Is blockchain sustainable or a fad

IT strategy

The term sustainability was coined in the 18th century by the forest scientists Carl von Carlowitz and Georg Ludwig Hartig. The two described a type of forest use in which no more wood is removed than can grow back. Today the term is much broader. In addition to the sustainable use of resources, it also includes social and societal aspects. A sustainable corporate strategy must therefore take three dimensions into account.

1. Planet (climate, nature and environment)

In the spirit of Carlowitz and Hartig, sustainable management from an environmental point of view means that no more resources are consumed than the earth can supply. In order to slow down global warming, as few greenhouse gases as possible should be emitted in the production as well as in the use and disposal of the products. All problematic substances that arise must not overload the earth's regenerative capacity.

2. Human

Sustainability also means dealing fairly and responsibly with employees, suppliers and their employees. This includes adequate pay, training and advancement opportunities as well as the rejection of discrimination, child and forced labor.

3. Community

Sustainable companies do not see themselves as pure economic units, but as part of a community. Their actions therefore also include social measures, they support non-profit organizations or initiate community projects.

The United Nations takes all three dimensions into account in its 17 United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG). The goals range from combating climate change and protecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems (planet dimension) to overcoming poverty and hunger (human dimension) to improving educational opportunities and the sustainable design of cities and settlements (community dimension).

Sustainable business - a practical example from the IT example

The example of the technology group HP Inc. (HP) shows how sustainability can be implemented. The company is considered one of the most sustainable in the world and has already received numerous certificates and awards.

Particularly noteworthy is the ranking of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). HP is one of only five companies worldwide that have achieved the top "A" rating in the three most important CDP categories: Carbon Footprint, Water Footprint and Forest Positive. The manufacturer pursues 16 of the 17 sustainability goals of the UN and has set itself ambitious goals in all three dimensions:

Dimension planet: By 2025, the company wants to increase the proportion of recycled plastics to 30 percent in the entire personal systems and printer portfolio, recycle 1.2 million tons of hardware and consumables and reduce greenhouse gas emissions both in the supply chain and in the use of products drastically reduce. In addition, HP wants to increase the share of renewable energies to 60 percent and reduce the consumption of drinking water in all business activities by 15 percent.

To achieve these goals, HP has analyzed the life cycle of its products and adjusted them wherever possible. In addition to energy efficiency, aspects such as ease of repair and recycling also play a major role.

Human dimension: For HP, social sustainability is just as important as ecological. The company plans to run training and development programs for 500,000 factory workers by 2025. More than 250,000 factory workers from supplier companies have already taken part in the programs.

The manufacturer is a founding member of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), which is now called the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). The RBA has developed ecological and social standards of conduct for the employment of employees. HP has adopted these standards and thus pays attention to fair working conditions and wages in its own company and with all suppliers. This includes, for example, the fight against forced labor, which is still practiced today in many regions around the world.

Community dimension: With HP LIFE, the manufacturer offers a free learning platform that offers courses in areas such as technology, marketing or administration. They allow people all over the world to continue their education in order to get a better paid job with higher qualifications or even to start their own company. HP plans to train one million people through the LIFE platform by 2025. In total, over 21 million students have taken part in HP training programs since 2015.

At the local level, HP employees are involved in retirement homes and other social institutions, for example. Each employee can spend four hours of his paid working time per month on this. So far, over 284,000 volunteer hours have been done in local projects.

Any questions about sustainability?

Do you have a specific question on the subject of "Sustainability in IT" that you are looking for an answer to? HP's experts are here to help.

Ask a question and get an answer


Sustainability is neither a fad nor a luxury - on the contrary: careful and fair use of resources and people is essential for the survival of the planet. The example of HP shows how companies live up to their responsibility and how measurable successes and long-term results can be achieved with a sustainable circular economy.

How green is HP? Sustainability report 2018

Sustainability creates stronger and healthier companies in the long term - the PC and printer manufacturer HP knows that too. This sustainability report tells you how green the company really is.

Click here for HP's sustainability report

Your whitepaper is waiting for you!

Many Thanks!

Your personal download link is already on the way to you.
If necessary, also check your spam folder.

An error has occured.

Show data protection

Notes on data protection:Before you can download this whitepaper, you must register by entering your first and last name, your e-mail address and, if necessary, other data about yourself or your company. Please fill out the fields given in the registration form.

Your data will be stored for the purpose of direct marketing in the IDG network (PC-Welt, CIO, COMPUTERWOCHE, ChannelPartner, TecChannel, Central-IT, Macwelt) and to all affiliated companies of IDG Communications Media AG and to the partner HP passed on. Further information on processing in our company can be found in the IDG Privacy Policy. You can revoke your consent at any time with effect for the future (revocation address: [email protected]; subject: HP_Sustainability).