The Next Green Frontier: Your Home Office

Whether employees are running a business from home, telecommuting full-time, or just working from home in their off-hours, the home office is becoming a more prevalent and important part of today’s modern workplace. Along with this shift, people are demanding better solutions to help them increase their productivity while saving money and reducing their environmental impact.

At HP, where environmentally focused global citizenship has been a fundamental business objective for more than 50 years, we are addressing these evolving customer needs head-on by delivering products, tools and solutions to help customers do their best work while minimizing their environmental impact and lowering costs. From the Fortune 500 enterprise company employee to the individual freelancer working from home, small changes can and do make a big difference for businesses trying to cut costs and be environmentally responsible.

Save Paper and Money
According to the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, the average office worker in the United States uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year. When you consider that it takes 13 ounces of water to create a single sheet of paper, the impact can seem overwhelming. However, with the right tools and solutions, customers can print responsibly and in doing so reduce the amount of paper used-”one of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your office. A simple first step is to print on both sides of the paper, a setting frequently called “duplexing” on your printer.

Additionally, printing something from the Internet often results in excess printed pages -“ such as a final printed page with a URL at the top and the remainder of the page blank. Free, downloadable tools such as HP’s Smart Web Printing allows people to select, store and organize text and graphics from multiple web pages and print them together, exactly as wanted, eliminating unwanted pages.

Reduce Energy Use and Lower Costs
Considering the energy efficiency of products is an important way to lower the environmental footprint of a home office. In addition to products that consume less energy, many companies are creating features that allow for even greater energy savings.

ENERGY STAR qualifications are now a worldwide standard, making it easy for people to identify products that will consume less energy. In 2008, HP shipped more than 25 million ENERGY STAR qualified printers.

Many HP printers incorporate Instant-on Technology which senses when a printer is not being used, putting it into a deep sleep mode where it consumes significantly less power. This function also quickly “wakes up” a printer so it can be used immediately without a long wait time before printing.

Recycle More and Spend Less
According to the EPA, nearly 3 million tons of consumer electronic waste was generated in 2003 alone. To help counter this, the technology industry is working hard to make recycling office equipment simple and easy. As an example, HP offers free and convenient recycling in more than 50 countries around the world, making it simple for customers to recycle any brand of IT equipment as well as HP print cartridges.

HP also incorporates recycled content into its product line-up. For example, the HP Deskjet D2600 printer is made from 50 percent recycled plastic, requiring 30 percent less energy than the previous model and boasting 100 percent recyclable packaging. Additionally, the printer uses the HP 60 cartridge that is made from HP’s “closed loop” inkjet recycling process -“ an engineering breakthrough that enables the use of empty Original HP inkjet cartridges returned through HP’s recycling program and other sources, such as everyday water bottles, in the production of new Original HP inkjet cartridges.

These are just a few examples of how technology and innovation are allowing people to be productive, save money, and lessen the impact on the environment. Making environmentally-responsible choices does not have to cost your business more -“ in many cases it will even save you money. Small changes can and do make a noticeable difference.

Stacey Wueste is vice president, Worldwide Environmental Strategy, Imaging and Printing Group, for Hewlett-Packard Company.