Green Business Singapore Interview – Lenovo

Green Business Singapore is conducting interviews with business leaders, companies and organisations, who would share their views on going green and achieving environmental sustainability. This week, we have the privilege of interviewing Mr Ronnie Lee, Country General Manager, Lenovo Singapore.

About Lenovo

Lenovo is dedicated to building exceptionally engineered personal computers. Lenovo’s business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information see www.lenovo.com.

1. Describe your organisation’s green initiatives and practices.

In a nutshell, Lenovo is committed to environmental leadership in all of its business activities, from our operations to the design of our products and use of our technology. Lenovo’s corporate policy on environmental affairs is supported by the company’s global environmental management system, which is the key element of the company’s efforts to achieve results consistent with environmental leadership and ensures the company is vigilant in protecting the environment across all of its operations worldwide.

Lenovo is committed to employing development and manufacturing processes that do not adversely affect the environment, that minimize waste, prevent air, water and other pollution and minimize health and safety risks. We’re also committed to the safe and responsible disposal of waste. Our green policy highlights an internal operational commitment to conserve energy, use energy efficiently and give preference to renewable over nonrenewable energy sources when feasible.

As a global company, we’re committed to participating in efforts to improve environmental protection around the world and share appropriate pollution prevention technology, knowledge and methods. We aim to meet or exceed applicable government requirements and voluntary requirements to which Lenovo subscribes.

Above all, we set and adhere to stringent requirements of our own and strive to continually improve Lenovo’s environmental management system and performance.

2. Why did your organisation decide to go green?

We’re committed to corporate social responsibility – for our employees, our shareholders, customers and suppliers, and very importantly, the communities in which we operate in the world.

I don’t think going green is a luxury in the current climate. It’s a business imperative. A great example of this is the products we deliver. It wasn’t always the case that a customer’s priority when buying a new PC was its energy efficiency but today, this is fundamental. So we keep challenging ourselves and we’ve been continuing to raise the bar on environmentally friendly PCs.

Our recently announced products include a range of EPEAT Gold-rated PCs and innovations toward making our products increasingly environmentally friendly. This is just further proof that innovation towards green technology is relentless at Lenovo, and just as significant as the investment we make in improving the performance, reliability and durability of our products.

3. What are the challenges faced by your organisation in going green?

I think the challenges are benchmarking externally as well as internally. And the guiding principles are always the same: How do we act as an environmentally responsible neighbor in the communities where we operate and what can we do better in this area than we have done before. For example, how can we continue to develop, manufacture and market products that are energy efficient, protect the environment and can be reused, recycled or disposed of safely. And because we’re a business, the challenge is naturally to find a way to do this cost-effectively so that our green products don’t have to be premium products.

We conduct self-assessments of our compliance against our own environmental policy and this is reported periodically to our senior executive management. It’s our aim to be an environmentally responsible neighbor in the communities where we operate so we’re committed to the prompt reporting of any conditions that may threaten health, safety or the environment to authorities and affected parties and then to act promptly and responsibly to correct these conditions.

Overall, we are committed to providing appropriate resources to fulfill the objectives of our environmental policy.

4. How has going green helped your organisation?

We use our own products – which is a great start. Apart from the cost savings, I think it’s the knowledge that the company is committed to sustainability that is the real reward – whether you make the policies at the company or are someone who helps the company live these commitments every day.

In March 2008, Lenovo was voted China’s most socially responsible company by readers of The Financial Times online. And on Earth Day – April 22, 2008 – the first China Green Companies Annual Summit in Beijing recognized Lenovo as the ‘Benchmark Company of China Green Companies’. The Summit also ranked Lenovo #1 in the IT sector.

5. Does your organisation have other green plans over the next few years?

In recognition of the need for control of the greenhouse gases for which industry is responsible, Lenovo has set a voluntary target of improving our operational carbon efficiency by 10% by 2012, against a baseline of 2007.

6. What advice would you give to organisations who are interested to go green?

We have something called the Lenovo Energy Calculator. This tool uses actual energy calculations from internal Lenovo testing, to determine the energy savings on our Lenovo desktops, noteboooks and monitors. The energy savings are based on an estimated usage model for various configurations. Costs per kilowatt hour are based on 2007 US dollar calculations. Rates by country are based on 2007 information published by the United States Department of Energy. CO2 emission factors are from the US Dept. of Energy’s most recent data published in 2002. The tool allows you to select “Customize” and input your specific cost, CO2 emission factor and usage profile. We encourage potential customers to use this tool as a gauge of the cost-savings they could see from switching to energy efficient products.

This interview is conducted with Mr Ronnie Lee, Country General Manager, Lenovo Singapore. Visit Lenovo’s website at www.lenovo.com.

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