Our materials choices affect the environmental performance of HP products, and we have a long history of improving product materials use (see the timeline). We focus on:
- Evaluating substances of concern
- Assessing alternative materials
- Supporting relevant government regulations
- Designing products that use less materials
- Using recycled materials
Evaluating substances of concern
HP has taken a proactive approach to evaluating materials that pose an environmental, health, or safety risk. We may restrict substances because of customer preferences, legal requirements, or because we believe it is appropriate based on a precautionary approach. We strive to replace legally permitted materials when scientific data has established a potential health or environmental risk, and when less risky, commercially viable alternatives are available.
We are working to better understand the materials used in our products so we can identify more appropriate alternatives. A typical notebook contains more than 100 substances, many in very small amounts (see graph).
|Substances in a typical HP BFR- and PVC-free* notebook PC**|
- * Meeting the evolving definition of 'BFR/PVC-free' as set forth in the "iNEMI Position Statement on the 'Definition of Low-Halogen' Electronics '(BFR/CFR/PVC-Free)'." Plastic parts contain < 1000 ppm (0.1%) of bromine [if the Br source is from BFRs] and < 1000 ppm (0.1%) of chlorine [if the Cl source is from CFRs or PVC or PVC copolymers]. All printed circuit board (PCB) and substrate laminates contain bromine/chlorine total < 1500 ppm (.15%) with a maximum chlorine of 900 ppm (.09%) and maximum bromine being 900 ppm (.09%).
- ** Graphic is based on literature research and component based studies and not actual test results of a notebook. Weight and component composition is representative of a midsized notebook of approximately 2 kg. This analysis does not include the power supply and power cord. Data do not add up to 100% due to rounding.
We continue to remove substances of concern from our products. For example, we began using arsenic-free1 display glass as of August 2010, and have tightened restrictions on mercury and beryllium. In 2010, we met our target to remove mercury in backlighting from HP’s entire notebook line.
The timeline shows when HP proactively restricted substances, and identifies substances that HP is considering for restriction.
- * Dates refer to when proactively adopted materials restrictions were first introduced on an HP product, eliminating that material ahead of regulatory requirements. Materials in gray text beyond 2010 have been identified by stakeholders as potential materials of concern. Future possible restriction of those materials depends, in part, on the qualification of acceptable alternative materials. For a comprehensive list of HP's materials restrictions, including numerous materials restricted by HP on a worldwide basis in response to regional regulations, refer to
HP’s General Specification for the Environment.
Phasing out BFRs and PVC
At the end of 2010, 100% of all new HP notebook products and many other newly introduced personal computing products are BFR and PVC-free.2 HP intends to complete our goal to phase out BFR and PVC where technically feasible in the few remaining new desktop and monitor PC products as market demand and customer expectations permit.
Examples of BFR- and PVC-free HP products include:
- The HP All-in-One200 PC, the first HP consumer desktop to contain some BFR-and PVC-free components3
- The HP EliteBook 8440p,2 which also features a mercury-free LED-backlit display and won LAPTOP Magazine’s Green Choice Awards 2010, All-Purpose Notebook (see case study)
- HP EliteBook and ProBook notebooks2 and the HP Compaq 6005 Pro Ultra-slim Desktop (USDT) PC4
- HP 2310e LED consumer display, which also includes mercury-free LED backlights3
- The HP Compaq LE19f and LA22f widescreen LCD commercial monitors3 are HP’s first to feature a mercury-free WLED low-power-consumption backlit panel
Palm products, such as Pre and Pixi and the new Palm Pre 2, are also PVC-free. Additionally, in 2010, we introduced the HP ENVY100 e-All-in-One, the planet’s first PVC-free printer.5
HP HDPE (high-density polyethylene) Reinforced Banner is a tough, lightweight alternative to PVC banner material. It is designed to stay vibrant and intact under the harshest outdoor conditions—with a carbon footprint up to 66% smaller than commonly used PVC fabric. (See case study.)
Assessing alternative materials
To replace materials that may pose environmental or health hazards, it is necessary to find appropriate alternatives. However, many suppliers have found it difficult to identify alternatives for substances, such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), that are available at sufficient volumes and equivalent quality.
