Lenovo to Improve Carbon Efficiency 10% by 2012

by | Dec 9, 2009

LenovoCO2emissionsLenovo Group has pledged to increase its carbon efficiency 10 percent by 2012 using 2007 as a baseline, according to the company’s second corporate social responsibility report.

Lenovo has also set several other goals. As an example, all business units must release at least one product announcement in 2009 supporting the company’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardant (BFR) phase-out goal. The company aims to phase out the use of PVC and BFRs in all products by year end 2010. However, the report also notes that the company plans to remove the 2010 date in FY09/10 and instead focus on collaborative efforts in the supply chain to move toward acceptable alternatives.

The computer maker’s priority is to use environmentally preferable materials whenever possible. The company requires its suppliers to report any usage of BFRs and PVC, and restricts BFRs and PVC from any new low-halogen products.

Lenovo currently prohibits use of PVC in external cover parts and plastic parts weighing more than 25 grams. It also prohibits polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), including deca-brominated diphenyl ethers in any Lenovo parts.

According to Greenpeace earlier this year, Lenovo along with HP and Dell were not on track to meet their promise to eliminate PVC and BFRs from their products by the end of 2009.

Lenovo also set goals to increase the total weight of customer-returned IT equipment processed by Lenovo suppliers by 25 percent over the previous year’s performance, maintain its manufacturing site recycling rate of at least 95 percent, and establish new recycling goals at all major non-manufacturing sites.

Lenovo met its 95 percent recycling rate for non-hazardous solid waste at manufacturing sites and exceeded its goal to increase the weight of customer returns, increasing returns in weight by more than 50 percent.

In 2007, customer returns accounted for more than 5773 metric tons (12.7 million pounds) of the total processed equipment, a 56 percent increase over 2006.

Recycled resins, ranging in recycled content from 10 percent to 50 percent, are used in a number of Lenovo hardware products and are specified as preferred materials where practical.

Overall, one percent of Lenovo’s total plastic usage in 2007/08 was from recycled sources, including both post-consumer and post-industrial content, according to the report. The company used more than 2.2 million pounds of post-consumer recycled plastics in its PCs in 2008.

The company also launched an asset recovery service in 2008.

In the U.S. and Canada, Lenovo participates in the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation’s (RBRC) “Call2Recycle” Program. The computer maker also offers a free product take back and recycling program in China and India for Legend and Lenovo branded PCs, notebooks, monitors and servers, and ThinkPad notebooks, ThinkCentre PCs, and ThinkVision Monitors.

Over the past year, Lenovo financed or managed the processing of more than 17,275 metric tons (38 million pounds) of Lenovo owned or customer returned computer equipment. Nearly 51 percent was reused as products or parts; 42.77 percent was recycled as materials; 4.79 percent was incinerated with waste to energy recovery; 0.42 percent was incinerated as disposal treatment, and only 1.21 percent went to landfill.

Since May 2005, Lenovo has processed more than 40,419 metric tons (89 million pounds) of computer equipment through its contracted service providers.

Lenovo is also striving to improve its energy efficiency. By implementing several energy-saving measures, the company increased its energy efficiency by 5 percent in 2007.

As an example, the manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China, reduced its electricity use by 11.8 percent in 2007 thanks to the addition of control timers on the HVAC system, improved energy management for online servers, and lighting energy management. The facility also consolidated its three buildings down to two buildings for additional energy savings.

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