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