Jewish Journal


August 2, 2009

The Shat calls out HP



"Hazardous Products" message painted by Greenpeace activists onto the roof of Hewlett-Packard building in Palo Alto.

William Shatner, fresh off his Palin poetry slam, set his sights on HP. Employees at the company’s Palo Alto headquarters found a robocall voicemail message from the “Star Trek” actor last week, telling them to get on the green bandwagon, like Apple.

The publicity stunt, which was organized by Greenpeace, also included graffiti on the rooftop of Hewlett-Packard’s global headquarters. The protest was intended to call attention to what the NGO deems HP’s broken promise to eliminate hazardous chemicals—brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride—in its products, Fair Home reports.

A computerized dialing system ensured that every member of HP staff got the message.

“This is William Shatner speaking,” it said. “You, HP, promised me a toxic-free computer by 2009. Now my friends at Greenpeace tell me that I’ll have to wait till 2011. What’s up with that?”

HP had promised to make its computers free of PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants by the end of this year.

The target has now been delayed until 2011.

“It’s shameful that HP is continuing to put hazardous products on the market, despite the promises it had made,” said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner.

“Instead of going back on its commitments, HP should be following the lead of companies like Apple, which has led the sector in phasing out these toxic chemicals.”

Greenpeace also emblazoned the phrase “Hazardous Products” in nontoxic paint across the roof of HP’s headquarters in California.

HP branded the stunt “unconstructive.”

“The antics at HP’s headquarters did nothing to advance the goals that all who care about the environment share,” the company said in a statement.

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