HP and Greenpeace – When CSR Hits the Fan

Hewlett Packard is feeling the heat from Greenpeace after a little roof painting. Greenpeace activists climbed to the top of HP’s global headquarters in Palo Alto, CA and painted the message “Hazardous Products” on the roof.

The painting on HP’s roof is in response to HP’s alleged backtracking on its public commitment to eliminate key toxic chemicals in its products by the end of this year. According to Greenpeace, “HP continues to put hazardous products on the market despite promises made years ago to phase out these toxic compounds.”

In response to the claims made by Greenpeace,  HP said it “has a comprehensive approach to environmental sustainability, with three main components: minimizing our impact, helping our customers to improve their environmental performance and driving towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy.”

Do you think the actions of Greenpeace are justified?

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About the Author:

As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.
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  1. Paul England  August 4, 2009

    While I’m certainly not an unbiased opinion (I work for HP), Greenpeace is picking on one of the good guys here. HP has a long history of environmental advocacy, winning awards and gathering accolades for environmental leadership from organizations as diverse as EPA (http://www.environmentalleader.com/2008/04/20/hp-packaging-to-carry-epa-smartway-logo/) and Fortune Magazine (http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/fortune/0703/gallery.green_giants.fortune/10.html). I could go on…

    The fact is, better materials don’t happen simply because you want them to. Vast engineering and monetary resources are being invested in finding better solutions, but when the self-imposed timetable isn’t met, give us a little slack — we’re trying!


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