By Jessica Oaks
It can be hard to rectify the conspicuous discrepancy between the modern “green” movement – with its philosophies of reducing, reusing and recycling – and the disposable consumer culture that has seemingly taken over the world. The average life cycle of a smartphone is shockingly short; in fact, more than 125 million cell phones are discarded each year.
Mind you, these cell phones aren’t being recycled or traded in and resold as refurbished models – they are being thrown away, resulting in more than 65,000 tons of waste annually worldwide. Unfortunately, the numbers for computers, monitors, laptops, and televisions are even more sobering. As a culture, there can be little doubt that the adage “made to last” no longer seems to apply to the things that we buy.
The fact that products like cell phones are disposable (and also that the tech industry is unique in that demonstrable improvements are observed every year) should be a driving factor for companies that design and manufacture tech gadgets. How can they make their products last longer? How can they ensure as minimal an impact on the environment as possible? How can they encourage consumers to hold on to products for a greater duration of time? These are questions that should be addressed within the industry. However, for many of the world’s largest tech giants, this ideology comes second to profits due to planned obsolescence.
If companies fall short in terms of making a difference, most consumers fare no better. Understanding how consumer culture drives product development can and should help shape who you are as a consumer. Which products do you purchase? How long do you keep them? Do you recycle them when you’re finished with them? That being said, ultimately, it’s up to the manufacturers to do their part to help mitigate their impact on the environment. And when it comes to the tech industry, Lenovo is leading the way.
How to Stand Out? It’s Simple: Be Different.
Lenovo is a leader of environmental protection when it comes to the technology industry. To help mitigate the company’s impact on the environment, it has embraced a multi-tiered approach to conservation. This approach has routinely resulted in the company winning merits for its green-business practices. Among these practices are:
Use of Environmentally Preferred Materials
Lenovo makes heavy use of post-consumer recycled content (pcc) plastics in the manufacture of its computers, laptops, monitors, and other tech devices. As the production of plastic exacts a heavy toll on the environment, using recycled components wherever possible allows Lenovo to minimize its environmental impact. Many of Lenovo’s best laptops feature pcc plastics, and some of the company’s offerings are made up of nearly half recycled materials. This approach may seem insignificant when looking at an individual product, but when taken on the whole, it can lead to dramatically reduced resource consumption.
Energy Star-rated Products
Lenovo’s best laptops are not only powerful computers and multimedia tools – they’re also Energy Star-rated appliances. A joint program of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, the Energy Star initiative was created to recognize and promote appliances that had a minimal environmental impact. Approximately 98 percent of Lenovo’s laptops meet Energy Star certifications, and of these, most exceed the minimum requirements by up to 60 percent. These devices require less electrical needs, which in turn, places less of a demand on the electrical grid.
A Staunch Environmental Policy
In its continuous mission to improve its environmental standings, Lenovo has adopted a corporate philosophy on environmental protection. This policy drivers everything that the company does, from product research and development to design to manufacturing. With every product that is being developed, Lenovo is committed to ensuring that it is compliant with environmental regulations and standards, and the manufacturing processes that are employed have zero to minimal impact on the environment. Prevention of pollution, conservation of resources, and a small carbon footprint are all of the utmost importance to the company.
A Philosophy of Sustainability
As the second largest computer company in the world, Lenovo understands that to succeed, it must adopt a path of sustainability. To that end, the company commits itself to working with the environment, its employees, and the communities in which it holds offices, manufacturing plants, and factories – not in spite of them or with zero regard to their best interests. This philosophy of sustainability is adopted at all levels of the business, from the top, down, and the bottom, up.
Jessica Oaks is a freelance journalist who loves to cover technology news and the ways that technology makes life easier. She also blogs at FreshlyTechy.com. Check her out on Twitter @TechyJessy.