Posted by: Kristen Caretta
CIO, Green IT, Midmarket CIO
With polar bears balancing on ice cubes in the Arctic Circle and gas prices skyrocketing, we are all looking to be a bit more ‘green’ in our everyday lifestyle choices. Right? Well, we’re trying.
Technology solutions provider Hewlett-Packard (HP) has an environment link from its homepage that takes eco-conscious customers to its “HP Eco Solutions” page. Loaded with tips and solutions for consumers, it also advertises the company’s commitment to recycling, CO2 emission reductions and a timeline showcasing its environment history since 1987. You go, HP!
This morning, while scanning technology news across the globe (I take my blog very seriously), I came across something a bit disturbing. UK-based site The Register posted a story about (just my luck!) HP. The headline read “HP shatters excessive packaging world record,” and the pictures showed incredible amounts of packaging (including a huge shipping box, 16 smaller boxes and sheets of foam). What requires so much protection when being shipped? No, not a brand-new computer. Not even a mouse or keyboard. HP had copious amounts of packaging for … drumroll please … 32 pieces of paper.
OK, so maybe Kermit had it right and it’s not easy being green. Apparently, it’s not easy being a green Apple, either. Apple received the lowest score in last year’s Climate Counts survey, examining companies based on how environmentally friendly they were. What may look good on 100% recycled paper is not always easily executed. But come on! Don’t even bother with the recycling timeline (did I mention it dates back to 1987?) if you aren’t going to start small. Cut down on a few sheets of your foam packaging material in every shipment. Hey, go crazy and take out an extra box or two.
I am not doubting HP’s decision to be a more eco-friendly corporation, and I’m sure the environment is very important to some people at HP. I mean, they’re serious enough to create a timeline of recycling. But could it be possible a lot of these decisions to ‘go green’ are less about saving the environment and more about riding the eco-friendly bandwagon to the bank? Green is the color of money, after all. And during a time when it seems so many people are focused on saving money and the polar bears, are consumers more apt to make a purchase if it is deemed ‘green?’ Even if that means your reduced-emissions, hybrid, organic, made-of-100%-recycled-material, all-proceeds-benefit [insert eco fund of your choice here], signed-off-by-Al Gore anything is sent to you in 16 cardboard boxes and enough plastic packaging to make yourself a tent in the backyard (well, you can’t live in your central air apartment after all that — you are trying to be good and green).
With the country in an economic downturn, are people spending their hard-earned dollars on products advertised as ‘green?’
By the way, I’m Kristen. I’m new to the blog.