Earth Day 2021 Call-Outs

Are we doing enough to restore our planet?



Deborah Hawkins


Today is World Earth Day and a time to show support for the environment. Established in 1970, Earth Day—also known as Mother Earth Day—is an annual event that brings together millions of people from around the world who share in highlighting the urgent action we need to take to save our planet.


Additionally, over one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many have taken the period of lockdown to reevaluate daily activities that affect our natural environment and might facilitate global healing. This year’s theme is to restore Earth, not only to reduce our impact but also play a role in repairing the damage we have done.


And there is plenty that the office industry vendors have been working on help the cause. Here are some recent highlights…


HP Adds Renewed Cartridge Program to Instant Ink

As part of its mission to become the most sustainable and just technology company, HP has added another component to its Instant Ink Print-as-a-Service program, which allows consumers to opt into cartridges that have been collected as empties, recycled, and renewed. The new, pilot program, called Instant Ink with Planet Partners, will begin in May 2021 for the German market in a further effort to reduce the amount of virgin plastic used in HP supplies. Leveraging the company’s existing infrastructure, used cartridges will be collected, evaluated at a local site in Germany, and renewed or recycled to close the Instant Ink loop from end to end.


HP has long been focusing on the sustainable aspects of print and has continuously been building out the three pillars: Planet, People, and Community. The most recent internal targets include:

  • Carbon Emissions: By 2025, all HP-managed operations will be carbon neutral, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will reduce by 50% by 2030 compared to 2019, resulting in a net zero value chain by 2040.
  • Circularity: Zero waste in HP operations by 2025 and attain 75% circularity for products and packaging by 2030.
  • Forests: Eliminate deforestation for all paper and wood used in HP products, print services, and packaging by 2030.


Bringing a new component to circularity/HP Closing the Loop even further.


Pelikan Introduces BioBased Print Cartridges

Specifically aimed at environmentally conscious customers while looking to lower a company’s carbon footprint, Pelikan BioBased cartridges have three main sustainability components certified by TüV:

  1. The toner itself is claimed to be 48% from BioBased plastic rather than fossil fuel-derived materials.
  2. The cartridge housing is biodegradable, should the cartridge be thrown into landfill.
  3. The cartridges are sold to resellers under an agreement to recollect the cartridges from the customer and return to Pelikan for recycling.


In addition to the environmental impact, Pelikan claims that print performance is unaffected, and the cost level is 25% below that of an average original OEM on-biodegradable cartridge, further boosting the appeal.


Brother UK Launches Eco-Printing Subscription

Brother’s EcoPro Print-as-a-Service program is targeted at small businesses as well as homeworkers looking for reduce Co2 emissions by reusing/remanufacturing devices. According to Brother, reusing a device reduces associated carbon emissions by as much as 66%. Based on a 12- or 24-month subscription, consumers can choose from basic criteria—colour vs. mono, inkjet vs. laser, A3 vs. A4—and then are allocated a device, either new or reused. Prices range from GBP £9.98 (B&W laser 24-months) to GBP £29.99 (colour laser 12-months) and a nominal fee for hardware, which includes up to 6,000 pages per year. By reducing the upfront investment in hardware, Brother has taken a significant step forward in encouraging the reuse of devices. Brother’s EcoPortal provides an online facility to reorder supplies as well as measure one’s contribution to carbon offset.


Brother UK EcoPro Print-as-a-Service Range

Brother emphasizes device reuse to reduce Co2 emissions.


These are just a few examples to help us think differently about some of our daily actions. Keypoint Intelligence goes even deeper with its semi-annual PaceSetter Awards in Sustainability (2019-2020 press releases for North America and Western Europe). We will be calling for submissions from office vendors next month for awards to be announced this August, where we will compare vendors for their vision, achievements and targets, innovations, labels, management, marketing, and advocacy.


Meanwhile, take time today on Earth Day to consider what you can do to help restore our planet.


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