A commitment to accelerate digital equity for underserved communities

Published July 15, 2021, 12:06 AM

by Len Amadora

As part of its Sustainable Impact strategy, HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) announced an ambitious goal to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people by 2030. To help achieve its objective, the company announced the launch of HP PATH (Partnership and Technology for Humanity), an innovative accelerator program that will invest in local initiatives and partnerships to address challenges in underserved communities around the world focused on education, healthcare and the creation of economic opportunities.

Today’s announcement coincides with the milestone publication of HP’s 20th annual Sustainable Impact Report, which highlights the progress the company is making across its core pillars of Climate Action, Human Rights and Digital Equity. It follows recent actions the company has taken to accelerate progress, including some of the industry’s most comprehensive climate action goals, as well as aggressive steps to drive diversity, equity and inclusion and respect human rights across its ecosystem.

Enrique Lores, President and CEO, HP Inc

“Our Sustainable Impact strategy is helping to strengthen our communities while spurring innovation and growth across our business. Creating technology that inspires progress has always been one of HP’s greatest strengths, and we continue to hold ourselves accountable for achieving the goals we have set,” said Enrique Lores, President and CEO, HP Inc.

“As digital technology transforms seemingly every aspect of our lives, there’s a real danger of more and more people getting left behind. We cannot allow that to happen, and HP will work to break down the digital divide that prevents too many from accessing the education, jobs, and healthcare they need to thrive.” Lores continued.

Accelerating Digital Equity

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t create the digital divide, but it has certainly exacerbated it. Digital inequity is at an all-time high and will only continue to grow if we do not work together to find solutions. During COVID-19, one-third of the world’s school-age children, or 463 million students, could not access remote learning, according to UNICEF. In the Philippines alone, 74 percent of public schools cannot make the transition to e-learning and more than 2 million students have no way of going online at all according to an enrollment survey conducted by the Department of Education (DepEd) in 2020. Beyond education, the growing digital divide can stand in the way of accessing modern healthcare and competitive job opportunities as digital transformation continues to accelerate.

HP believes digital equity is a human right and has invested in HP LIFE, a free IT and business skills training program offered by the HP Foundation, and supports and teams up with organizations including Girl Rising, MIT Solve and NABU to tackle this challenge.

Building on these efforts, HP commits to develop, launch, and manage a digital equity accelerator that seeks to support the digital equity of disenfranchised communities by activating innovative solutions and services for 150 million people by 2030.

HP believes true digital equity requires four key elements: hardware (e.g., laptop or printer); connectivity (e.g., access to the Internet); quality, relevant content (e.g., learning materials); and digital literacy, (e.g., skills to use the technology). HP’s work will focus on four specific communities that are most likely to experience digital divide:

  • Women and girls;
  • People with disabilities (including aging populations);
  • Communities of color/marginalized groups;
  • Educators and practitioners – to address their respective digital inclusion constraints and opportunities.


This focus will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and help bridge needs with resources—in particular, healthcare, education, and economic opportunity.

Introducing HP PATH (Partnership and Technology for Humanity)

HP’s Partnership and Technology for Humanity accelerator will pave the way for digital equity in underserved communities around the world, through partnerships, activation, innovation, collaborations, and direct communication with local leaders.

PATH’s initial phase will be centered on convening conversations to engage, listen and learn from communities around the world to better understand the root-cause issues and what resources and support are needed to create change together. From there, it will influence HP’s product innovation, partnerships, and acceleration of solutions that will drive impact. As part of this flagship accelerator, HP will also activate a fund that offers bundled, custom solutions. HP will continue to develop transformative innovation in HP products and services that accelerate digital equity while focusing on the company’s goal to drive better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025.

2020 Sustainable Impact Report

HP Sustainable Impact is integral to helping the company become the world’s most sustainable and just technology company. This work is essential for the sustainability of the planet and society, and it is an increasingly important driver of customer purchasing decisions, helping win more than $1 billion in sales in 2020—for the second consecutive year.

HP has remained steadfast in its commitment to accountability and transparency since the company published its first environmental and social impact report in 2001. In this year’s Sustainable Impact Report, HP outlined the progress made in 2020 as well as improvements still needed – below are highlights and the full report executive summary can be found here.

