If you are a person in charge of security in Building 20 inside Hewlett-Packard’s campus in Silicon Valley, you’re living a week from hell. Greenpeace activists broke into the building and painted "Hazardous Products" on top of the building.
The PR disaster didn’t stop there – a voice-recorded message was sent to all of HP’s employees. A voice message reminding that HP backtracked on their promise to reduce hazardous materials inside their computers came from no other than William Shatner, legendary actor known for his roles in Star Trek and Boston Legal.
All of this was a result of an action Hewlett Packard did in 2007. Two years ago, the company promised that they are going to stop using toxic chemicals in their computer products by 2009. In the end, HP stated that they’ve moved the plan to 2011, hoping that an army of tree huggers won’t notice.
The problem was – they noticed. Unlike Dell, a leading computer company in becoming "carbon neutral" and a leader in computer recycling and Apple, a company known not to accept computer components that have hazardous materials [hence the lack of Intel’s SSDs in Apple’s line-up? and the inclusion of ones from OCZ].
Now, Greenpeace has listed the message and the picture from HP’s headquarters on their web, causing a major PR blizzard. Seeing that Dell and Apple went the furthest, and Lenovo and Acer are following the leaders – it is a major embarrasment for a global player such as HP. Well, tough luck guys’n’girls – but HP’s execs did bring this upon their company.