Environmentally Responsible Solutions

Environmentally Responsible Solutions

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.

Starting in 2007, as new grades of recycled plastics with post-consumer content (PCC) have become available, Lenovo’s product development teams have been using these environmentally preferred materials to meet new customer requirements, satisfy corporate environmental objectives and targets and achieve EPEATTM Gold registrations for our products.

All ThinkCentre M -series products contain at least 15% post-consumer recycled content. Many Lenovo commercial desktops use significant amounts of PCC: ThinkCentre M800 and M900 Tower (24%); ThinkCentre M700z (28%);ThinkCentre M800z(33%); and ThinkCentre M900z(33%).[1]

Lenovo explores every possibility to use PCC as much as possible, especially in ThinkPad products. In October 2009, Lenovo introduced the ThinkPad SL410 and SL510 notebook models, both of which contained greater than 10% net PCC. Currently, almost all ThinkPad E notebooks and ThinkPad L notebooks contain at least 10% post-consumer recycled content. 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. Each ThinkPad L Series notebook diverts the equivalent of 10 plastic water bottles from going to landfill. Lenovo has succeeded in using PCC in the very thin walls of ThinkPad battery packs. Also, the ThinkPad Ultra Dock, ThinkPad Pro Dock, and ThinkPad Basic Dock incorporate PCC.

Newly released products that meet EPEAT™ PCC usage thresholds (10% or greater) include the ThinkPad L460, L560, E460 and E560; ThinkCentre M900z and M800z all-in-one desktops (>30%); and the ThinkVision E2224 Wide (49%). Additionally, PCC material use has been implemented or planned in a number of select ThinkPad notebooks, Lenovo notebooks, Lenovo desktop and all-in-one computers, and Think and Lenovo accessories 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 85% 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 re-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 177 million pounds (gross) of plastic materials containing PCC and/or PIC in its products, with net PCC of over 80 million pounds and net PIC of over 1.9 million pounds. In 2015, Lenovo used nearly 20.6 million pounds (gross) of recycled plastics with net PCC of over 11.6 million pounds. To continue this momentum and encourage Lenovo’s product groups to focus on increasing the use of these environmentally preferred materials, the following new targets were established for FY 2015/16:

  • All product BUs shall use PCC in every product.[2]
  • Maintain or increase current percent PCC usage levels in the next generation of existing products.


Gross Plastics used that contain PCC or PIC

Net PCC used

Net PIC used

Since  early 2005

>177,000,000 lbs

80,000,000 lbs

1,900,000 lbs

Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2015

20,600,000 lbs

11,600,000 lbs

6724 lbs

Lenovo’s use of post-consumer recycled content and post-industrial recycled content plastics in its products has resulted in the avoidance of up to 83 to 248 million pounds of CO2 emissions since we began using these materials.[3] Lenovo is committed to incorporating some amount of PCC into every PC product we develop and continuously increasing the use of PCC in each product family.

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] PCC shall be used when technical specifications and cost parity are met.
[3] Using the conversion factors defined by TCO in its report from April 2014 entitled “Post Consumer Recycled Plastics in IT Products.” This avoidance of emissions is not included in Lenovo’s GHG accounting as it was realized by our suppliers.

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

Highlights from FY2015/16 include:

  • Elimination of most PVC and BFRs 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. In addition, all ThinkPad notebooks have low halogen printed circuit boards.
  • All Lenovo ThinkPads are low halogen with the exception of the power cord and adapter.
  • Many Lenovo commercial monitors meet the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) definition of low halogen with the exception of their printed circuit board assemblies and external cables.
  • Many Lenovo ThinkVision monitors are low halogen except the printed circuit boards and cables.
  • Lenovo ThinkCentre desktops have low halogen chassis and CPUs

Lenovo has completely phased out the use of PVC/BFR in all mechanical plastic parts (such as external covers, housings, etc.) across all Lenovo product lines. Lenovo currently prohibits the following from intentional addition to any Lenovo parts:

  • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs)
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
  • Deca-Brominated Diphenyl Ethers

Lenovo has also made significant progress in phasing out halogen in many commodities across several product lines. For example, 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, communication cards and other commodities have offerings that meet the iNEMI definition of low halogen.

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.

[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).

Other substances of interest

Lenovo restricts the use of environmentally sensitive materials in our products. The specification encompasses both regulatory and Lenovo-imposed material bans and restrictions. This includes the prohibition of ozone-depleting substances in all applications, the restriction on the use of persistent organic pollutants (PoPs) under the Stockholm Convention, and the elimination of materials covered under European Union (EU) Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) even beyond those jurisdictions where regulatory requirements exist. Lenovo’s implementation strategy and requirements are consistent with the requirements specified in the EU’s RoHS Directive and REACH Regulation.

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.

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.

GREENGUARD 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 Certified – TCO Certified is an international sustainability certification for IT products. Buyers worldwide use TCO Certified as a tool to make more sustainable product choices. Life cycle criteria focus on environmental and social responsibility during the manufacturing, use and end of life phases. TCO Certified is a Type 1 Ecolabel in accordance with ISO 14024 and certified product models and their manufacturing facilities are third party verified for compliance. Lenovo has many TCO Certified products, including displays, notebooks, tablets, all-in-ones and desktops. Full listing of certified products at the TCO Certified product registry.

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.

Lenovo Product Carbon Footprint Information Sheets

The Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) Information sheet provides the carbon footprint of Lenovo’s products generated using the streamlined Product Attribute to Impact Algorithm life cycle analysis which includes manufacturing, transportation, use and end of life.

Some existing products and all new products (including notebooks, desktops, monitors, All-in-Ones and tablets) released after July 2015 have product carbon footprint calculated. Click the following link to access the Lenovo Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) Information Sheets located alongside the ECO Declaration Sheets for each product.