Committing to a More Sustainable, More Connected World on Earth Day

John Cerretani, Chief Sustainability Executive, Lenovo

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, an environmental movement that has led to global policies and collaborations that continue to benefit our environment and the health of communities around the world.

At Lenovo, Earth Day underscores our ongoing efforts to be a more sustainable corporate citizen in our business operations in order to help create a more sustainable world. We know that sustainability is a journey with no end point. We are proud of the progress we’ve made in expanding our Closed Loop Post Consumer Recycled Content plastics program to include these types of recycled materials in 66 of our products, but we’re focused on growing the use of post-consumer recycled content through more products, like the Eco Pro backpack.

Our focus on sustainability doesn’t end at our products or workplaces. We’re also evaluating how to make our packaging more sustainable by using lighter and biodegradable products like bamboo and sugar cane and optimizing the design of our shipments to reduce packing material consumption. We’re happy that we’ve been able to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 92% since 2009-2010, and we’re interested in expanding our sustainable operations through projects like the solar panel array recently installed at our North America headquarters.

We also know that our opportunities to make the world more sustainable are not just operational, but can be seen through the many innovative applications of our technology. We’re inspired by the use of Lenovo technology to measure and adapt to climate change, conserve the environment, and ensure that while much of the world is still dependent on fossil fuels, these resources are extracted safely and efficiently until a transition to renewable resources is made.

Earth Day reminds us of our dependence on the planet and each other, something brought into even sharper focus as we collectively battle COVID-19. Responding to coronavirus is not just a call to action to join our neighbors in solidarity by staying home to stop the spread; it’s an invitation to reflect on the impact of human activity on the planet. While our thoughts are understandably now on responding to the immediate challenges of the pandemic, I am hopeful we can use the lessons we are learning today about the power of our actions when we work together to help address sustainability challenges in the future.  All around the world, people are being inspired by the commitment and courage of frontline workers facing the pandemic; let’s use this inspiration to bring us together in the future to address other global challenges including climate change, waste, and air pollution.

As we pivot to more virtual collaborations, coordination across global supply chains, and a growing awareness of the interconnections between communities around the world, we’re learning new ways to work sustainably and responsibly. I hope that these behaviors lead us to a better relationship with the planet and mark a turning point for many Earth Days to come. What’s clear is that present uncertainties provide a platform for change—for how we each care for the world, the critical importance of our health and social care systems, and how businesses address all of our stakeholders’ needs. I hope we all stay safe, continue to look after each other, and find moments to reflect on what it truly means to be a global citizen—today and in the future.

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