Lenovo Sustainability

Recycled Content

Our Approach

Lenovo is committed to using recycled plastics, including Post-Consumer Recycled Content (PCC) and Post-Industrial Recycled Content (PIC), in the manufacturing of its notebooks, desktops, workstations, monitors, and accessories. With the aim of producing more environmentally-friendly, sustainable products, we have achieved a number of major milestones, including:

2007

In 2007, we began using 30% PCC recycled plastic, using end-of-life PET water bottles, to produce Lenovo ThinkVision L193P monitors—a first for the PC industry.

2009

In 2009, Lenovo began producing ThinkPad notebooks with 30% PCC recycled material from end-of-life electronic equipment and 15% talc, representing a significant step in the evolution of Lenovo’s PCC usage program

2010

In 2010 alone, more than 10% of all plastics purchased from suppliers for the production of Lenovo products contained recycled content (PIC and PCC)

2017

In 2017, Lenovo collaborated with a PCC supplier to develop closed-loop PCC materials for use in selected products, and also introduced PCC and PIC packaging materials.

2018

In 2018, Lenovo continued supporting the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy by expanding the use of post-consumer recycled content and using closed loop materials sourced from end-of-life information technology equipment (ITE) and products, with a total of 21 products — a significant increase from 2 products in the previous reporting year.

These initiatives have helped us to meet new customer requirements, satisfy corporate environmental objectives and targets, and achieve EPEAT Gold registrations for many of our products.

Post-Consumer Recycled Content (PCC) and Post-Industrial Recycled Content (PIC)

Depending on the final application requirements, the plastic resins used for Lenovo products contain between 10% and 85% PCC. Some plastic resins also contain between 20% and 99% PIC. All of these materials must meet environmental and performance qualifications before being approved for use. The Global Environmental Affairs (GEA) team focuses on reducing hazardous substance during product design, while manufacturing evaluates ease of disassembly and recycling solutions as it applies to the ‘circular economy’ concept.

To overcome the continuing challenges of using recycled content in the design and manufacture of smart connected devices, especially notebooks, tablets and smartphones, 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. PCC is widely used in desktops, monitors, and servers.

Newly released products that meet EPEAT PCC usage thresholds (10% or greater) include the:

  • ThinkPad S5 2nd Generation
  • ThinkCentre M920z;ThinkCentre M820z (>40%)
  • ThinkVisionT24i-10, ThinkVision T24m-10, ThinkVision P32u-10, ThinkVision P27q-10, ThinkVision P27u-10 (>50%)

Additionally, PCC material use has been implemented or planned in a number of select ThinkPad notebooks, Lenovo notebooks, desktop and all-in-one computers, and Think and Lenovo accessories at levels of 1-10% where technically feasible.

At a Glance

All figures are gross amounts.

  • Since 2005, Lenovo has used over 220 million lbs of plastic materials containing PCC and/or PIC in our products

  • Since 2005, our net PCC usage is over 110 million lbs and net PIC more than 1 million lbs

  • In 2018, Lenovo used nearly 17 million lbs of recycled plastics with a net PCC of over 12 million lbs

  • All newly released desktops, all-in-one computers, workstations, notebooks, tablets and visual products contain between 10% and 85% PCC

  • All newly released server products shall contain a minimum of 10% PCC in the external enclosure.

PCC, PIC, and our suppliers

Using recycled content in our products is no small task. It presents significant challenges due to the unique structural, performance, and cosmetic requirements associated with these applications.

To overcome such challenges, our engineers work closely with our PCC suppliers to develop and qualify new grades of plastic resins previously unavailable to the IT industry. In addition to seeking out environmental benefits wherever possible, we ensure that all our products meet our high exacting standards.

Using re-engineered plastics not only saves the natural resources and energy that would have gone into manufacturing new plastics, but also diverts an equal amount of PCC and PIC from landfills.

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

Please note: 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 lbs of a plastic resin blend containing 30% post-consumer content, the net usage Lenovo reports is only 30 lbs of post-consumer content, not the overall weight of the material.