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Think Green Products – Materials

Use of Environmentally Preferred Materials

Post Consumer and Post Industrial Recycled Content

Lenovo is proud to be an industry leader in using post-consumer recycled content (PCC) plastics in the manufacture of new computer and monitor products. Lenovo uses PCC in its notebooks, desktops, workstations, monitors, and options.

Lenovo started using PCC in selected  monitors in early 2007 and today uses PCC across all PC product categories, including in all ThinkVision monitors.  In 2009, over 30% net of all plastic by weight[1] used in Lenovo monitors consisted of low-halogen post-consumer recycled content.  Lenovo  expanded the use of PCC to workstations and desktops in late 2007.  In October 2009, Lenovo introduced the ThinkPad SL410 and SL510 notebook models, both of which contain greater than 10% net PCC.  Lenovo continues to expand its emphasis on green design with the ThinkPad L Series. The LCD cover, palm rests, and top and bottom cases of these notebooks use up to 30% PCC from sources such as used office water jugs and IT equipment. The L512 ThinkPad contains 18% net PCC, making it the industry’s highest amount of PCC in a notebook.[2]  Each ThinkPad L Series notebook diverts the equivalent of 10 plastic water bottles from going to landfill.   Newly released products that meet EPEAT PCC usage thresholds (10% or greater) include the ThinkPad Edge E420 and E520 (10%), ThinkCenter M71e Desktops (+30%) and the ThinkStation E30 Workstations (14%).  Additionally, PCC material use has been implemented and/or planned in a number of select ThinkPad and IdeaPad notebook computers at levels of 1-8% where technically feasible.

To overcome the continuing challenges of using recycled content in the design and manufacture of computer products, especially notebooks, Lenovo’s team of engineers works closely with our PCC suppliers to develop and qualify new grades of plastic resins previously unavailable to the IT industry. Using PCC in IT products presents significant challenges due to the unique structural, performance, and cosmetic requirements associated with these applications. Depending on the final application requirements, the plastic resins contain between 10% and 65% PCC.  Some plastic resins also contain up to 20% post-industrial recycled content (PIC).  All of these materials receive environmental and application qualifications prior to their approval and use.

Using these engineered plastics not only saves the natural resources and energy that would have gone to manufacture new plastics, but also diverts an equal amount of PCC and PIC from landfills.  These environmental benefits are achieved while still creating a product that meet’s Lenovo’s high performance standards.

Since early 2005, Lenovo has used over 73 million pounds (gross) of plastic materials containing PCC and/or PIC in its products, with net PCC of over 25.7 million pounds and net PIC of over 1.8 million pounds. In the first half 2011 alone, Lenovo has used over 11 million pounds (gross) of recycled plastics with net PCC of over 4.6 million and net PIC of over 80,000 pounds.  To continue this momentum, Lenovo has challenged its product teams to incorporate some amount of PCC into every PC product released by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2012) and  increase each business units use of PCC by 20% year to year.  All product teams are showing significant progress towards these goals.


Gross Plastics used that contain PCC or PIC

Net Post Consumer Recycled (PCC) Content used

Net Post Industrial Recycled (PCI) Content used

Since  early 2005

73,000,000 lbs

25,765,000 lbs

1,800,000 lbs

Jan 1 – Jun 30, 2011

11,400,000 lbs

4,600,000 lbs

81,000 lbs

Of the total plastics used in all Lenovo products during the calendar year 2010, over 11.5% (gross) contained recycled content, with net PCC usage of approximately 4.3%.

Lenovo’s use of post-consumer recycled content and post-industrial recycled content plastics in its products has resulted in the avoidance of nearly 18,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions since Lenovo began using these materials in May 2005.[3]

To learn more about Lenovo's use of recycled content materials, please read Lenovo's white paper on this topic.

[1]Lenovo calculates and reports net recycled plastics content based only on the actual weight of the post-consumer or post-industrial recycled content in the plastic resin blend, not the overall weight of the blend. That means that for every 100 pounds of a plastic resin blend containing 30% post-consumer content, the net usage Lenovo reports is only 30 pounds of post-consumer content, not the overall weight of the material.
[2]According to the EPEAT registry as of August 11, 2010
[3]Using the conversion factors defined by TCO in their report “Recycled Plastic in IT Products 2009” located at http://www.tcodevelopment.com/tcodevelopmentnew/Artiklar/Recycled_plastic_in_IT_products_2009.pdf

Low Halogen and Halogen Free Materials

Lenovo is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of its products. In order to implement this commitment, Lenovo’s chemical and substance management policy supports a precautionary approach, ensuring Lenovo will take appropriate action even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully scientifically established.

Lenovo supports the goal to phase-out1[4] brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and PVC and is committed to driving its supply chain towards this goal. In 2011, Lenovo has made significant progress in phasing out the use of BRFs and PVC in many of its top selling products, including the ThinkPad T420 and X1 notebooks.  Lenovo recognizes that there may be challenges to the supply of low halogen commodities for certain applications and products (replacement parts, power related parts, etc.).  Lenovo continues to make efforts to drive our supply chain towards low halogen.  Lenovo recognizes that the phase-out of these materials is dependent on the availability of suitable alternatives that meet Lenovo's technological, quality, environmental, health, and safety requirements.

Progress towards low halogen

In support of Lenovo’s phase out goal, Lenovo is taking a two pronged approach to tackle the phase out of these materials at both a commodity level across all products, as well as at the product level by introducing low halogen products in several product families. 