Climate Action:

  • Achieved reductions in HP’s global carbon footprint (4%) and product use GHG emissions intensity (33%), increased recycled plastic across the portfolio (to 11%) and decreased single-use plastic packaging (19%).
  • Maintained 100% zero deforestation for HP paper and more than 99% zero deforestation for paper-based product packaging.
  • Launched the world’s most sustainable PC portfolio, the planet’s most comprehensive carbon-neutral Managed Print Service offering, and more than 50 products made in part with ocean-bound plastic including the HP Elite, Pro, Z, Chromebook Enterprise, and Pavilion—the world’s first consumer notebook to include ocean-bound plastic.

Human Rights:

  • A steady increase of female leaders (32% in 2020; 31% in 2019 and 2018) and women in global functions (57% in 2020; 55% in 2019 and 2018); for the second year in a row.
  • Across Asia, HP continues to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion via programs such as the:
    • Women in Leadership Lab, a 7-month leadership program in Greater Asia to identify and cultivate female executives particularly in business units and roles in which they are currently underrepresented. This program provides opportunities to shadow and learn from experienced leaders within HP.
    • Women’s Impact Network, an employee-run network, building a solid network of support for women focused on belonging, innovation and growth based on the specific needs of HP employees working in the country. This year, WIN continues to inspire and strengthen connections between women working across the different functions across Asia. This robust program consists of fireside chats, workshops and panel discussions involving female leaders within and outside of HP.

Digital Equity/Covid-19 Community Relief:

  • Drove focused initiatives to support hybrid learning and advance digital equity amid the global school shutdown, and moved halfway toward the company’s goal of enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025—including seeing a 210% increase in enrollments in HP LIFE.
  • Provided relief and support for those affected by COVID-19, including mobilizing our 3D printing network to develop and deliver more than 5 million critical supplies to healthcare workers, donating more than $13 million in products through HP’s community giving program, and providing $3 million in grants from the HP Foundation.
  • In the Philippines, HP:
    • Donated USD50,000 or over 2 million Philippine Pesos to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to equip them with hospital supplies necessary in the battle against the pandemic.
    • Produced 240 pieces of Aerosol boxes and 7,000 customized face shields for frontline health workers, through its Graphics Solutions Business (GSB). These were distributed to over 40 hospitals in the country including the University of Santo Tomas hospital, Philippine Heart Center and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute Center.
    • Distributed more than 400 units of HP Neverstop Laser printers to NGOs Childhope Foundation, Teach for the Philippines, L.E.T.S Read by Atayde Foundation and Hands-On Manila to amplify their efforts in supporting remote learning. Through their network of partner schools across the country, HP was able to reach thousands of students and teachers, enabling them to reproduce learning modules and deliver on home and school printing needs, especially in areas where a full digital set-up is not yet possible.
    • Continued its long-term partnership with Childhope Philippines under the program banner “KalyEskwela,” a mobile Learning Hub in line with its Street Education and Protection (STEP) Program which targets to educate and empower 100 street children for the future. Childhope Philippines is also the recipient of the HP Imagine Grant and 40 Days of Doing Good Grant to further amplify their efforts.
      • HP Imagine Grant is an employee contribution scheme focusing on education and technology-related learning experiences for the underrepresented and/or underserved communities.
      • 40 Days of Doing Good brings all HP employees around the world together to support local communities through volunteering. This year, HP Philippines took part in sharing their expertise through “Shadow & Learn” where they taught young learners with the necessary skills to be future-ready through topics such as social media marketing, marketing benefits and features as well as tips in looking for a job.

“Our goal is not just to do good through moments in time, but to make sure we send visible ripples for futures to come,” said Christian Edmond Reyes, Philippines Managing Director, HP Inc. “At HP, we adapt a human-centric approach where we put people first and be actively present where the world needs reinvention the most.”

Inaugural Sustainable Bond Framework

HP also announced the release of its Sustainable Bond Framework to help inform and guide investments in projects that it believes will help meet its goals and achieve a more sustainable and just future. In addition, it announced the pricing of $1 billion of its inaugural sustainability notes. As part of the $2 billion overall debt offering, these bonds are designed to empower investors to join HP in tackling important economic, social and sustainability issues. More information can be found here.

HP recognizes meeting ambitious 2030 goals will require support from employees, suppliers, vendors and partners. That’s why HP mobilized an expansive network to extend its Sustainable Impact strategy, empowering HP’s employees to set their own Sustainable Impact goals, and established a first-of-its-kind HP Amplify Impact™ partner program that enables partners to drive meaningful change across the global IT industry.

 
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