BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 14, 2023 – Today marks one year since Lenovo opened the doors of its first European in-house manufacturing facility, in Budapest, Hungary.
With one million units shipped, an award from the Hungarian government and a 20% increase in headcount, it has been an extremely eventful and impressive year. And they’re only just getting started.
We sat down with Szabolcs Zolyomi, GSC Site Leader, to find out not only what the factory has produced in terms of output since opening, but also what the factory has created for its employees and their communities.
A key factor in choosing to build the factory in Hungary was to be closer to Lenovo consumers throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. And the benefits of the factory’s proximity to the EMEA markets can already be seen. So far, the factory has reduced CO2 emissions by more than 90%, due to reduced freight miles compared to the days when products were shipped from the US and China.
At the same time, this brought Lenovo closer to its customers and allowed for a deeper collaboration with the EMEA customer base. So far, the factory has conducted 180 client visits to the plant, which included giving customers guided tours and showcasing their products to offer a more in-depth understanding of how Lenovo’s new factories are built with consumers and employees at the forefront.
Lenovo has held the spot as the top provider on the TOP500 list of supercomputers for the last five years – and the opening of the Hungary factory has further secured their position, by providing products to some of the biggest supercomputers in Europe.
In the past year Lenovo’s Hungary factory has shipped products to Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, Spain, Leinbiz Supercomputing Centre, Germany and SURF, Netherlands, amongst many other HPC centres, continuing Lenovo’s contribution to high performance computing and helping to solve humanity’s greatest challenges.
Yet the factory’s impact over the past year extends far beyond its four walls. After increasing its headcount by 20% and indirectly creating 500+ jobs in the region, Lenovo has been recognized with an award from the Hungarian government for creating the most jobs in the country.
In addition to this, the factory has formally partnered with the local community through the Lenovo Foundation to provide volunteer work and technology to local schools and take part in blood donations in partnership with the Hungarian Red Cross Foundation.
A prime example of this is Lenovo’s involvement in Üllő’s only primary school, which enrolls 800 students, 20% of which need extra help due to their socially disadvantaged status or special education needs (e.g. SNI, mental disabilities).
Lenovo recognized the need for creating a learning environment specifically for children aged 10-14 and went about refurbishing the IT classrooms with new painting and decoration, as well as with 23 ThinkBooks and a projector. The goal was to increase the children’s chances to gain 21st century digital skills and to enable them to successfully enter the job market by ensuring access to an inclusive and up to date learning environment within their primary school. With the help of the volunteer work of 60 Lenovo employees and 360 volunteer hours, the IT classroom of the Üllő’s Primary School was completely renewed, and Lenovo’s contribution helped the students to get an even higher quality education.
The factory’s rapid impact in the community and beyond can also be attested to by the local taxi drivers, as the facility itself was built before the access road was built. As a result, nobody knew how to get there at first – not even a GPS. But now you can get into any taxi in Budapest, say, ‘Lenovo factory please,’ and every driver knows exactly where to go.
Beyond creating jobs, the factory also encourages diversity. There are currently 15 different nations represented in the workforce and the factory is designed to celebrate this diversity – through food, for example. The cafeteria runs weekly cycles in which they offer a different cuisine each week, from Chinese and Italian to Mexican. Everyone has an opportunity to try their national food whilst also experiencing others.
This mindset of inclusivity is evident across the factory, as they work to make everyone feel included, no matter their circumstances. This can be seen through the factory-hosted kids’ day, which was such a success it has formed one of the factory’s first traditions.
The day saw more than 100 children visiting the factory to gain a better understanding of where their parents go every day and what they do. The day has been described as the highlight of the year due to the collective happiness felt around the factory and will definitely be a fixed feature on the calendar going forward.
Over the last year Lenovo’s Hungary Factory has worked to honor the company’s commitment to reduce emissions and embrace diversity, while supporting and giving back to local communities. The factory embodies and enhances Lenovo’s essence, and we look forward to seeing what more they will achieve in the years to come.