As part of its Sustainable Impact strategy, HP Inc. (on Thursday announced an ambitious goal to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people by 2030. To help achieve its objective, the company announced the launch of HP PATH (Partnership and Technology for Humanity), an innovative accelerator program that will invest in local initiatives and partnerships to address challenges in underserved communities around the world focused on education, healthcare and the creation of economic opportunities.
Today’s announcement coincides with the milestone publication of HP’s 20th annual Sustainable Impact Report, that highlights the progress the company is making across its core pillars of Climate Action, Human Rights and Digital Equity. It follows recent actions the company has taken to accelerate progress, including some of the industry’s most comprehensive climate action goals, as well as aggressive steps to drive diversity, equity and inclusion and respect human rights across its ecosystem.
“Our Sustainable Impact strategy is helping to strengthen our communities while spurring innovation and growth across our business. Creating technology that inspires progress has always been one of HP’s greatest strengths, and we continue to hold ourselves accountable for achieving the goals we have set,” said Enrique Lores, President and CEO, HP Inc.
“As digital technology transforms seemingly every aspect of our lives, there’s a real danger of more and more people getting left behind. We cannot allow that to happen, and HP will work to break down the digital divide that prevents too many from accessing the education, jobs, and healthcare they need to thrive.” Lores continued.
The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t create the digital divide, but it has certainly exacerbated it. Digital inequity is at an all-time high and will only continue to grow if we do not work together to find solutions. During COVID-19, one-third of the world’s school-age children, or 463 million students, could not access remote learning, according to UNICEF. Beyond education, digital divide can stand in the way of accessing modern healthcare and competitive job opportunities as digital transformation continues to accelerate. There’s also a cost to digital equity: the U.S. alone loses more than $130 million a day in economic activity when people aren’t online, according to Deloitte.
HP believes digital equity is a human right and has invested in HP LIFE, a free IT and business skills training program offered by the HP Foundation, and supports and teams up with organizations including Girl Rising, MIT Solve and NABU to tackle this challenge.
Building on these efforts, HP commits to develop, launch, and manage a digital equity accelerator, that seeks to support the digital equity of disenfranchised communities by activating innovative solutions and services for 150 million people by 2030.
HP believes true digital equity requires four key elements: hardware (e.g., laptop or printer); connectivity (e.g., access to the Internet); quality, relevant content (e.g., learning materials); and digital literacy, (e.g., skills to use the technology). HP’s work will focus on four specific communities that are most likely to experience digital divide:
· Women and girls;
· People with disabilities (including aging populations);
· Communities of color/marginalized groups;
· Educators and practitioners – to address their respective digital inclusion constraints and opportunities.
This focus will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and help bridge needs with resources—in particular, healthcare, education, and economic opportunity.
Introducing HP PATH (Partnership and Technology for Humanity)
HP’s Partnership and Technology for Humanity accelerator will pave the way for digital equity in underserved communities around the world, through partnerships, activation, innovation, collaborations, and direct communication with local leaders.
PATH’s initial phase will be centered on convening conversations to engage, listen and learn from communities around the world to better understand the root-cause issues and what resources and support are needed to create change together. From there, it will influence HP’s product innovation, partnerships, and acceleration of solutions that will drive impact. As part of this flagship accelerator, HP will also activate a fund that offers bundled, custom solutions. HP will continue to develop transformative innovation in HP products and services that accelerate digital equity while focusing on the company’s goal to drive better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025.
2020 Sustainable Impact Report
HP Sustainable Impact is integral to helping the company become the world’s most sustainable and just technology company. This work is essential for the sustainability of the planet and society, and it is an increasingly important driver of customer purchasing decisions, helping win more than $1 billion in sales in 2020—for the second consecutive year.
HP has remained steadfast in its commitment to accountability and transparency since the company published its first environmental and social impact report in 2001. In this year’s report, HP outlined the progress made in 2020 as well as improvements still needed – below are highlights and the full report executive summary can be found here.
· Achieved reductions in HP’s global carbon footprint (4%) and product use GHG emissions intensity (33%), increased recycled plastic across the portfolio (to 11%) and decreased single-use plastic packaging (19%).
· Maintained 100% zero deforestation for HP paper and more than 99% zero deforestation for paper-based product packaging.
· Launched the world’s most sustainable PC portfolio, the planet’s most comprehensive carbon neutral Managed Print Service offering, and more than 50 products made in part with ocean-bound plastic including the HP Elite, Pro, Z, Chromebook Enterprise, and Pavilion—the world’s first consumer notebook to include ocean-bound plastic.
· Established a Racial Equality and Social Justice Task Force to set comprehensive goals to confront systemic racism and inequality; hosted a series of town halls to explore new thinking, encourage understanding, conversation, and advocacy.
· Last year, HP pledged to double the number of Black and African American executives inside the company by 2025 and is seeing progress, including a 50% increase in the composition of Black and African American executives thus far.
· A steady increase of female leaders (32% in 2020; 31% in 2019 and 2018) and women in global functions (57% in 2020; 55% in 2019 and 2018); for the second year in a row, over 60% of U.S. new hires were from underrepresented groups, including women, U.S. ethnicities, people with disabilities and military veterans.
Digital Equity/Covid-19 Community Relief:
· Drove focused initiatives to support hybrid learning and advance digital equity amid the global school shutdown, and moved halfway toward the company’s goal of enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025—including seeing a 210% increase in enrollments in HP LIFE.
· Provided relief and support for those affected by COVID-19, including mobilizing our 3D printing network to develop and deliver more than 5 million critical supplies to healthcare workers, donating more than $13 million in products through HP’s community giving program, and providing $3 million in grants from the HP Foundation.
Inaugural Sustainable Bond Framework
This week HP also announced the release of its Sustainable Bond Framework to help inform and guide investments in projects that it believes will help meet its goals and achieve a more sustainable and just future. In addition, it announced the pricing of $1 billion of its inaugural sustainability notes. As part of the $2 billion overall debt offering, these bonds are designed to empower investors to join HP in tackling important economic, social and sustainability issues. More information can be found here.
HP recognizes meeting ambitious 2030 goals will require support from employees, suppliers, vendors and partners. That’s why HP mobilized an expansive network to extend its Sustainable Impact strategy, empowering HP’s employees to set their own Sustainable Impact goals, and established a first-of-its-kind HP Amplify Impact™ partner program that enables partners to drive meaningful change across the global IT industry.