HP has struck a new three-year agreement with the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation to develop a take-back policy for PC hardware.
A first for HP globally, the Sustainability Compact consists of four key elements: sustainability leadership; sustainable products and services; efficient product and service delivery; and environmental responsibility.
HP environmental manager for South Pacific, Annukka Sairanen, said the primary objective was to improve the vendor's environmental practices. As well as formulating a take-back scheme for PC hardware, the vendor had also agreed to scale up its recycling of printer cartridges, as well as implement better and more environmentally efficient operations across its facilities.
Alongside the pact, a steering committee of HP executives would also be formed to monitor, measure and review the agreement, she said.
Sairanen said HP already had existing programs in place to encourage commercial and public sector customers to buy green products. The new Compact would help to extend this way of thinking into the consumer market, she said.
"Both HP and the Department want to generate a consumer call to action," she said.
The first step under the Compact would be to come up with pilot programs encouraging product recycling of all HP computers. Both the government and HP would also aim to develop an Australian Sustainability Report.
Sairanen said HP also supported the Australian Information and Industry Association's (AIIA) broader plans to introduce an industry-wide program for PC take-back and recycling.
"It is my belief with product take-back programs or any other environmental policies that the best outcomes come from the industry, government and community," she said. "We already have designed HP products to be more recyclable at their end of life. What we need to establish is shared responsibility."
Sairanen said HP would also work towards signing similar Compact agreements with other state departments across Australia.