achieved 7% post-consumer recycled content plastic use in its PCs and printing products.
Another important goal HP has set for itself is to reduce GHG emissions intensity form HP product use by 30% by 2025. The company had achieved 37% of this goal by fiscal 2018. Through the end of 2018, the company had achieved an 11% decrease in GHG emission intensity from HP product use.
Apart from the first two goals, HP has also set an ambitious goal of recycling 1.2 million tonnes of hardware and supplies by the year 2025. By 2018, the company had achieved 33% of its target already. By the end of 2018, the company had reached a target of recycling 395,200 tonnes of hardware and supplies.
Supply Chain Sustainability Goals :
By 2020, HP aims to achieve zero deforestation related to HP brand paper and paper-based packaging. The company has already achieved 100% of this goal for HP brand paper and 65% of the target for Paper-based packaging. HP had achieved the target of zero-deforestation for HP brand paper by 2016 and has sustained it in 2018.
The company has also set another new target of reducing GHG emissions in its supply chain by 10% by 2025. However, through December 2017 its GHG emissions intensity related to tier 1 production supplier and transportation had increased by 6%. HP is planning to work in this area more aggressively.
Another major target that Hewlett Packard has set for itself is to help its suppliers cut down 2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions by 2025. In this area, the company has made impressive progress and achieved around 58% of its target by 2018. Through 2017, the HP suppliers had already avoided around 1.16 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions.
Business Operations Sustainability Goals :
By 2025, HP aims to use 60% renewable electricity in its global operations. By 2035, it aims to use 100% of renewable electricity in its global operations. The company had achieved 78% of this target by 2018. It procured and generated 275,944 MWh of renewable electricity and attributes which equals 47% of its global energy consumption.
Another ambitious goal HP has set for its global business operations is to reduce scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions by 60% in its global operations by 2025 compared to 2015. The company had achieved 68% of this goal by 2018. Its global operations produced only 229,600 tonnes of Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 e emissions, which was 41% less than its 2015 baseline.
The company also plans to reduce potable water consumption in its global operations by 15% by 2025 as compared to 2015. By 2018, the company had already achieved 40% of its goal. Consumption of potable water in HP’s global operations was 2,997,000 cubic meters in 2018, which was 6% less compared to baseline 2015.
HP is strongly committed to sustainability and apart from recycling and reducing waste as well as water conservation and making sustainable products, it is investing in environmental conservation through several more channels and methods. HP is a member of Ellen McArthur Foundation’s global commitment to address plastic waste at its source. So, it is working on eliminating plastic waste from its system. The company is innovating to ensure that the plastic used in the HP system is recyclable or reusable. The company uses recycled ocean-bound plastic bottles for making HP ink cartridges. This has helped HP divert over 25 million plastic bottles since 2016. As a part of its closed-loop recycling program, the company uses recycled original HP ink cartridges to make new ones. In the United States, customers can return used HP products to any of more than 1000 Best Buy Stores. In this area, the company has been able to create better results by creating circular economies where used products come back to the system for recycling and reuse. Hewlett Packard is also transforming its business model to ready itself for a low carbon future.
The company is engaging important stakeholders on environmental issues, policies and industry-wide collaboration. In September 2018, along with 30 other technology companies, HP signed the ‘Step Up’ Declaration at The Global Climate Action Summit in California. This is an indication of the commitment of the company to environmental conservation.
HP has also continued its support for the Paris Agreement. It was one of the seventeen companies to sign C2ES-led joint business statement. The company is also participating in several other programs targeted at mitigating the effects of climate change globally. Some of these key programs include CDP, WWF Climate Savers, and RE100. HP launched several more initiatives in its own business operations globally and its supply chain to manage its environmental impact and move towards a low carbon future. It has been able to manage and reduce its greenhouse gas and other emissions related to production and transportation. The company has achieved this by shortening and simplifying supply chains as well as through the use of 3d printing enabled digital manufacturing. Apart from all these steps that HP has taken to create a circular economy, the company’s focus also remains on human rights and ethics down its supply chain. It has one of the most sophisticated and largest supply chains in the entire industry. HP intends to turn it into an ethical and sustainable global supply chain. These efforts have also helped HP build a stronger reputation and earn critical acclaim and recognition from several agencies. Including CDP Supplier Climate A list and CSP Supplier Engagement Leader HP has made it to several environmental leadership and supply chain sustainability lists for many consecutive years.