IT brand pushes recycled content and repair

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Lenovo uses both post-industrial and post-consumer plastics in laptops, desktops, workstations, monitors and accessories. | Hernan E. Schmidt/Shutterstock

Lenovo is using more recycled materials in its products and moving towards a circular economy, even though a recent company study found that only half of top IT managers are aware of the economic value of e-waste.

In fiscal year 2021-2022, Lenovo began using recycled magnesium, aluminum, and ocean-bound plastic in its products, and increased the number of products using some post-resin. consumption (PCR) to 248 products, compared to 103 products the previous year, according to its annual report environmental, social and governance report.

“Company-wide environmental standards and specifications require that its product designers to consider environmentally responsible design practices to facilitate and encourage recycling and minimizing resource consumption,” the report states.

Lenovo uses both post-industrial and post-consumer plastics in laptops, desktops, workstations, monitors and accessories, and by fiscal year 2025-2026 aims to have 100 % of its PC products contain PCR.

In 2021, it used 7,800 tonnes of plastics containing recycled content. The report notes that the weight of PCR used is decreasing every year, even as the company uses PCR in more items, as Lenovo is also reducing its overall use of plastics by making products thinner and lighter.

The company will begin reporting the total weight of recycled metals in next year’s report, according to the report.

Aim for circularity

Lenovo also offers recycling and end-of-life management programs for individuals and businesses. Since 2005, it has processed 324,811 tonnes of computer equipment through its contracted service providers; 34,163 metric tons of that total arrived in 2021, according to the report.

Of this 2021 total, 5.5% was reused as products or parts and 88.2% was recycled as materials. The remainder was disposed of, including 1.5% incinerated using waste-to-energy, 2.1% incinerated as a disposal treatment and 2.6% landfilled.

“The company can advance a circular economy by optimizing the use of its products and parts,” the report notes, and part of that includes repair options.

By FY 2025-2026, Lenovo expects to be able to complete 84% of repairs at the customer’s site, without having to send the PC to a service center. In the same time frame, the company aims to repair 76% of repairable parts for future use.

“The rapidly changing global context is driving the global business community to respond with smarter innovations and more responsible operations, seizing every opportunity to act with a larger goal in mind,” said CEO Yuanqing Yang. in a press release. Press release.

Low awareness of the value of e-waste

Lenovo also released a report titled “Rethinking e-waste in a circular economy”, which found that only 50% of IT business leaders were aware of the potential economic value of their organization’s e-waste, and 9% said “they don’t don’t even take it into account.”

However, 75% of respondents said their organization measures and tracks the amount of e-waste they create each year and 59% said they increased the amount of hardware they purchased during COVID-19.

To raise awareness of the value of e-waste and encourage recycling, Lenovo collaborated with jeweler, Holly Ryan, to create four unique designer rings made from metals from recycled e-waste, a press release said.

Matt Codrington, CEO of Lenovo, said in the press release that since the start of the current fiscal year, the company has already seen a 43% year-over-year increase in the number of customers using its asset recovery services.

“It’s fantastic to see so many of our customers rethinking the lifecycle of technology products, ensuring that every salvageable material in every device can be reused at end of life,” Codrington said.

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