Architecture & Design is proud to announce HP as the official sponsor of the ‘Emerging Architect’ category at the 2019 Sustainability Awards. 

Counting down the days until the awards, we spoke to Craig Hardman, HP Large Format Design Country Manager for South Pacific and discuss HP’s Graphic Solutions Business, local initiatives and where the evolution of technology is headed. 

Can you please tell me a little bit about yourself? Including your background and role at HP?

As of next year, I will be at HP for 13 years. I entered the business from a PC perspective in a product management role and spent a few years there, working on price and product solutions, then moved across to enterprise sales for a number of years where I was leading a number of big accounts. About six years ago, an opportunity came up in the printing side of the business and I jumped at the chance to expand my knowledge and tackle a new challenge. 

Today, I’m working in the large format area and it was definitely a big jump, but nonetheless exciting and quite different to what I had been previously doing. With HP, you’re able to work in different parts of the business, constantly get revitalised, learning and trying new things. This still excites me today. Since I started leading this business unit, it has been challenging in respects of personal growth, but rewarding at the same time from seeing the growth of products that we have produced for people’s livelihoods. It has been an inspiring journey so far. 

How have you seen printing solutions evolve in response to HP’s sustainability principles? 

When I joined 13 years ago, the topic of sustainability was already a conversation that HP had in its ethos for a long time and I had merely stepped into it. I was essentially thrown into the conversation that was already part of how the organisation went about business everyday.  

Obviously we have goals to continue to evolve and grow in this space, but also we have to think about how the printing process affects every sustainability goal that we make. Across all the different aspects – from recycling components, to how we look at building our products different to how we reduce our power usage; we try to grow every year by reviewing how we structure our business. 

When we mention sustainability, people tend to only think about the environmental aspects, but you also have to look across at people and the extended community because they are all intertwined at the end of the day. One thing fuels the other and it covers every component that we have. Whether it starts with our supply chain, to how we look at a front-end product development, or how we as HP look at what our people are doing. If we look at it from an internal aspect, we need to have a sustainability strategy and it’s important to the people at HP that we have goals around volunteering and having a focus on driving our community and foundations to give back. 

With HP and its partners, a sustainable resolution fuelled by technology is basically what we’re trying to achieve. The only way we can do that is by looking at the people component and powering that by diversity – that diverse workforce and diverse board of directors are all intrinsically intertwined on how we work. 

Looking at HP on global scale, what are the company goals and how do you look at implementing and achieving them across the globe? 

At the end of the day, we are a business that wants to drive long-term value for our customers, partners, community and our shareholders. From a strategic point of view, that’s always going to be at the core of our decision making, but if we break it down, what does that mean?  

At the top level you have printing and the core products such as small-format printing. Next, you have the growth areas such as large-format printing and that’s where we start looking at how we can change the A3 market, but also addressing the way we can capture and change the future through that. Also things like the implementation of 3D and the possibilities of how that would have an impact on sustainability is something that we want to drive for the future. Looking over at the PC side, it’s the same goal where we want to grow our premium markets, drive transformation and creative immersive categories, with a sustainability initiative underneath it . 

Looking at what we’re doing on a global scale, it’s important to review what’s happening cross the supply chain through operations, product development, and to how we enable a circular economy. We have to look at the entire life cycle – from the reduction of materials in the product side and then how they’re going to be disposed of.  How do we educate the people in the supply chain? How do we improve the partners that we have on their usage and consumption? 

For example, in 2016 we reached our goal of producing paper from recycled products. It’s something that we’re very aware about and continuing to work on and set goals for to have sustainability at the forefront of all our products.

Can you tell me a little bit about HP and Planet Ark? What does this collaboration mean for HP?

The collaboration with Planet Ark was an exciting one. We conducted a joint study with them to go out to consumers and business to understand their views on environmental sustainability centred on printing. This was led by our Core Print team in Australia. Our Australian environmental sustainability study gave us ideas on what people thought was most pressing, whether it’s climate or plastics etc. One of the biggest issues was plastic waste in marine environments, The feedback for us demonstrated that Australians are not only conscious of but invested in environmental issues and being more sustainability conscious. 

The research also highlighted there wasn’t much difference between consumer and business in the statistics, and approximately only half of us are doing enough of what’s needed to make an impact. Oceans, landfill waste and environments were the top three topics that respondents were majorly concerned about. 

Most people think about paper usage when it comes to printing, rather than the recycling process of used cartridges. People think about paper, landfill waste and how it’s recycled more than where your toner or ink cartridge comes from and where it goes. This is something that HP, alongside Planet Ark, have been trying to drive for a long time. We’re encouraging people to recycle their cartridges better  since according to the survey, only 50% of consumers are doing it correctly. We found that people are more than happy to pay a little bit and are more active in supporting a company with a work ethic that practices and produce sustainably made products. 

