updated 12:20 pm EDT, Tue July 28, 2009
Greenpeace anti HP Protest
Greenpeace through its Twitter feed said Tuesday that it has launched a campaign against HP today to criticize the company for its environmental policy. The activist group claims to have painted the roof of HP's Palo Alto headquarters with the words "hazardous products" and to be calling HP staffers with automated messages from William Shatner asking why the company hasn't lived up to its promises of greener products. The protesters now hold Apple as a model for green improvement and claim HP is lagging behind, particularly in its continued use of toxics like bromide flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in its computers.
"If Apple can go BFR & PVC-Free, why can't HP? No more excuses," Greenpeace writes.
The activity is a sharp reversal of the environmental group's past approaches, which still criticized HP but held Apple in particular contempt for its lack of eco-friendly initiatives. Besides using its periodic ratings to criticize Apple, Greenpeace has gone as far as to launch in-person protests meant to create visible pressure on the company.
HP is known to be slower than Apple and Dell in the field. All MacBooks are now BFR- and PVR-free, eliminate chemicals like arsenic and mercury, and are often made of recyclable aluminum; HP's highest-profile green PC to date has been a Pavilion notebook packed in a messenger bag that mostly reduces retail packaging waste, not the use of materials in the computer. Some of its systems do use LED backlights and other technology that by its nature saves energy or reduces the amount of harmful chemicals.
No representatives from HP have commented on the protests.