Posted by: Cliff Edwards on July 28, 2009
Is Hewlett-Packard dragging its feet on helping clean up the environment?
Protesters from Greenpeace think so. Several scaled walls at the company’s Palo Alto (Calif.) corporate headquarters early July 21, then painted the words “Hazardous Products” in large letters on the roof. They say the world’s largest computer manufacturer has welshed on a pledge to stop using two toxic chemicals in their products by this year.
HP said recently it’s had trouble finding alternatives to two materials - polyvinyl chloride and brominated flame retardants - that are used in the manufacture of some equipment. It pledged to phase them out by 2011 instead. But Greenpeace noted rivals such as Apple, Dell and Lenovo have already removed or significantly reduced use of the chemicals in their products.
An HP spokesman says the company is the leader in cleaning up electronic waste, having recycled one billion pounds of electronic products from 1987-2007. “The unconstructive antics at HP’s headquarters today did nothing to advance the goals that all who care about the environment share,” the company said in a statement issued late in the day.
HP also offered more details on its timetable for removing the chemicals. By fall 2010, the company says, all new business-oriented PCs will be free of the chemicals. By the end of 2011, that will extend to its entire pc lineup.