HP’s James McCall on Assisting Customers’ Sustainability Missions
James McCall, chief sustainability officer for HP Inc. took the stage at the beginning of the PRINTING United Expo to deliver a keynote speech on how his team is implementing strategies to battle climate change, protect human rights, and encourage compliance and certification. By doing so, they lead by example and inspire the next generation of businesses to do the right thing.
The point he made sure stuck was that environmentalism and sustainable practices aren’t extra steps that take away from your bottom line: Committing to sustainability can help your business grow exponentially. While planting a tree (metaphorically) today is an investment in the future, and there’s no denying that younger generations want to work with companies that commit to environmental stewardship, there are benefits right this second.
“This younger generation might not be your customers today, but most of you didn’t start your businesses to be finished in two years,” he said.
These younger generations will be the buyers and decision makers of tomorrow. But even setting aside Gen Z, McCall said that it’s a common misconception that older customers aren’t interested in sustainability.
“We found that the older generations care about sustainability as much as the younger generations did,” he said. “They’re starting to think about their legacy.”
They’re concerned about the world they’re leaving behind, and they have the expendable income to spend on more sustainable products and businesses.
HP also found that one in two customers consider sustainability a high-value factor in purchasing decisions, and 85% of customers have considered sustainability in their buying decisions in recent years.
McCall appealed to audience members by saying that, in essence, every business is a print company. And, therefore, his message rings true for businesses in retail, food and beverage, etc. If they print receipts, for example, they’re a print business. And if they have invested in sustainable packaging or apparel, then the print products should match and be a part of that sustainability mission.
“That’s where we start, getting people to understand that printing is part of their footprint,” McCall said. “Printing is a way they can engage in customers, so how do we make that a sustainable journey?”
They say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but if you plant your company’s sustainability tree today, the future of your company will thank you.