April 20, 2023

From ThinkPad to fashion accessory: Lenovo’s circular economy commitment

Taryn Trass
National Practice Manager - Lenovo
There are, without doubt, a wealth of reasons that organisations are increasingly focused on not only their own environmental impact, but also the green credentials of their partners and suppliers. In the technology sector, this is absolutely the case, as we’re seeing considerable effort and investment dedicated to environmental initiatives. While there has been much fanfare from some of the big names, Lenovo has been quietly working on some innovations and industry firsts in its environmental, social and governance (ESG) program that deserve recognition. 

Although Australia is yet to introduce mandatory sustainability reporting rules, it is likely to be only a matter of time, and many organisations are already preparing for the inevitable already demonstrating a strong commitment towards implementing sustainability strategies for a better future.  

Reporting rules aside, there are plenty of reasons that environmental efforts are important, other than simply being the right thing to do. It makes great business sense, with some businesses expecting 30% growth as a result of their sustainability focus. More than four out of five consumers feel strongly that companies should help to improve the environment, and 70% of employees say their company’s environmental agenda influences their loyalty.  

Data#3 and Lenovo: A partnered approach to sustainability 

I’m proud to say here at Data#3 we are certainly seeing this reflected not only among our own workforce, but also our technology partners. It’s becoming increasingly clear that that environmental and sustainability initiatives are getting higher and higher on the priority list for many of the organisations we support on their technology journeys.   

It should come as no surprise that Lenovo, a premium Diamond partner with Data#3, has already exceeded their 2020 carbon emissions target and set a more ambitious aim of achieving net zero by 2050 – an incredible achievement. Rather than a rush to earn some green credentials, theirs has been a long-term program that has been entrenched in their business for quite some time. It is as a result of that maturity that Lenovo is a step ahead of the pack after the recent announcement of a CO2 emissions offset program available to customers. 

Among the first of its kind in the technology industry, Lenovo’s approach gives a point-of-sale option to offset emissions associated with any ThinkPad device. The emission total is calculated on an average lifecycle of up to five years and includes everything from manufacturing and shipping to typical usage. It can be added to your purchase in just a few clicks, much like any hardware configuration. Each device serial number is tied to the project it supports – with established partners including the United Nations Climate Change program – making it easy to track and convenient to offset emissions and more likely to happen in a busy IT environment. 

It could, of course, be said that the ThinkPad range has always been something of an environmental leader when it comes to devices. While the current generation is sleek and elegant, the aesthetically pleasing ThinkPad laptops retain the rugged durability passed along from their original IBM heritage. They may ship products in environmentally friendly bamboo packaging and have introduced recycled materials into the design, as well as more efficiently charged, longer lasting batteries, but Lenovo hasn’t forgotten the workhorse quality that makes the ThinkPad series last longer than other devices. This reliability and longevity mean fewer replacements and repairs, which reduces overall manufacturing impact per user, not to mention makes them more enjoyable to use.  

Think about the future 

It is, of course, easy to talk a good game on environmental programs but Lenovo Corporate Responsibility Officer, John Cerretani, made it clear in his annual report comments that it takes leadership commitment to make a real difference. 

“Vision must be backed by meaningful actions and tangible goals. For Lenovo, our vision to provide smarter technology for all is engrained into all aspects of our business and drives our overall ESG efforts.” 

By 2025, those efforts will have resulted in the removal of a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from the Lenovo supply chain, and it is expected that 90% of global operations will run on renewable energy. There’s a commitment to the circular economy, with end-of-life devices channelled, not into landfill, but into production of new products including exquisite, artisan jewellery that Lenovo then buys from the artist and auctions, contributing proceeds to further social responsibility programs. When your much-loved ThinkPad finally reaches end-of-life, who knows, you could just end up wearing it. 

As a quiet achiever in the environmental responsibility arena, Lenovo has much, including its new CO2 offset program, to shout about. Lenovo’s current generation of star performing devices and the new CO2 offset program.  

Data#3’s commitment to sustainability 

Throughout our long history, we have made many decisions that support our community and environment. Our vision is to harness the power of people and technology for a better future. We commit to a sustainable environmental, social and governance framework that supports our business, people, and stakeholders. 

Learn more about Data#3’s commitment to partnering with vendors like Lenovo to leverage the power of technology for a sustainable future.