Sustainability at the heart of tech design
As the clock ticks on the global climate crisis over the next decade, sustainable design will become table stakes for new tech products. CES features nearly 200 exhibitors in the category of sustainability this year, along with presentations from industry leaders on topics including energy efficiency and revolutionizing package design.
“Recycled materials play a huge role in consumer tech sustainability,” says Marc Palatucci, a researcher at The Future Today Institute, an advisory firm that helps organizations plan for future risks and opportunities. “A big part of that is whether there is a system in place for a device to live out its life cycle and then be repurposed in some form or have materials broken down, redistributed, and put into other technologies in the future.”
HP — which recently topped Newsweek’s list of America’s most responsible companies — is approaching sustainability from a number of different angles, including ramping up its use of recycled plastic materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill, or worse, in the ocean. “We've used 35 million plastic bottles to date in this process, going into a variety of products,” says Ellen Jackowski, global head of sustainability strategy and innovation at HP.
The HP Elite Dragonfly debuting at CES is the world’s first notebook containing ocean-bound plastic material. From its chassis to its bezel to its keyboard caps, inside and out, the designers behind these devices have transformed waste into beautifully made features — over 82% of the laptop’s mechanical parts are made from recycled material.
And it’s not just hardware — soft accessories are also getting an eco-friendly makeover. “We’re thinking holistically about everything we're making,” says Jackowski. HP’s Renew Series, a variety of bags, totes, and protective sleeves designed to make carrying laptops and other gadgets both comfortable and stylish, uses recycled materials, including single-use plastic water bottles. The largest bag is crafted from up to 10 of them, while the HP Renew Sleeve is a laptop protector made from material that uses two plastic bottles and knit in a way that minimizes the amount of manufacturing waste it produces. Plus, its industrial-chic packaging is 100% compostable.