We work with suppliers to identify alternatives, and use the Green Screen6 in our analysis of some replacement materials. Using Green Screen, we assess individual components of a formulation to obtain a simple one to four benchmark score. The benchmark scoring system enables engineers to quickly and easily evaluate the human health and environmental impacts of the substance. Since the pilot program began in 2007, we have performed more than 100 chemical assessments.
We identified potential replacements for PVC in power cords by first seeking information from manufacturers about their new PVC-free materials. HP conducted mandatory Green Screen training for formulators of PVC-free power cords, and the formulators performed assessments on alternative materials. Piloting the Green Screen on these formulations, we have identified alternatives to PVC with improved scores, including some that meet the criteria for power cords in some applications. We continue to pilot the Green Screen to assess other material classes, including structural plastics and soldering cleaning agents.
We are championing wider acceptance of the Green Screen within our industry, the environmental nongovernmental organization (NGO) community, and regulatory bodies. HP is working with Clean Production Action, the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, and other partners to create an external repository for independently reviewed assessments that will be accessible to the entire electronics supply chain, researchers, and regulators to identify replacement materials with improved benchmark scores. This project is currently assessing alternatives to phthalates.
We would like to make the use of the Green Screen common practice for our partners and competitors, to select better materials from the beginning of the design process. Additionally, HP chairs the following projects of the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI):
- Pb-free alloy characterization, evaluating second-generation lead-free solder alloys
- Test TIG, which leads efforts including the Board Flexure Standardization Project to develop standard methodologies to qualify the mechanical reliability of lead-free printed circuit assemblies
Supporting relevant government regulations
We communicate materials restrictions to our design teams and to our manufacturing suppliers through our General Specification for the Environment (GSE). The GSE is integrated into our product development process and into supplier contracts.
We use active verification to help ensure our specifications are applied to our products. In 2010, we introduced the HP Active Verification Material Testing Specification, which contractually requires suppliers to test parts for the presence of select restricted substances.
HP is fully compliant with materials regulations, and in some cases we go beyond compliance. In fact, we were one of the first companies to apply the initial European Union (EU) Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive materials restrictions to our products worldwide. We support global harmonization of materials restrictions to accelerate achievement of the environmental benefits. HP has contributed to the development of related legislation in Europe and China.
We believe that legislation such as the RoHS directive plays an important role in promoting industry-wide elimination of potentially hazardous substances. We have supported the inclusion of additional substances in the revision of the directive, and believe other substances should be restricted in future RoHS legislation, including PVC and BFRs in electrical and electronic products. (See our compliance statement.)
Our goal is to apply the EU RoHS 2 substance and exemption requirements voluntarily outside the EU (and European Free Trade Association) on a worldwide basis within six months of each of the EU's various legal compliance dates for virtually all HP-branded products in the scope of EU RoHS 2, except where it is widely recognized that there is no technically feasible alternative (as indicated by an exemption under the EU RoHS Directive).
We comply with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) legislation in the EU. Compliance includes the registration and tracking of specific substances that exceed European Chemicals Agency thresholds. We continuously meet all applicable requirements including providing customers with product information as needed. To accomplish this, extensive supplier engagement occurs for gathering information on listed substances that may be in material provided to HP. With industry and government, we are working to improve the process that fulfils the goals of REACH.
Compliance also covers sourcing, including possible sourcing from conflict zones, especially for tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or adjoining countries.
Designing products that use less materials
HP saves materials through innovations in technology and product design and by delivering software and services that help customers use less paper.
- HP Thin Client computers (including packaging) are less than one-third the weight of a traditional HP desktop PC due to a significantly smaller size (See Tech gallery.)
- HP Officejet Pro printers generate up to 80% less supplies waste by weight when compared with competitive color laser printers7
Services and software
- Managed Print Services and HP Smart Print (which allows you to print only the sections of a webpage you want) save paper
- Digital printing of books, photos, and advertising banners achieve substantial material savings compared with analog printing (see Life cycle assessment studies)
Using recycled materials
HP continues to expand the use of recycled materials in our products. We reached a milestone in 2010 by producing 1 billion HP ink cartridges containing post-consumer-recycled plastic.8 Eight-hundred million of those cartridges were manufactured with recycled plastic from the HP “closed loop” ink cartridge recycling process, which uses plastic from returned cartridges to make new ones. (See how HP defines "recycled materials" and related terms.) HP was the first company to recycle old cartridge plastic in this way. We estimate this has kept 1.46 billion items out of landfill, including 1.3 billion plastic bottles and 160 million ink cartridges. Using recycled plastic instead of new plastic in Original HP cartridges is currently reducing fossil fuel use associated with HP cartridge manufacture, transport, and recycling by up to 62%.9 (See case study.)
