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As part of a widespread effort to reduce society’s environmental footprint, slogans such as “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” “Every Drop Counts,” and “Print Responsibly,” have become commonplace.

But as a technology leader and Fortune 500 innovator in the printing and computing markets, HP understands that it takes more than a slogan to make a difference. It takes a concentrated effort by companies like HP, which plays a critical role in the long-term goals of reducing the environmental impact of paper and packaging.

That’s why HP has committed to a “zero deforestation” goal by 2020, striving for a day when all HP paper and paper-based product packaging (defined as the box that comes with the product and all in-the-box packaging and materials) will be derived from certified and recycled sources. The pledge is one of many goals outlined in HP’s Sustainabilty Report.

The 2014 United Nations Climate Summit’s Declaration on Forests estimates that forests support about 80 percent of the planet’s biodiversity, playing a vital role in safeguarding the climate by naturally sequestering carbon.

Yet, an average of 32 million acres of forest disappear each year.

Forest 500, a think tank committed to the preservation of tropical forests, found that only 8 percent of the top 250 companies in its rankings have made zero or net-zero deforestation commitments. With its pledge, HP joins a small roster of companies that have made similar pledges in recent years. Making such a commitment is no easy task, though. HP’s goal was eight years in the making and is built on several notable benchmarks, including:

•In 2008, HP established the HP Environmentally Preferable Paper Policy, the first forestry policy published by an IT company.
•In 2014, HP met one of its goals, which was to have more than half its of branded paper worldwide to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and/or contain at least 30 percent postconsumer waste. Only 4 percent of world’s forests are FSC-certified. The achievement was even completed a year earlier than expected
•In 2015, HP achieved its goal of 50 percent FSC-certified fiber in paper products.

To work toward its zero deforestation goal, HP will team up with World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Global Forest & Trade Network-North America (GFTN-NA) to reduce fiber sourcing risks for products and packaging, source more environmentally responsible paper and packaging products, and engage suppliers as partners in this journey.

Published in the August 2016 Edition of American Recycler News