Driving net-zero transformation through accountability

JUNE 22, 2022 • BLOG POST • GREGG MELINSON, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CORPORATE AFFAIRS

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IN THIS ARTICLE

  • HPE announced a major acceleration by 10 years of its net-zero climate goals in the company’s annual Living Progress Report
  • In order to achieve this ambitious goal, senior leaders throughout the company are being held accountable for reducing our carbon footprint through training and variable compensation

HPE announces new net-zero target in annual Living Progress Report

Research shows that environment, sustainability, and governance (ESG) performance is directly linked to financial performance – meaning that sustainability initiatives are no longer just “nice to have” activities that operate in a silo from the business. Thriving enterprises must have sustainability programs embedded in their business models. In order to remain competitive in today’s economy, all businesses need to be sustainable businesses, with plans to fight climate change by transforming into net-zero emissions enterprises.

At HPE, sustainability is inextricably linked to how we win in the marketplace, contributing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year to our bottom line as customers specifically seek out our energy efficient IT solutions and consumption-based as-a-service model. As a company, we’ve set ambitious goals for ourselves, including a suite of science-based emission reduction targets that keep HPE—and our entire value chain—on a credible path to net-zero emissions. 

This year, HPE is announcing that we will accelerate our net-zero commitment by 10 years - from 2050 to 2040 - because we believe that climate change is an existential threat to humanity and our planet, and we’ve developed a detailed roadmap to get there. The first steps to reaching net-zero are to achieve the following in the next eight years (by 2030):
 

  • In our operations, we will source 100% renewable electricity and transition our owned fleet to low or zero emissions vehicles

  • In our supply chain, we will partner with suppliers to set and meet emissions targets and shift to lower-impact suppliers where feasible

  • And across our product portfolio, we will leverage our as-a-Service strategy and efficient IT offerings to partner with customers to reduce their carbon emissions

But goals don’t drive change; accountability and action do. I am a firm believer that the only way to create impactful change is to lead by example. The scale of transformation we’re seeking to achieve to become a net-zero enterprise is only possible if every leader across HPE is responsible and accountable for our goals. With that in mind, we’ve introduced two new initiatives designed to drive meaningful results against our environmental sustainability aspirations organization-wide:

 

  • In 2022, all leaders at the VP level and above will complete a mandatory climate training program. The training program will inform and inspire HPE executives to learn about the relevance of climate change on HPE’s business and empower them to confidently create action plans within their organizations that mitigate our climate impacts. The training will also be made available for all HPE team members worldwide.

  • Also this year, we have introduced a new compensation metric that ties a portion of variable pay for the members of our Executive Committee to our management of carbon emissions across our value chain. More specifically, bonus compensation will be tied in part to compliance with our executive climate training requirements and, starting in 2023, a reduction in HPE’s carbon emissions intensity, defined as absolute value-chain emissions over revenue. This builds on existing variable pay indicators related to team member engagement and workforce diversity.

 

Holding our leaders responsible for making progress toward our sustainability goals is just another way we are accelerating our robust sustainability strategy. In the past year alone, our entire board of directors has completed an environmental sustainability training to enhance their knowledge and oversight capabilities.

HPE is making important progress in our pivot to become an as-a-service company, which we expect will have a significant impact on emissions generated from the use of our products. Most importantly, we recognize the urgency to not only minimize our industry’s environmental footprint but to position ourselves as an enabler of a low-carbon future. I’m inspired by the ways in which our team members are helping customers apply HPE solutions to decarbonize carbon-intensive industries or accelerate climate research and, within my own organization, are working to reduce unintended roadblocks in zero-carbon innovation by launching the Low-Carbon Patent Pledge last year.

At HPE, we recognize the importance of minimizing our industry’s environmental footprint and enabling a low-carbon economy.  We look forward to accelerating our progress on these pivotal issues and will share more information about these programs as they roll out this year. To learn more about our plan to create sustainable and ethical technology solutions for a data-first world, please read our Living Progress report or visit our Living Progress page

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