HP Australia has recycled over 10 million cartridges, which is an amazing accomplishment for the size of a country like Australia and its population. Now, where do we take that and where do we go with reducing plastics? One  of the new large-format printers that we have is made up of 40% of recycled plastic. We’re committed to taking the insights from surveys into the design and manufacturing of new products for a sustainable future. Planet Ark also supports us in this process and help drive these outcomes in partnership with HP. 

We’ve also partnered with schools in New Zealand for a recycling initiative that focuses on recycling plastics and the removal of wastes designed for a widespread community engagement. Tidy Tech Kiwi is a school collection programme where the school community donates old technology items such as laptops, printers, tablets, phones etc. in large bins. Once they’re full, the objects are sanitised and distributed in developing nations. This means that these old products don’t go to waste and are able to be reused. We give these objects a value and the money, once its collected, is reinvested back into the school and anything that can’t be used effectively is disposed of properly . 

This initiative is extremely important to us because we’re looking to recycle 1.2 million tonnes of hardware and supplies by 2025. It’s partnerships and initiatives like this that help us reach that goal. We’ve filled the 660L bin and have had 3 collections since its first week of this programme in March and we’ve raised $1300 for the school. We’re passionate about investing in the reuse of these products.

How do you see technology, as a whole, evolving and changing as a response to your sustainability initiatives with HP? 

The next 15 years are going to see change that we haven’t seen before. By 2025, about 75% of the global workforce will be millennial or Gen Z at the height of globalisation. By 2030, $125 billion is expected to drive innovation of new technology. By 2035, Asia is expected to drive 2/3 of the global income and we’re going to see the labour make up change and the disposable income individuals have to spend increase, the face of technology will need to evolve to meet demand and we’ll have to accommodate that as sustainably as we can. 

Automation will rise and technology will be prominent in all sectors. By 2050, we’re going to need 2.3 of the earth’s space to sustain our resources demand to support the global population. This basically answers the question in terms of what we need to do and why we need to do it. There are always new goals to sustain this, but what do we do next? 

Volunteering hours and working with HP foundations are of high importance within the company. Locally, we try and do as much as we can within the internal community to give back and every dollar that we raise through our initiatives are met with a quick, professional turnaround time in using that money towards sustainable community practices to increase a better community reach, diversity and inclusion throughout the company. By 2025, we want to have 100 million volunteering hours with HP. From 2018, we’ve donated 284,000 hours of employee volunteer time, which shows just how important it is to our employees to address sustainability within the core of HP. 

Looking towards the planet component, our goal for 2025 is to use 30% post-consumer recycled plastic across the personal systems and print. This also goes across the PC and printing business, including our supplies. At the moment, we’ve hit 7% and we’re continuing to grow through the new products that come up and where we’re trying to make an impact – continuing with our innovation growth at HP. 

We’re also trying to achieve 60% in renewable electricity and global operations by 2025. This is a hard one to do, but we’re working very hard towards that with 47% of our global electricity consumption as renewable electricity to this day. Although it takes a long time, it is something that we’re well on the way to do. A bigger goal by 2035 is: 100% renewable electricity in global operations. There is a huge drive towards that across the company and we have to look at the full circle approach to fully achieve that. From our supply chain through to operations, to the locations that we place our factories in, how the product market works, setting up products at a creation level to how we reduce the usage of powers in devices for example; that is the in-depth observation and the details that we need to address and look into to achieve a goal as big as this one. 

We focus on how we can completely modify and improve our production processes to reduce our carbon footprint. The products that we are currently putting out into the market really drive that journey and especially over the next 5-10 years, you’ll really be able to see that change happening. It will continue to change the way people think about design; the way people reduce; how people look at prototyping and the final parts; rather than creating a huge off-cut of wastage, you’re actually creating for demand. And that’s a really good view into a company like HP uses technology to fuel that sustainable future. 

With the reports that we have published, focusing on terms of where we want to go, we have a huge scope of goals that we want to achieve and it demonstrates how we’re working towards it and our position in 2019. Building this framework around community, people and the planet, it gives us the drive to do that.  

As a returning sponsor for 3 years in a row, what does the Emerging Architect category for the Sustainability Awards mean to you?

At a personal level, what I love seeing is the diversity of the studios, agencies and their thought processes demonstrated through innovative and considerate design within the global sustainability challenges that we are faced with. We recognise projects that align with the pillars and initiatives of HP. We’re also very proud to be working with Architecture and Design – companies that drive the sustainability message. It’s a great way to connect with our core customers and it’s a way to see what the industry is doing next to help us grow along the way.

The sustainability element in every design is now core to every approach of every architect. The Sustainability Awards is a celebration of the designers that consider that above and beyond, especially for Australia and New Zealand. That’s something we are committed to and we love seeing.

Read HP’s 2018 Sustainable Impact Report here.