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Think Green Products – Materials

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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 Lenovo ThinkPad Edge notebooks and ThinkVision monitors. Currently, all ThinkPad Edge notebooks contain at least 10% post-consumer recycled content.  Many Lenovo commercial desktops use significant amounts of PCC, including the ThinkCentre M92p Tiny (39%), the ThinkCentre M92p and M82 Tower (42%), and the ThinkCentre M92p and M82 Small Form Factors (36%). 

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 performance qualifications prior to their approval and use in Lenovo product applications.

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 95 million pounds (gross) of plastic materials containing PCC and/or PIC in its products, with net PCC of over 36.5 million pounds and net PIC of over 1.8 million pounds.  In the first half 2012 alone, Lenovo has used over 10 million pounds (gross) of recycled plastics with net PCC of over 4.9 million pounds.  To continue this momentum, Lenovo challenged its product teams to incorporate some amount of PCC into every PC product released by the end of fiscal year (March 2012) and increase each business units use of PCC by 20% year to year.  To continue the focus of Lenovo’s product groups on achieving the objective of increasing the use of these environmentally preferred materials and to reflect the maturing of this program, the following new targets were established for fiscal year 2012/2013:

• 100% of products released after March 31, 2013, will contain at least 5% PCC relative to total plastics weight.
• Increase the percentage of PCC (relative to total plastics weight) by 10% for all new products released after March 31, 2013. The percentage increase is measured relative to the previous generation of the product.

The following table shows Lenovo's use of post-consumer recycled content (PCC) and post-industrial recycled content (PIC) plastics over time:


Gross Plastics used that contain PCC or PIC

Net PCC used

Net PIC used

Since  early 2005

95,853,000 lbs

36,539,000 lbs

1,861,000 lbs

Jan 1 – Jun 30, 2012

10,234,000 lbs

4,900,000 lbs

8,157 lbs

Lenovo’s use of post-consumer recycled content and post-industrial recycled content plastics in its products has resulted in the avoidance of over 26,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions since Lenovo began using these environmentally preferred 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”.


Low Halogen Transition

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-out [4] the use of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and PVC and is committed to driving its supply chain towards this goal.  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.), and 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 Update

Lenovo has made progress in 2013 in our two pronged approach towards eliminating the use of PVC and BFRs at both a commodity level across all products and at the product level by adding additional low halogen products to our portfolio. In addition a low halogen scorecard has been implemented (Oct 2013) for the product groups within Lenovo to complete. The first year will be a benchmarking year in order to see where each system family is at their component levels in phasing in low halogen parts. At the end of the year each product group will be given a report card grade and challenged to improve that grade the following year. 

At the commodity level, Lenovo continues to add low halogen commodity categories to our bills of material.  These include all plastic enclosures; most components and connectors (with the exception of printed board laminates); all mechanical plastic parts such as product covers, housings, bezels, etc.; and many hard disk drives, optical disk drives, solid state drives, LCD screens, memory, CPUs, chipsets, communications cards, and other commodities have offerings that meet the iNEMI definition of low halogen.

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.  Since 2011, all ThinkPad notebooks have been released with low halogen PCBs.  Lenovo 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]  The LT2452p monitor was released in September 2011 and meets the iNEMI definition of low halogen with the exception of the external cables (VGA, DVI, DP, USB and power cord).

In 2013, Lenovo has made ongoing progress towards the elimination of PVC and BFR from its systems. The focus continues to be on eliminating halogen from our top selling products and across as many commodities as possible. Highlights include the following:

  • • Elimination of most PVC and BFR from ThinkPad notebooks.  PVC is only used in power cords and cables.  BFRs are used in power cords, cables, AC adapters, battery packs, planar ASMs, subcards, connectors, and some modular parts (color sensors, finger print modules, etc.).
  • • All IdeaPad notebooks contain low halogen processors and chipsets, graphics cards, RAM, ODD, HDD, SSD, panels, keyboards, RF modules, touchpads, cameras, TV-tuners, and Blue Tooth, where applicable.
  • • The Lenovo LT2452p monitor is low halogen except for the external cables (VGA, DVI, DP, USB, and power cord).
  • • All other currently released commercial Lenovo monitors meet the iNEMI definition of low halogen with the exception of their PCBA and external cables.
  • • All Lenovo IdeaVisual monitors are low halogen except PCBs and cables.
  • • Lenovo IdeaCentre desktops contain the following low halogen components:  CPU, LCD panel, mode switch, Blue Tooth, audio, LAN, remote control, and chassis.
  • •Lenovo ThinkCentre desktops have low halogen chassis and CPUs.


Working with suppliers

Lenovo is continuing to work with its supply chain to drive its low halogen transition across all commodities and product families. For more details on Lenovo's low halogen efforts, please read Lenovo's white paper on this topic.

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

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.

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.  All current Lenovo notebook models, including ThinkPad, ThinkPad Edge, and IdeaPad, use LED backlighting rather than mercury containing compact fluorescent lamps (CCFL).  All Lenovo commercial monitors, with the exception of the D186w, have transitioned to LED backlighting and Lenovo is reducing the number of CCFL models of consumer monitors with only the D186, L1961, L2061, LI1920, and LI1963 still using mercury containing CCFL lamps.  Many Lenovo commercial All-in-One desktops have LED (non mercury) backlighting, including the ThinkCentre M92z, ThinkCentre Edge 92z, ThinkCentre Edge 91z, ThinkCentre M72z, ThinkCentre Edge 72z, and the China only YT S750.  Lenovo consumer All-in-One desktops with LED backlighting includes models A310, A700, A720, B305, B320, B520, B520e, B540, C205, C225, and C325. 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.  In China, Lenovo is leading the industry group for Management Methods for Controlling Pollution by Electronic Information Products (for the Ministry of Information Industry Order #39) and the China RoHS serials standard.  All Lenovo products meet the China RoHS serials standard and are labeled as required.


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


ECO Labels
UL Environment's Sustainable Products Certification

In early 2011, Lenovo became the first computer manufacturer to obtain UL Environment′s Sustainable Products Certification to the "Gold" level for the IEEE 1680.1 standard. As part of this certification, products undergo rigorous in-house testing at Underwriters Laboratories to the IEEE 1680.1 standard, including criteria such as energy efficiency, design for recycling and materials usage. Since obtaining this industry first, Lenovo has gone on to certify with ULE several additional models of ThinkPads as well as Lenovo′s full lineup of ThinkVision monitors.  For a video describing this process, please click here.


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.



The GREENGUARD Certification Program (formerly known as GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification) gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to the creation of healthier interiors. Achieving GREENGUARD Certification gives credence to manufacturers’ sustainability claims, backing them with empirical scientific data from an unbiased, third-party organization.

Select Lenovo desktops, notebooks, workstations and monitors that are 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://tcodevelopment.com/tco-certified/search-tco-certified-product-database/

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.


TÜV Rheinland Green Product Mark

TÜV Rheinland’s Green Product Mark is a voluntary sustainability mark for consumer products that will give end consumers and buyers guidance in identifying green and sustainable products in the often crowded market place. The Green Product Mark, along with the related certification requirements, aims to minimise the impact of consumer products on the environment. It follows the Brundtland concept and tries with the related certification requirements to ensure the compliance of various sustainability regulations and requirements.

With the Green Product Mark, Lenovo ThinkCenter Desktop, All-In-One and ThinkVision Monitors will be able to further demonstrate its commitment to the environment, sustainability and society as the green Leader in the industry. For details, please 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.



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