Assessing Life Cycle Water Consumption Impacts

As part of Lenovo’s efforts to minimize our impact on water resources, Lenovo’s Desktop Development team partnered with RDC Environment (a subsidiary corporation of Intertek) to utilize the Instant LCA™ Electronics Tool which follows the principles and requirements of ISO14040 and 14044. The tool is based on a full LCA model which encompasses all life cycle stages from the extraction of raw materials to the products end-of-life (from cradle to grave) and include the manufacturing of the components, assembly, and transportation of the electronics. Lenovo conducted a pilot of the tool to develop a product water footprint for our flagship All-in-One product the ThinkCentre X1.

This pilot project involved primary data collection from electronic and non-electronic component suppliers including information on the mainboard, display, HDD, ODD, PSU, cable and other cards etc. Data was also collected on electricity and water consumption during product assembly; primary data for the weight of paper and plastic packaging; information related to the distribution of the product and market share; the typical electricity consumption (TEC) of the product; and the end of life disposition of the product. By using the LCA calculation based all above information, the water consumption result was calculated.

The result of the project showed that the production and use of one unit of the ThinkCentre X1 is associated with the consumption of approximately 6.247m3 of water. The exercise also shed light on the most significant impacts to water consumption during the lifecycle which are estimated to be related to the components of the mainboard production, the display production, the assembly phase, and the use phase of the product (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Elementary phases results of ThinkCentre X1 water footprint

Lenovo is now looking at how we can innovate and improve on the mainboard and display manufacturing and assembly processes as well making improvements to energy management during the use phase in order to have the biggest impact on reducing the product water footprint. Lenovo will continue to track and try to drive improvements on the areas of significant impact in order to optimize product water consumption and reduce the product’s impact on the environment.

For full details on the assessment, please see the full Product Water Footprint Report Declaration attached here.

Lenovo is currently evaluating whether to extend this pilot project to other products such as other All-in-One products of ThinkCentre M900z, ThinkCentre M800z and ThinkCentre M700z and all other traditional desktop products in Think series and welcomes feedback which can be sent to environment@lenovo.com.