In 2010, we launched the EliteBook 2540p, our first notebook computer with more than 10% recycled plastic. (See case study.) The HP Deskjet 3050 printer (see case study) has the highest ever recycled content of any of our printers, with 35% recycled plastic.
- 1 Arsenic and its compounds were not detected using U.S. EPA test methods 3052/6010b by ICP-AES.
- 2 Meeting the evolving definition of ‘BFR/PVC-free’ as set forth in the “iNEMI Position Statement on the ‘Definition of Low-Halogen’ Electronics ‘(BFR/CFR/PVC-Free)’.” Plastic parts contain < 1000 ppm (0.1%) of bromine [if the Br source is from BFRs] and < 1000 ppm (0.1%) of chlorine [if the Cl source is from CFRs or PVC or PVC copolymers]. All printed circuit board (PCB) and substrate laminates contain bromine/chlorine total < 1500 ppm (.15%) with a maximum chlorine of 900 ppm (.09%) and maximum bromine being 900 ppm (.09%). Service parts after purchase may not be BFR/PVC free. WWAN is not BFR/PVC free. Power supply and power cords are not BFR/PVC free.
- 3 Meeting the evolving definition of ‘BFR/PVC-free’ as set forth in the “iNEMI Position Statement on the ‘Definition of Low-Halogen’ Electronics ‘(BFR/CFR/PVC-Free)’.” Plastic parts contain < 1000 ppm (0.1%) of bromine [if the Br source is from BFRs] and < 1000 ppm (0.1%) of chlorine [if the Cl source is from CFRs or PVC or PVC copolymers]. All printed circuit board (PCB) and substrate laminates contain bromine/chlorine total < 1500 ppm (.15%) with a maximum chlorine of 900 ppm (.09%) and maximum bromine being 900 ppm (.09%). Service parts after purchase may not be BFR/PVC free. Power supply and power cords are not BFR/PVC free.
- 4 Meeting the evolving definition of ‘BFR/PVC-free’ as set forth in the “iNEMI Position Statement on the ‘Definition of Low-Halogen’ Electronics ‘(BFR/CFR/PVC-Free)’.” Plastic parts contain < 1000 ppm (0.1%) of bromine [if the Br source is from BFRs] and < 1000 ppm (0.1%) of chlorine [if the Cl source is from CFRs or PVC or PVC copolymers]. All printed circuit board (PCB) and substrate laminates contain bromine/chlorine total < 1500 ppm (.15%) with a maximum chlorine of 900 ppm (.09%) and maximum bromine being 900 ppm (.09%). Service parts after purchase may not be BFR/PVC free.
- 5 HP ENVY100 e-All-in-One is polyvinyl chloride-free (PVC free); meeting the evolving definition of PVC free as set forth in the iNEMI Position Statement on the Definition of "Low-Halogen Electronics" (BFR-/CFR-/PVC-free). Plastic parts contain <1000 ppm (0.1%) of chlorine [if the CI source is from CFRs or PVC or PVC copolymers]. Printers sold in Korea are not PVC free. USB cable, required in limited geographic areas, is not PVC free.
- 6 Green Screen is a hazard-based assessment framework developed by the non-governmental organization Clean Production Action.
- 7 Compared with the majority of color laser AiOs <$600, March 2010. Calculation compares weight of supplies and cartridge packaging needed for the same amount of pages based on ISO yield and continuous printing.
- 8 As of September 2010. Many Original HP ink cartridges with recycled content include at least 50% recycled plastic by weight. Exact percentage of recycled plastic varies by model over time, based on the availability of the material.
- 9 Based on a 2010 life cycle assessment (LCA) performed by Four Elements Consulting and commissioned by HP. The study compared the environmental impact of using polyethylene terephthalate plastic (PET) with the environmental impact of using recycled polyethylene terephthalate plastic to manufacture new Original HP cartridges. See www.hp.com/go/RecycledPlasticsLCA for more details.