HP Inc. prides itself on its focus on sustainability. Now, it is welcoming its partners—whether they are just starting out with a sustainability strategy or already have initiatives in place—to let HP help them to do more. On February 11, HP officially launched HP Amplify Impact, a program aimed at empowering HP’s partners “to set bold, long-term objectives to drive positive impact.”
In a company press release, Christoph Schell, chief commercial officer of HP, stated, “Our goal is to work with our partners to help drive a more circular and low-carbon economy; cultivate a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable supply chain; and improve the vitality and resilience of local communities. The strength and reach of our ecosystem are substantial and by bringing our partners with us on this journey, we can work together to create a more sustainable and just world.”
That HP is rolling out Amplify Impact is no surprise. Back in July 2020, HP first announced plans to move from its multi-tier HP Partner First channel program to a new, streamlined, unified global partner program called HP Amplify (see “HP to Consolidate Channel Partner Program, Rolls Out New Remote Work Solutions”). The program has two tracks: Synergy, aimed more at partners operating under a transactional business model, and Power, aimed more at partners with a services-focused business model that want to work more closely with HP. At the time, HP also said the program would include something called Amplify Impact to help partners contribute to global sustainability goals.
HP officially launched the Amplify channel partner program in November 2020 (see “HP Announces Official Launch of Its HP Amplify Partner Program”). In a February 9 briefing with analysts, Mr. Schell said HP is very happy so far with its Amplify rollout. He touted that 99 percent of HP’s commercial revenue partners have registered for Amplify and 98 percent of those on the Power track have agreed to share data—a key pillar of the Amplify program. Mr. Schell elaborated that HP now has 600 partners sharing data. As a next step, HP is now going live with Amplify Impact.
Mr. Schell shared what he called HP’s “2030 Vision”: to make HP “the world’s most sustainable and just technology company” by 2030. There are three key pillars to this:
- Planet: Drive toward a net-zero carbon, fully regenerative circular economy while creating the industry’s most sustainable portfolio of technology, services, and solutions.
- People: Respecting human rights, enabling people across the value chain to thrive and cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DE&I) culture through initiatives such as the HP Racial Equality and Social Justice Task Force.
- Community: Empower communities through the power of technology. Help eliminate the digital divide that prevents too many from accessing the education, jobs, and healthcare needed to thrive.
Ellen Jackowski, chief sustainability and social impact officer for HP, told analysts that what the world has experienced over the past year has emphasized how important it is to act in these three areas. In 2020, the world experienced the devastating impact of climate change, including widespread fires in Australia and the West Coast of the United States. In the United States and other countries, the Black Lives Matter movement exposed systemic racism. Meanwhile, COVID-19 emphasized how important technology is to communities but also exposed a “digital divide”: not everyone has equal access to the technology that is essential to support education and work from home. These problems, Ms. Jackowski said, are not going away. “The past year reaffirmed the need to listen to science and combat crisis,” she said, adding that HP is “acting with urgency on all fronts: people, planet, and community.”
Mr. Schell positioned Amplify Impact as the next step in HP’s long history of making a difference in these areas. Partners that pledge to join the HP Amplify Impact program will work with HP to assess their own practices while tapping into the company’s extensive investments and initiatives. The goal, Mr. Schell said, is to “drive meaningful change in the IT industry.” HP stated in its press release that this “industry-first partner assessment, resource, and training program” is “aimed at driving meaningful change across its three Sustainable Impact pillars—Planet, with an emphasis on climate change; People with an emphasis on human rights and social justice; and Community with an emphasis on bridging the digital divide.”
The concept at the heart of Amplify Impact is simple: there is power in numbers. HP can do a lot to drive change on its own. If its channel partners join the effort, together they can do a lot more. HP shared a quote from one of its founders, Dave Packard, illustrating that this is not a new concept for HP.
Sustainability Is Good Business
HP wants to get out the word that embracing its mission of being “sustainable and just” is not only the right thing to do, it also can help companies succeed. Mr. Schell declared, “Sustainable impact isn’t just the right thing to do. It is really good for business.” He pointed to a key figure from HP’s latest Sustainable Impact Report (see “HP Highlights Actions and Promises to Do More with Release of 2019 Sustainable Impact Report”). In 2020, HP’s focus on sustainability helped HP win more than $1 billion in new sales.
