How Lenovo scored in our Greener Electronics Guide

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Feature Story - 2011-11-08
Do you own any Lenovo products, or planning to buy any? The company recently landed themselves on Greenpeace's 'Greener Electronics Guide'. Greenpeace's Guide ranks electronics companies on their environmental performance in three areas: use of green energy, how green their products are, and how green their manufacturing processes. Take a look at how Lenovo fared.

Greener Electronics Guide

Lenovo, China.
Ranking: 8
Score: 3.8/10

Lenovo takes 8th place in the re-launch of the Guide; it benefits from the removal of the penalty point that was imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in all its products by the end of 2009. While its current goal for new products in 2011 to be PVC/BFR free has not been completely met, Lenovo has launched a number of PVC/BFR free products, including notebooks and a desktop and many components are PVC/BFR free. On other Products criteria it scores well for its use of recycled plastics, where a slightly higher percentage of post-consumer plastics use would earn Lenovo maximum points. However, to score any points on product life cycle it needs to publicly disclose the length of warranty and spare parts availability for its main product lines. It reports on the percentage of products that meet and exceed the Energy Star standard, although this needs to be a higher percentage for more points. Lenovo risks a penalty point in future Guide editions as it is a member of a trade association that has commented against stringent energy efficiency standards; it needs to distance itself from such regressive positions with a strong statement.

On Energy Lenovo achieved its targets on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for financial year 2011, with Scope 1 emissions reduced by 17 percent and Scope 2 by 10 percent; it aims to establish new reduction targets by the end of 2012. It needs ambitious targets to reduce its own GHG emissions by at least 30 percent by 2015 for its operations and dramatically increase renewable electricity use by 2020. It has reduced its energy consumption through energy efficiency projects and has contracted to increase its use of renewable energy, although it needs to outline a detailed clean energy plan. It scores maximum points for providing verified data on its GHG emissions and also scores a point on lobbying for a clean energy policy, for its support of a 30 percent reduction in emissions from developed countries by 2020.           

Its best scores on Operations are for its e-waste take-back programme and reporting on the quantities recycled (although the amounts should be increasing rather than decreasing), and for its comprehensive chemicals management programme and policy. It is beginning the process of gathering data from its supply chain on GHG emissions and is collaborating to develop product carbon footprint protocols and tools that will promote energy reduction actions. On conflict minerals, Lenovo has not yet published or publicly mapped smelters or suppliers and does not yet have an internal policy, although it will support industry efforts in this area. Lenovo specifies the use of 'environmentally friendly packaging' but scores no points as it does not specifically exclude suppliers that are involved in deforestation and illegal logging or specify that its recycled fibres should be FSC certified.

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