• Logistics
  • ESG
  • HP
  • Article

Behind HP’s position in the global print market are years of effort put into creating a more sustainable toner consumption. Toners are not only physically black, but that also have a value in the black market where environmental awareness and social responsibility are non-existent. For that reason, we are proud to be a part of HP’s Planet Partner Program, through which we jointly ensure responsible processing of print products. 

Generally speaking, the global printer toner market is following suit with the IT industry and is moving rapidly towards a more green and responsible way to manufacture and consume. The obvious key to the solution lies in recycling. Printer toner is hazardous waste and should not be discarded in a company’s general waste. However, how does one entice a company to spend the time to return the products for safe recycling? You do so by ensuring an easy, safe, and secure method and this is where HP has taken the lead by creating a platform which we, as a global supplier, can use together with our customers worldwide.

Since 1995, we have been a global company and we are in the pack with the leaders who supply IT solutions to the farthest parts of the world, including the hot spots where crisis is often lurking. Therefore, returning toner and cartridges is not always at the top of the agenda. As such, having a secure and efficient platform is key and allows us all to jointly create a positive change for the environment in this area.

Return to Sender

Annie Lyngbeck Kristensen, Logistics Account Manager, explains: “Areas such as Sudan and the State of Eritrea are not among the easiest to ship to and even more so to ship from. However, because we collaborate with the largest and leading charitable NGO in these areas, we can collect the toner and send large quantities of toner back to HP. Our most recent shipment to HP was 11,000 tons in three 40-foot containers. This is only possible because our logistics is so efficient and extensive and we oversee the shipping to HP on behalf of the customer.”

Protecting the Environment Together

What is included in HP’s Planet Partner Program? In short, the concept is focused on recycling consumable goods. Both on behalf of HP and others. As an example, to date, they have recycled more than 5.8 billion plastic bottles to manufacture ink cartridges. The same holds true for recycling 149 million plastic clothes hangers. One of the results is that more than 1 billion users around the world have recycled HP ink cartridges through the Planet Partner Program today.

“At Danoffice IT, we have been a member of the program since 2009 and since that time, it has become more powerful and extensive, both for HP and for us,” Thomas Bjørn Hestbæk, Key Account Manager at Danoffice IT, explains. To him, there is great value in being able to offer our customers the opportunity to enter into this collaboration. “The key aspect is that HP makes this system available to us and our customers. If we did not have this, it would be an insurmountable project to take on. The fact that it has been created on such a well-run platform, which enables the important work needed for the climate, is such a bonus! Luckily, our customers see it this way too.”

”When you suddenly need to re-export a container of recycled IT out of Mali and you need to do so from Denmark on behalf of a third party, you need to have full control of a lot of things. We have full control.”

Thomas Bjørn Hestbæk, Key Account Manager

Logistical Forces Lead the Way

Over the course of the last twenty years, we have established a global logistics network that can only be matched by a few in our industry. This is a logistics platform in which all links in the value chain have been thoughtfully linked together. This is everything from export compliance to supply chain services. “In the work with HP Planet Partner, all our muscles are truly being flexed. Anyone can send something from Ballerup in Denmark out into the world. However, bringing it back to Denmark from the farthest corners of the world while adhering to all legal requirements in the process, that is another story,” Thomas says and adds: “The name and the knowhow we have created are clearly brought into play and while we are just talking about toner here, the task in itself is a complex one. When you find yourself having to re-export a container of recycled IT out of Mali and you are doing it from Denmark on behalf of a third party, you need to have a lot of things under control which is exactly what we have.”

Annie agrees: ”For the customer, it is a very straight-forward task because of the logistics piece of it all. They gather it up and arrange for the return locally while we already have all the packaging etc., ready for them. That puts things in order and makes it easy. All they have to do is let us know when they are ready to return their toner. From there, we ensure that the export aspect is handled properly and we collaborate on getting their shipment onto a container and returned to HP,” she adds.

False Factories – True Problems

”It is crucial for the customer to be able to dispose of the waste in this way and when the customer knows that Danoffice IT is involved, a sense of security is created because it is known that there will be compliance with all rules and requirements,” Thomas states. This draws a stark contrast to the black market for printers. Non-original printer cartridges are found all over the world and are easily obtainable, however, whether the buyers are in the private or public sector, they miss the critical fact that the price is just one of several factors. Thomas provides this explanation: ”All research shows that if you did not have a program like the one offered by HP, a large portion of the toner used in the world would end up on the black market. There are large factories all over the world that do nothing but manufacture false cartridges that are not environmentally approved and that contain poor and dangerous toner,” he says.

”We are dealing with a serious problem with these non-original factories. When they clean the cartridges and add new toner, they are doing so outside of any environmental requirements and thus; they create a great danger to the environment. Therefore, we are delighted to contribute to the fight against this black market along with HP,” Thomas Bjørn Hestbæk concludes.