Lenovo Get’s UL Environment’s Gold Certificate For The ThinkPad T420

22 March 2011

Lenovo’s new ThinkPad T420 underwent an environment test at the Underwriter Laboratories’ group. They have gold certified the product after the test saying that the product is environmentally sustainable and helps thwart “green washing”. They also said that this is the first product of its kind to have acquired this certification. This company puts computers under rigorous tests to see whether the standards of the 5star energy rating are met or not. Also the manufacturing process is tested to ensure that it complies by not including or greatly reducing environmentally hazardous materials. Also, this rating means that the laptops are manufactured with a higher percentage of recycled material and environmentally neutral materials.

According to a UL press statement, the SPC Gold certification indicates “a product has met the most stringent and prestigious of three levels of compliance in the industry-wide sustainability standard for laptops, IEEE 1680.1…including reduction or elimination of environmentally sensitive materials in product and packaging, energy conservation, end-of-life management and corporate environmental practices.”

Lenovo, having set a carbon efficiency improvement target, has improved by 10 percent from 2007 to 2012. According to Lenovo’s 2009-2010 CSR report, the most recent available, the company has been focusing on reduction of non-recyclable materials in its product lines across the board, making all its products, from enterprise to consumer categories, more recyclable and reducing the amount of energy its products and operations use. Instead of already adding to the great electronic dump in a landfill, the company strives to initiate customers to recycle the products. They have been successful in the US and most successful in markets in Europe the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The company has faced other environmental challenges, despite attaining Gold certifications from UL and EPEAT on some of its products. Lenovo’s position on the Green Peace guide to greener electronics fell from top spot in the mid-2000s to fourteenth in 2010.

Green Peace also commented on the company’s overall environmental performance and results saying: – “[Lenovo] remains encumbered by a penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and brominates flame retardants (BFRs) in all its products by the end of 2009.” The company apparently made significant progress on three energy criteria and it now supports the need for reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases, which are to peak by 2015, with a 30 percent reduction in emissions from industrialised countries by 2020 and a 50 percent reduction by 2050, relative to 1990. Lenovo has its own targets for reducing GHG emissions, aiming to eliminate or offset its scope 1 emissions by 100 percent by April of this year and attain absolute reductions in scope 2 emissions. Their progressive targets are up to 20% by April 2020, relative to 2008-09/. The company also says that the percentage of its products that meet the latest Energy Star standards has gone up.

It is being speculated whether the company’s meeting the environmental standards would ultimately influence the mind of the buyers in favour of the company.

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