Mr. Schell noted that more than 60 percent of Millennials want employers who contribute to social and ethical causes. The same percentage of customers say they turn to brands they can trust. And channel partners also believe embracing sustainability is important. Mary Beth Walker, head of go-to-market channel strategy for HP, shared another key statistic from HP’s research: “61 percent of partners believe sustainability is mandatory for business and are spending accordingly.”
The HP presenters highlighted a quote from Enrique Lores, HP president and CEO: “Throughout our history, we have proven that doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive. In fact, we believe improving the world and improving our bottom line are one and the same.”
All Amplify Partners Get Some Resources
HP emphasized that it will provide all Amplify Partners with sustainable impact resources. The firm’s press release says, “HP will provide all HP Amplify partners with access to training, sales tools, marketing assets, and access to HP’s Sustainability & Compliance Centre (SCC), HP LIFE, and HP Planet Partners.”
HP LIFE is HP’s online skills-training program. Ms. Jackowski said HP sees education and training as a human right and thus a key part of its “people” pillar. Education and training are more important than ever given the challenges imposed on people by COVID-19, and thus HP has seen more people using HP LIFE. In October 2020, HP reported that HP LIFE has seen a 282 percent increase in signups since 2019 (see “HP Survey Says Office Workers Charting Own Course amid Pandemic”).
Given Actionable Intelligence’s area of focus, we were interested to see HP discuss printer hardware and supplies as a key part of how HP can help partners embrace sustainability. Ms. Jackowski stated that one way HP works to drive sustainability is via offering channel partners and customers a “circular printing ecosystem.” She said this starts with printer hardware using more recycled content and shipped in packaging that now uses less plastic and includes cartridges made with recycled plastic, HP’s sustainably sourced paper (HP-brand paper has been forest positive or deforestation free since 2016), and then “closing the loop” with the Planet Partners take-back and recycling program for consumables. Ms. Jackowski added that with Instant Ink, customers return cartridges via Planet Partners. She said she sees Instant Ink and Planet Partners as one way HP and channel partners can change end users behavior to be more sustainable by making it easy for them to recycle.
Amplify Impact Details
Amplify Impact, however, offers partners even more than what is available to all Amplify partners. Ms. Walker said joining Amplify Impact is completely voluntary and any Amplify partner can join. She added that HP is working with over 260 select companies on the program’s rollout, but the goal is to expand Amplify Impact to partners everywhere by the end of 2021.
There are two tracks in the Amplify Impact program: Catalyst and Changemaker. Ms. Walker explained that partners who sign up for the Amplify Impact Catalyst track make a commitment by signing a pledge. The Amplify Impact Pledge, Ms. Walker said, includes four key areas: commit, assess, act, and learn (see below). Catalyst participants also take a sustainability assessment. Ms. Walker said the assessment helps partners understand where they rank compared to peers. Catalyst partners receive a personalized report that helps guide them. Catalysts partners also agree to report sustainability related sales opportunities so HP can measure them, Ms. Walker explained. HP is currently rolling in the HP Amplify Impact Catalyst program in 19 countries: United States, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, UAE, Singapore, Philippines, India, Germany, UK, Sweden, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.
Ms. Walker explained that the second Amplify Impact track, Changemaker, is “optimized to assist partners that don’t have a sustainability plan in place and want to start.” Those on this track get everything that those in the Catalyst program do, but the Changemaker track also includes a “focus on basics,” she said. HP will help Changemaker partners create a sustainability plan and includes training. HP’s announcement states, “HP will closely collaborate with and support Changemaker members in the development of a long-term sustainability plan which will put them on a path to be recognized as a business that is focused on creating meaningful change.” The Changemaker track’s initial rollout includes seven countries: France, Italy, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and select partners in the United States.
Ms. Walker said HP has already received positive feedback from the partners it has discussed Amplify Impact with, and it is “expecting good uptake” of the program among Amplify partners.
HP stated that it aims to enroll at least half of its HP Amplify partners in the voluntary Impact program by 2025. Participating partners will be recognized via certification and an annual awards program.
Ms. Walker summed up Amplify Impact nicely as one way HP can “pay it forward.” She said, “We know we have partners who are small,” and Amplify Impact will help them leverage and benefit from HP’s sustainability resources and expertise.
Ms. Walker said over time HP expects to be able to measure the success of Amplify Impact not only in terms of the number of partners whom HP helped develop sustainability programs but also in terms of measuring the growing sales opportunities sustainability will provide.