Conservation through collaboration
With the HP Sustainable Forests Cooperative, HP is taking steps to make printing with any paper more sustainable — not just its own. The new initiative is designed to conserve an area of forests and increase the supply of FSC fiber, enough to cover the amount of paper (even non-HP branded paper) that runs through HP printers, according to calculations by HP and WWF.
The initiative covers two forest conservation programs. One is a restoration project in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, a biodiversity hotspot that’s home to jaguars, hundreds of tree species, and 5% of the Earth’s vertebrate species — many found nowhere else on Earth. The other will increase the area of responsibly managed forest in China, which produces and consumes more paper than any other country.
“HP wants to lead the way to help reduce negative impacts of printing with HP, and help educate consumers around sustainable paper choices that keep forests healthy," says Jackowski.
Every package of HP paper is sustainably sourced, carrying an FSC label, as have a number of products from companies that Brinkema says have followed HP’s lead. He says these commitments have been critical in creating demand for sustainably sourced paper, and that momentum has helped the network of certified forests grow.
FSC-certified forests must meet a strict set of standards, protecting biodiversity, wildlife, and the rights of indigenous and local communities through management methods that also consider soil, waterways, and vegetation. “Consumers can use their purchasing power to reward companies showing leadership for forests and nature,” says Linda Walker, senior director of corporate engagement for World Wildlife Fund. Looking for an FSC label “is the one simple action that people can take to know that they are helping forests with their purchasing decisions.”
For WWF, the new collaboration with HP is an opportunity to accelerate forest conservation in ways that can enhance existing efforts and influence other companies to step up, says Walker. In Brazil, for example, HP’s investment is adding to commitments by other companies, including supply-chain partner International Paper. International Paper manufactures HP-branded paper and produces seven million tons of responsibly sourced fiber for paper products each year.
This shared commitment is part of the forest positive concept, Walker says, ultimately strengthening forest health far into the future.
“You can have more of a likelihood of a resilient, connected landscape over time, versus more piecemeal conservation actions,” she says. “We believe this will have a lasting impact on forests and have a ripple effect on other companies that need to scale up their actions for forests. Every business is in the forest business, because every business depends either directly or indirectly on forests. For businesses to thrive in the future, nature needs to thrive.”