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Business Transformation and the Circular Economy: HP

May 2017 | Case Studies

HP’s Instant Ink service offers an opportunity to address customer pain points and design waste out of the system. Internet-connected printers recognize when ink cartridges are low and automatically ship new cartridges to consumers, preempting the frustration of running out of ink at inconvenient times. The new cartridges include return envelopes, which enables HP to close the loop by incorporating plastics from returned cartridges into the manufacturing of new cartridges. HP markets the service as an easier and more affordable option than purchasing ink from traditional outlets, rather than as a circular economy initiative. The service introduces sustainability benefits without pushing them as such to consumers.



Thomas Singer

Principal Researcher
The Conference Board




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