Innovative packaging program turns straw into cash crop and reduces environmental impact

Linda Chau is Director of Packaging and Media for HP Central Direct Procurement and Services.

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This has rarely been truer than in the case of straw on Chinese farms. Previously, there was no economic use for the straw that remained after farmers harvested their cereal crops. Nearly 90 percent of the remaining stalks were simply burned to clear fields for the next harvest. Thanks to an innovative packaging design program, HP is now helping turn straw into a cash crop for Chinese farmers—while enhancing air quality, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and improving our supply chain footprint.

As a continued leader in social responsibility and supply chain innovation, HP partnered with YFY Jupiter, the global packaging company who created Npulp. YFY Jupiter uses straw waste to create materials like corrugated cardboard and molded pulp packaging. This innovative packaging not only offers increased protection as HP products travel from our manufacturing sites to our customers’ doorsteps, but the process to create this packaging also uses up to 40 percent less energy and 90 percent less water than traditional methods.1

Seeing savings at HP

HP is the first company to market with this packaging solution, which helps us reduce costs, improve our logistics and reduce long-term environmental impacts. For example:

  • Saving trees—since straw is a rapidly renewable crop, this solution decreases the demand for wood-based fiber, reducing the harvesting of trees.
  • Lowered costs—when compared to wood-based molded pulp, this lighter, yet stronger, solution can help reduce shipping costs.
  • Increased protection—since the packaging fibers are stiffer and more resistant to humidity, products are better protected during transport than with traditional packaging.
  • CO2 reduction—the clean pulping process emits 25 percent less CO2 emissions than conventional wood fiber pulping, reduce impacts on air quality.

Extending our efforts in packaging environmental strategy

Our partnership with YFY Jupiter supports HP’s packaging environmental strategy and demonstrates ongoing commitment to our overall Supply Chain Social and Environmental Responsibility program. It is also the latest in a long line of HP innovations that have positively impacted our business and the environment. For example, in 2013 alone:

  • We reduced packaging for our consumer and commercial notebooks, saving $10 million and lowering CO2e emissions by 11,000 metric tons—the equivalent of removing 2,200 cars from the road for one year.
  • We are the first company in the IT industry to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals for our supply chain. Our plan is to decrease our CO2 emissions intensity by 20 percent by 2020, as compared to 2010 levels.

And that’s not all; our partnership with YFY Jupiter is helping the local Chinese economy.

HP, as the first company to market with this packaging, has helped YFY Jupiter create 383 new jobs at its China facility. With the support of HP and other companies, YFY Jupiter estimates they will be able to assist 440,000 farm families and create a total of 1,915 new jobs when the facility is running at full capacity.

 1. According to YFY Jupiter: http://www.yfyjupiter.com/paper.html