With green manufacturing and end-to-end recycling, printing can be both efficient and ecologically friendly
Every business wants to work in an efficient, environmentally friendly way – and you might assume that this means going “paperless”. But printing doesn’t have to be damaging to the environment, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. With modern printer designs, eco-friendly manufacturing methods and green recycling programmes, you can print economically without having to worry about negative consequences for the environment, or your budget.
Printers use less power than ever
Green printing starts with the printers themselves. Whether you’re using inkjet or laser, today’s models are bristling with energy-saving tech and boast exceptionally low power consumption, too. For example, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8024e consumes a maximum of just 21W when printing, and a similarly modest 1W in sleep mode. For businesses, HP’s Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw printer is Energy Star and Blue Angel certified; it consumes around 361W when printing – dropping to just 0.8W when in sleep mode – and has auto-on/auto-off technology baked in.
It’s not just your printing activity that consumes resources. Much of the total lifetime energy consumption of a printer is entailed in its manufacture. Here HP has been investing more and more in green, sustainable processes. More than 50% of the company’s energy consumption now comes from renewable sources, and it’s on track to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2025. HP has also slashed greenhouse gas emissions by more than by 60% since 2015, with a view to reaching net zero emissions by 2040.
In the past, another big source of printer-related waste was disposable ink cartridges. HP has been addressing this issue at the source: today, the company uses recycled plastics in cartridge manufacturing, from sources such as old bottles and coat hangers. More than 80% of cartridges sold are constituted of between 45% and 70% of recycled plastic. Businesses can be confident that by buying original HP supplies they’re helping to minimise environmental damage and waste.
The printers themselves are increasingly making use of recycled materials too: the OfficeJet Pro 8024e mentioned above is manufactured using 15% recycled plastic content.
It’s not just brand-new products that are getting greener. Ever since 1991, HP’s recycling programme has encouraged both individuals and business customers to send original ink and toner cartridges back to HP by pre-paid post, so they can be recycled and reused. More than a billion cartridges have been remanufactured, with HP’s “closed loop” process promising that no returned materials from original HP cartridges ever go to landfill.
HP is also investing in reducing the environmental impact of the packaging in which cartridges and other items are supplied. Between 2018 and 2022 the company reduced the volume of single-use plastic packaging shipped by 55%, and has committed to reaching 75% by 2025.
Cut wastage with Instant Ink
Finally, HP is helping to reduce waste by offering flexibility when it comes to ordering new ink supplies. Individuals and companies with predictable printing needs can subscribe to HP’s Instant Ink service, which delivers enough ink to print a certain number of pages each month for a regular subscription fee. Over time this reduces both money and production costs, keeping over-ordering to a minimum. Naturally, those who prefer to manage their own printing can continue to buy original HP cartridges to their own schedule.
Paper as well as printers
The environmental impact of printing isn’t just about the hardware – paper production plays a part too. HP proudly reports that 99% of its own brand paper products are produced with zero deforestation; the company also invests in forestry initiatives to offset the impact of paper supplies that don’t come from renewable sources, with a view to becoming “forest-positive” by 2030.
As part of this programme, HP has already planted more than 60,000 trees in the UK and Ireland. Worldwide, in partnership with the WWF and other organisations, the company planted more than two million trees in 2021 and 2022, and aims to add another million in 2023.
Industry recognition for HP
HP is continually working to make its whole business sustainable. Last year more than 60% of HP’s global revenue came from products and services that help reduce environmental impacts – and the company has received widespread industry recognition for its efforts. In 2022, HP was ranked top in its industry on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and came first overall in Newsweek’s ranking of America’s Most Responsible Companies – for the fourth year running.
HP was also the only technology company to receive a AAA rating across CDP’s climate, forests and water lists, and its supplier engagement leaderboard for 2022. And it achieved Evocadis’ platinum sustainability award, placing in the top 1% of rated companies for the 13th year in a row.
The reality of green printing
It’s clear that green printing is more than a buzzword. Environmental awareness is built into every aspect of HP’s business, from designing and assembling printers and cartridges to milling sustainable paper, recycling consumables, slashing corporate emissions and reforesting to offset the impact of printing and manufacturing.
So there’s no need to feel guilty about making hard copies – as long as you choose original hardware and supplies from a responsible manufacturer.