Computer manufacturer Lenovo has unveiled plans to rollout a carbon offsetting scheme for customer purchases across the globe, following a trial run in the Nordics that saw 26,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide offset.
Lenovo is planning a global rollout of its offsetting programme for new Think-branded products as part of the ongoing CO2 Offset Services initiative.
The programme was first launched as a pilot in the Nordics in February. During the first nine months, customers helped offset 26,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, the equivalent to almost 1,800 European flights.
The company plans to roll the programme out globally this year, for all Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as the Asia Pacific and North America markets.
The offset scheme accounts for emissions produced from the manufacture and shipping of each individual product and up to five years of consumer use. Offsets are delivered through projects overseen by the UN and ClimeCo, which is one of the largest producers of US-based carbon credits.
“What’s unusual is our micro, rather than macro approach here,” Lenovo’s director of EMEA service sales, Thilo Bayerlander, said. “We’ve crunched the numbers and can say with confidence what carbon impact the individual product you buy will have. You can then simply choose to offset this PCF [Product carbon footprint] at the point of purchase.”
“This is actually one of the first times that you can draw a clear line from your individual purchase to the number of metric tonnes then offset. We believe we are the first company in the IT industry to make offsetting tangible for our customers in a way that links cause and effect directly.”
The global market for voluntary offsetting has been growing exponentially for more than a decade. Just 8.8 million tonnes of CO2e were covered in 2006 but, by 2017, the figure stood at 62.7 million tonnes. By late 2019, some NGOs and businesses offering carbon credits were reporting a tenfold increase in interest from businesses. However, concerns exist that businesses are overly relying on offsets, rather than promoting carbon reductions.
Lenovo is focusing on long-term decarbonisation. Last year, the company set science-based targets to halve emissions from its operations and reduce value chain impacts by 25% by 2030, with a view to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
The new targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and are aligned to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, as envisioned by the Paris Agreement.
By 2030, Lenovo will reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions related to operations and including energy purchased for electricity, heat, steam and cooling by 50%. In the same timeframe, value chain emissions – including the use of sold products, purchased goods and services and upstream transportation – will be reduced by 25%.
The company claims the targets will assist with the identification of steps required to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050.
Lenovo’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report details progress against ESG targets to date and confirms that Lenovo has reduced emissions by 92% since 2010, well surpassing a 40% reduction target.