The Sustainable Forest Cooperative: HP Inc. and WWF Plan to Protect Forests

Today, HP Inc. announced its $11 million partnership with WWF to protect, restore, and manage forests in the paper printing industry. Not only is the company making huge environmental strides, but it’s encouraging other companies to do the same.

We hear about the ever diminishing forests and trees so much that sometimes it becomes white noise, becoming more of an ordinary fact rather than an environmental crisis. Sometimes it even seems that it’s become acceptable, that there’s nothing being done to reverse it. Today, however, is a new day for forest conservation efforts that will get people’s attention once again.

Today, HP Inc. announced its $11 million, four-year partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) through an initiative called HP Sustainable Forests Cooperative. A longstanding partner and conservation leader, WWF shares many goals with HP Inc. about the future of forests. The partnership and cooperative specifically addressed the industry of paper printing and forest management, but it has overarching efforts toward sustainable printing.

The World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York hosted HP’s big announcement—an ironic location for the cooperative’s five-year plan to restore, protect, and conserve a combined acreage of forest the size of New York City (about 200,000 acres). It will focus on part of Brazil’s threatened Atlantic Forest and increase sustainable management of state-owned farms and forest plantations in China.

“HP has long envisioned a future bettered by technology and the power it has to create a more sustainable future,” explains Tuan Tran, president, global imaging and printing solutions. “That’s why we’ve teamed up with World Wildlife Fund, FSC and others to create a forest positive future for printing by restoring and protecting the world’s forests for our industry, our customers and our communities.”

The agreement between HP Inc. and WWF is supportive and collaborative—WWF will lead the collaboration, and HP will implement new and sustainable paper printing efforts alongside other industry printing companies around the world. WWF will develop science-based targets for forests, estimating carbon and nature co-benefits of forest restoration and improved forest management. While science is at the base of these forestation efforts, the partnership will use these results to provide valuable information to leaders and manufacturers around the world like:

  • needed guidance on the quantity and quality of forests needed in key regions
  • external tools to help companies estimate benefits of climate, water, and biodiversity associated with conservation efforts

“The decline of forests around the world increasingly destabilizes our climate and threatens the rich biodiversity that sustains billions of lives and livelihoods,” explains Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund. “To reverse the global loss and degradation of forests, companies need to look beyond their own supply chains and implement bold strategies to protect and restore these critical ecosystems. HP’s new project has the potential to deliver meaningful and lasting change and spur other industry leaders to action.”

The issue of deforestation and diminishing forest resources is prevalent, especially in the consumer age when paper is in constant, global demand. Resource-rich forests are destroyed at the pace of 27 soccer fields per minute, and HP Inc. notes that the time is now for better business models, greater collaboration, and swift action.

HP Inc. has achieved it zero deforestation goals with HP branded paper. In addition to increasing awareness about the responsibility of forest management, the cooperative has the following future goals for HP and the paper printing industry:

  • To develop a sustainable fiber sourcing program
  • To achieve zero deforestation goals for packaging by 2020
  • To increase the use of post-consumer recycled plastics to 30 percent across HP personal systems and print portfolio by 2025
  • To continue to reduce carbon emissions and energy use, while increasing the use of recycled materials and ocean-bound plastics in HP Inc. products
  • To generate further demand for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified and forest-friendly products

“As the world’s most trusted forest certification, FSC-certified responsibly managed forests are critical for biodiversity, clean water and carbon storage, as well as for wood and fiber,” states Corey Brinkema, president, Forest Stewardship Council US. “HP’s Forest Positive initiative represents the type of business leadership needed to protect forests for current and future generations, and fight climate change, even as we use forest products to meet our daily needs.”

HP and WWF hope to inspire other companies to make similar efforts toward sustainable printing. With printing in such high demand, the HP Sustainable Forests Cooperative focuses on protecting, restoring, and conserving the Earth’s resources for future generations – and the current one.

Read HP’s official press release about the cooperative here.

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