At the commodity level, beginning in 2010, many models of Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks contained hard disk drives, optical disk drives, solid state drives, LCD screens, memory, CPUs, chipsets, and several communications cards that met the iNEMI definition of low halogen.  In addition, all plastic enclosures and most components and connectors also met this definition of low halogen (with the exception of printed board laminates).  In addition, across all product lines, Lenovo had already at that time completely phased-out the use of PVC and BFRs in all mechanical plastic parts such as product covers, housings, bezels, etc.  

At the product level, Lenovo introduced its first low halogen product, the ThinkVision L2440x Wide monitor, in October of 2008, and followed this product with the ThinkVision L2251x Wide monitor released in November 2009.  Both of these products were available globally.  In late 2010, Lenovo introduced the low halogen M90p desktop.  In 2011, all ThinkPad notebooks have been released with low halogen PCBs.  Lenovo has made significant progress in 2011 releasing high volume products that meet the iNEMI definition of low halogen, including the top selling ThinkPad T420 notebook, the ThinkCentre M90p low halogen small form factor desktop, the Zhao yang K47 (China) notebook and ThinkPad X1, T520, W520, T420, X220, and X220t notebooks.   These products meet the iNEMI definition of low halogen, excluding certain battery and power related parts.[5,6]  

Working with suppliers
Lenovo is continuing to work with its supply chain to drive its low halogen transition across all commodities and product families.  In April of 2010, Lenovo held supplier environmental training sessions with a focus on low halogen transition requirements in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, China.  Over 400 representatives of suppliers to Lenovo’s ThinkPad, ThinkCentre, IdeaPad, IdeaCentre and ThinkStation business units attended the training sessions.

For more details on Lenovo's low halogen efforts, please read Lenovo's white paper on this topic.

[4]Lenovo supports the definition of "BFR/PVC free" as defined in the "iNEMI Position Statement on the 'Definition of Low-Halogen' Electronics (BFR/CFR/PVC-Free).”
[5]PVC/BFR-free power cords not available in certain geographies.
[6] Lenovo reserves the right to substitute non-low halogen parts if supply shortages occur, such as with the Japan earth quake.


Other Substances of Interest – Antimony and Beryllium

Lenovo’s Requirements for Materials, Parts and Products (41A7731) specification requires Suppliers to report the presence of antimony and beryllium in any products, materials, or parts specified for use in Lenovo products.  A phase-out target of YE 2012 is planned where technically feasible.


ECO Labels
EPEAT Registered Products

EPEAT is a tool to help PC buyers evaluate desktops, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes.  All EPEAT-registered products must meet 23 mandatory environmental performance criteria. An additional 28 optional criteria are used to determine whether products earn EPEAT Bronze, Silver, or Gold recognition. 

Lenovo offers numerous EPEAT Gold rated products in many countries around the world.  To get a complete list of Lenovo’s EPEAT certified products visit EPEAT’s registry search tool.

Learn more about EPEAT by accessing EPEAT’s guide to Buying Greener Computers.


Select Lenovo desktops, notebooks, workstations and monitors have passed extensive testing for up to 2,000 chemical emissions to be GREENGUARD certified.

TCO Certification

TCO Certification ensures that products come with an ergonomic design, deliver high performance, are low on energy consumption and meet the toughest environmental requirements like recycling and limits on hazardous materials. Lenovo has many TCO and TCO Edge Certified displays, all-in-ones, desktops, and notebooks. For a list of them, use the TCO search page at http://www.tcodevelopment.com/pls/nvp/!tco_search

In October 2009, Lenovo launched the ThinkVision L2251x Wide monitor, the first PC monitor to be TCO Edge Certified. The chassis of the L2251x Wide uses 65% post consumer recycled plastics with an additional 20% post-industrial recycled content and no virgin plastics in the chassis.

Nordic Ecolabel

On March 25, 2010, Lenovo was awarded the 2000th Nordic Ecolabel. The ecolabel, which is present in all Nordic countries, denotes products which are more environmentally friendly allowing consumers to make informed and conscious purchase choices. Twelve different laptop computers, including nine ThinkPad models were recognized with this label demonstrating that Lenovo is at the forefront of sustainable and environmentally modified products in the Nordics. For additional information view the press release.


For a list of the Lenovo products with the Nordic Ecolabel, click here.

Lenovo ECO Declarations
Lenovo’s ECO Declarations follows the ECMA 370 standard, which has been developed in accordance with international standards. They provide basic information on the environmental attributes of each product covering material use, energy efficiency, acoustics, packaging, disassembly, and recycling. The ECO Declaration sheet (that is, Environmental Data Sheet) is available for each of our products. Click here to access them.

Lenovo is actively phasing out the use of mercury in products, such as by designing display products with fewer lamps and by shifting to new technologies such as LED backlighting. For more information, please see Lenovo’s Product Mercury statement.

Lenovo complies with worldwide Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) requirements. For an update on Lenovo’s RoHS status, please click here.

For more information on Lenovo’s product content restrictions and packaging requirements visit our Product Content Restrictions page.


Lenovo Low Halogen White Paper
Lenovo Recycled Content White Paper
Think Green – Climate
Think Green Products - Energy
Think Green Products - Packaging
Think Green Products - Recycling
What’s New: Lenovo’s Green Initiatives
REACH: SVHC disclosure
Product Mercury Statement
Progress on RoHS
Baseline Environmental Requirements for Materials, Parts and Products, 41A7731
RoHS/REACH Engineering Specification, 41A7733
Supplier Material Declaration (IPC-1752)
Sustainability reports
Social responsibility resources

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