HP Sustainability Reporting Gains Impact Via Visual Storytelling

By Russ Stoddard / May 04, 2017



Sustainability in business. It seems as if you can’t escape the topic these days and much of the talk centers on new startups that are developing sustainable technologies for everything from alternative energy to healthy foods made using the waste stream for raw materials.

That’s all good. The discussion is vitally urgent, and it’s exciting to see entrepreneurs react to the opportunity.

But what you don’t necessarily hear as much about are the quiet giants in the field of sustainability, major corporations that have been practicing it for quite a long time. Our longtime client Hewlett-Packard is a case in point.


Celebrating 25 Years of Sustainability

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  • As we said, HP’s been a quiet giant regarding its sustainable practices and corporate social responsibility—choosing to let its actions speak for themselves. Recently, we’ve been helping the HP sustainability team shift this conversation into the marketplace so it can demonstrate and share with others the benefits of its practices.

    We collaborated on a project to convey HP’s overall sustainability goals—100% renewable energy, zero deforestation, and reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions—and celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Planet Partners Program.

    We highlighted HP’s sterling reputation for corporate social responsibility, scoring a perfect 10 out of 10 in the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2016, as well as a number of industry firsts for carbon and water footprints and standards for the treatment of student and foreign migrant workers, among others.

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    Infographics Oliver Russell Created For HP (See full size versions here and here)

    Conveying Sustainability through Blue Whales and Boeing 747s

    Then came the data.

    There’s a ton of data to sift through in sustainability reporting, but strings of words, black type, and pages of statistics don’t get read much anymore, so we worked with HP to create a simple visual story to communicate its results.

    We created an infographic to show how 682 million recycled print cartridges combined with 3.3 billion recycled plastic bottles and 50 million recycled clothes hangers can be transformed into 3 billion new print cartridges.

    In another infographic, we used the largest mammal on the planet, blue whales, as an engaging way to communicate the immensity of HP’s recycling efforts. HP has recycled the equivalent tonnage of 8,000 blue whales in computing projects since 1987, or more than 3.3 billion pounds.

    We used the same approach to communicate how many tons of hardware HP recycles each year—347 Boeing 747s at nearly a million pounds each.

    These projects demonstrated how simplicity, clean design, and data visualization for sustainability reporting add impact to achievements and make them more relevant for the audience by drawing illustrative comparisons that are far more engaging than paragraphs of type could ever hope to be.

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    Thumbnails People Russ Stoddard

    Russ Stoddard

    Russ started Oliver Russell in 1991. He’s committed his career (nearly 30 years) to social responsibility, first inside the corporate world and then as an entrepreneur who’s started four companies and five nonprofit causes. Russ is the author of "Rise Up - How to Build a Socially Conscious Business," and his creative work has been honored with local, regional, and national creative awards. These days, Russ focuses on brand strategy for clients, spreading the Certified B Corp love, and connecting kindred spirits to multiply social impact.