Environmentally preferable paper policy


This policy defines the global environmental criteria and principles that HP follows when buying, selling, or using paper and product packaging.


The policy applies worldwide, to all regions, all functions and business organizations, and all product lines.


HP is firmly rooted in a culture of global citizenship, including a deep commitment to environmental leadership. HP is devoted to advocating for the protection of the environment, the conservation of natural resources, and the minimization of waste.

As part of its commitment to environmental leadership, HP is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact throughout its supply chain by following a comprehensive policy on buying, selling and using environmentally preferable paper.

Leadership means not only limiting our own impact on the environment, but also that of our suppliers, resellers, licensees, and customers.

It is HP’s intent that by demonstrating our commitment to the environment, both in policy and actions, we will lead others to do the same.

I. Global Context

HP recognizes that climate change is one of the biggest environmental and economic challenges that we face in modern history. Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change and in the health of the planet. They absorb carbon dioxide, support biodiversity, provide ecosystem services and contribute to livelihoods of people around the globe. HP actively supports policy efforts to mitigate climate changes, including those caused by deforestation and forest degradation, and to promote responsible forestry management. HP has incorporated these considerations into its Environmentally Preferable Paper Policy.

Marketers and sales professionals across HP are expected to make reference to HP’s environmentally preferable paper policy when marketing and selling HP products, services and solutions.

II. Premises and Principles for Paper Procurement, Sales and Internal Use

When managing our supply chain and choosing a supplier, HP examines factors such as delivery, quality, cost, and environmental criteria.

This policy outlines environmentally preferable guiding principles to influence our supplier decisions. HP considers the complete life cycle and supply chain of paper, to ensure we make the most environmentally sustainable choice. HP will use these guidelines in evaluating and selecting suppliers.

HP’s policy on environmentally preferable paper incorporates six guiding principles:

These guiding principles apply to the materials used to produce and package the products that HP sells, as well as HP internal and external office, commercial and production printing. This policy applies to all HP employees and businesses worldwide.

A. Efficient Use of Raw Materials

HP strives to use raw materials efficiently, such that fewer resources are needed per unit of output. In the case of paper, raw materials include wood fiber as well as the water and energy resources used during production. Pursuant to this goal, HP will strive to reduce the tonnage of paper it uses in its operations, increase the use of paper made from recycled materials, and reduce paper waste.

HP supports and encourages the use of recovered fiber content, recycled water, and energy-efficient processes during production. Currently, HP offers post-consumer recycled content papers within HP’s branded portfolio and uses recycled content in packaging and paper for internal use. HP assesses the use of recycled fiber across products and packaging and establishes metrics and goals that aim to maximize the use of recycled materials while reducing material usage and optimizing shipping densities.

We encourage all paper manufacturers to support innovative technological and procedural advancements that extend the life of limited resources and reduce the overall environmental impact paper manufacturing has on the environment.

B. Ecologically Sustainable Forestry Practices and Responsible Forest Management

The foundation of any environmentally conscious paper cycle must start with the initial harvesting from responsibly managed forests and the recognition that deforestation is a contributor to climate change and to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. HP also recognizes that ecologically sustainable forestry practices and responsible forest management can contribute to paper truly being a renewable resource.

HP prefers suppliers that demonstrate environmental values and a commitment to sourcing from responsibly managed forests. HP requires all of its suppliers to eliminate the use of wood fiber from any unwanted sources, from High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) and from endangered forests.

HP’s principles for responsibly managed forestry practices include:

  • Maintaining or enhancing ecological integrity, biodiversity and other High Conservation Values (HCVs)
  • Maintaining productivity of the forest through harvesting, growing and regeneration or reforestation
  • Preserving soil, air and water quality
  • Respecting the ownership and use rights of local communities and indigenous peoples in alignment with Local and International Law
In support of these principles, HP:

  • Seeks to understand the source of its wood fiber, including compliance with legal due diligence requirements.
  • Develops appropriate timelines and benchmarks to phase out the use of fiber from any unwanted sources, from High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs), and from endangered forests.
  • Relies on widely-recognized forest certifications, with preference given to those providing the most robust ecological and social criteria, as a tool to help validate fiber sources.
  • Expects suppliers to ensure indigenous and forest peoples have provided their Free and Prior Informed Consent for activities on their ancestral lands or lands affecting their livelihoods.
  • Expects suppliers to operate in compliance with relevant regulations and laws and apply these requirements to wood fibers procured through their suppliers, traders, brokers, distributors, auctions, and similar entities or activities.
Preference will be given to certification programs that provide the most robust ecological and social criteria and integrate controlled wood standards within the chain-of-custody certification or otherwise provide assurance of the protection of High Conservation Values. Controlled wood standards ensure the uncertified fiber does not originate from sources which are HCVFs, harvested illegally or in violation of traditional and civil rights, natural forests converted to plantations, nor which utilize genetically modified trees. The certification standard that currently provides such assurance is the Forest Stewardship Council. In the case that the fiber utilized is not credibly certified, tracing the fiber to its origin may be necessary to ensure responsible forestry management practices were utilized.

HP relies on partnerships with forestry and conservation experts and stakeholders for guidance in defining, maintaining and updating our principles for responsible forestry management. The credibility of certification programs will be evaluated based upon responsible forestry management principles and stakeholder input.

C. Responsible and Low Carbon Production

The total environmental footprint is not only defined by sourced raw materials and their associated land use impacts, but also through the processes used to create the final product.

Maintaining air and water quality and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions are essential to minimizing our impact and ensuring sustainability throughout the life cycle.

HP supports the monitoring of the greenhouse gas emissions, effluent discharge, and effects on air quality that result during the production of our products and encourages a continuous improvement cycle. In addition, HP values transparency from paper manufacturers.

Through partnerships with suppliers and outside nonprofit organizations, HP supports the advancement of research, technology and production practices that minimize the environmental impact and contribute to climate stability.

D. Waste Minimization

HP seeks to minimize waste and reduce climate impact by lengthening the life of wood fiber in forestry products and encouraging efficient paper usage by our customers, suppliers and employees.

  • Recovery of recyclable materials
    HP encourages our customers, suppliers, and employees to recycle paper and fiber-based packaging at the end of its use. Furthermore, HP encourages suppliers to maximize the recovery of recyclable materials, including pre- and post-consumer recycled wood fiber, during the production of products and packaging.
  • Responsible use
    HP also encourages the responsible use of paper products by our customers, suppliers and employees.
  • HP internal use
    HP strives to enable all its employees to minimize their impact on the environment by supporting programs that minimize waste, and enhance recycling in everyday operations. For example, HP has implemented duplex printing as its default standard using HP Web Jetadmin and Universal Print Driver to configure printers.
  • Innovation
    HP continues to innovate and support technology advancements that benefit the environment. HP’s duplex printing and HP Managed Print Services enable our customers to more efficiently use and reduce their own paper usage. HP also investigates technological advancements that enhance the ability to recycle paper and packaging.

HP strongly encourages its suppliers, resellers and customers to include ‘recycle’ references on boxes and paper products delivered to or purchased from HP as well as to become active participants in the environmental community.

E. Community and Human Well-Being

Basic human rights must be maintained and respected in communities where HP and its suppliers operate. HP requires suppliers to adhere to all applicable labor and human rights laws and regulations. See the See the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct for additional information.

Suppliers should not adversely impact the social and economic stability of the area in which they operate.

F. Environmental Leadership and Management

HP consistently engages in partnerships with outside stakeholders and organizations that share HP’s environmental objectives.

  • Support of non-governmental environment partners
    HP functions and business groups that buy, sell and use paper-based products continue to engage with and support Environmental Non-Governmental Organizational (NGO) partners in endeavors that benefit the environment.
  • Business partner encouragement
    HP continues to support and encourage suppliers, resellers and licensees to align with our environmental values and principles.
  • Measured adoption
    To enhance transparency in the HP supply chain, HP monitors the performance of its supply base based on the principles highlighted in this policy.

HP shall continue to publicly report on its continual improvement in areas covered by this policy, and shall seek independent verification of its reporting metrics.


HP is committed to ensuring the principles outlined in this policy are fully integrated into our business operations.

HP defines performance goals and metrics to support this integration and policy implementation. In doing so, HP business groups, regions, functions and operations are expected to conduct assessments and set goals and action plans in motion to:

  • Determine the performance of the supply chain in key areas:
    • Use of post-consumer recycled materials
    • Phase out of fiber from endangered forests, high conversation value forests (HCVF’s)
       and other unwanted sources
    • Incorporation of fiber from known sources as verified by chain-of-custody certification
    • Incorporation of fiber from FSC certified operations (where available)
    • Assessment of responsible production criteria
  • Reduction of paper use and waste
  • Establish time bound, measurable goals based upon assessments
  • Report on progress annually in HP’s Global Citizenship Report.


Term Definition
Endangered forests

Areas of biodiversity that are distinct, rare or ecologically important that industrial use would be incompatible with maintaining these values.

Unwanted source

A source that falls within one or more of the following categories:

  • The source forest is known or suspected of containing high conservation values, except where:
    • The forest is certified or in progress to certification under a credible
       certification system ensuring responsible management practices, or
    • The forest manager can otherwise demonstrate that the forest and/or
       surrounding landscape is managed to ensure those values are maintained.
  • The source forest is being actively converted from natural forest to a plantation or other land use, unless the conversion is justified on grounds of net social and environmental gain, including the enhancement of high conservation values in the surrounding landscape.
  • The timber was illegally harvested or traded.
  • The timber is conflict timber (i.e., it was traded in a way that drives violent armed conflict or threatens national or regional stability).
  • The harvesting or processing entity, or a related political or military regime, is violating human rights.
  • The timber is from genetically-modified trees.
  • The source forest is unknown.
High Conservation Value Forests
  • Forest areas containing globally, regionally, or nationally significant concentrations of biodiversity values (such as endemism, endangered species, and refugia).
  • Forest areas containing globally, regionally, or nationally significant large landscape level forests contained within, or containing, the management unit where viable populations of most if not all naturally occurring species exist in natural patterns of distribution and abundance.
  • Forest areas that are in or contain rare, threatened, or endangered ecosystems.
  • Forest areas that provide basic services of nature in critical situations (such as watershed protection, erosion control).
  • Forest areas fundamental to meeting basic needs of local communities (such as subsistence and health).
  • Forest areas critical to local communities’ traditional cultural identity (areas of cultural, ecological, economic, or religious significance identified in cooperation with such local communities).

HP024-04 Revision – 01 Aug 2014