Overcome the challenges of the modern workplace with a tailored sustainability strategy

Jens-Henrik Thomsen, Sales Director and SSG-IDG Lead Lenovo Nordics

We’ve all experienced huge changes in the workplace over the past few years. We’ve dealt with a global pandemic, an energy crisis, an increasing awareness of climate change, and all this and more has taken its toll. Remote and hybrid working has become widespread, and workers are putting more focus on the things that matter most to them. Sustainability is often near the top of the list.

60% of organisations already have sustainability strategies in place[1], which can make a huge difference when it comes to meeting targets and attracting the best employees. You should never dismiss the impact that an effective sustainability strategy can have on this front – for example, 70% of today’s workforce are more willing to accept positions from companies engaged in sustainability[2].

Technology providers like Lenovo can help your business on its sustainability journey with a tailored approach that can meet the challenges of a modern workplace head on.

Ensuring sustainability is built in from the beginning

There are many challenges when it comes to meeting sustainability targets in the modern workplace. These include supporting hybrid workers, providing energy-efficient end-user devices, accurately measuring carbon footprint, eliminating packaging waste, streamlining deployment, optimising datacentre use, extending device lifecycles, securing end-of-life dispositions, and managing e-waste, among others.

The list can feel overwhelming but aligning your technology and sustainability goals can help. This doesn’t simply begin when devices arrive at your offices; it needs to be integrated into your tech stack right from the beginning.

Consider how your devices are made. Since early 2005, Lenovo’s cumulative total use of recycled plastics in products has reached over 130 million kilograms. We used 75% post-consumer recycled aluminium for the A/C covers of the ThinkPad Z series. Nearly 300 of our products contain closed-loop post-consumer recycled content (PCC) sourced from recycled end-of-life IT and electronics equipment, and that’s just for starters.

We pioneered low-temperature solder technology that improves the reliability, efficiency and cost of manufacturing[3], and have also launched our first packing cushion containing ocean-bound plastic (OBP) in ThinkPad L14 packaging with 30% OBP and 70% other recycled plastics. By combining bamboo fibre technology with other innovative materials, we have accomplished plastic-free packaging on ThinkPad X1 and Z series. As a result, Lenovo eliminated 192 metric tons of plastic in packaging. So, as you can see, we’re committed to implementing sustainable practices and strive to make a positive environmental impact in the world through our business.

Cutting packaging waste and reducing the impact of shipping

Lenovo’s bulk packaging services also help to minimise packaging waste. Benefits include a reduction in waste with less discarded material, lower transit costs, and improved storage and higher pallet utilisation.

We can help when it comes to the packaging of your data centre as well, streamlining your installation and rack integration. We can deliver our servers pre-installed and shipped in the rack, for example, which reduces consumption per rack by 105 pounds of cardboard[4], while also offering a 75% faster time from arrival to production readiness3. Not only does this help with sustainability, it helps from an operational point of view.

There are choices to make when it comes to shipping, and Lenovo can help you to choose the most effective method of transport that minimises emissions. Our Reduced Carbon Transport Service strikes a balance between delivery times and sustainability, shipping by air but also using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) credits. This can provide a minimum 70% CO2 emissions reduction compared to traditional jet fuel emissions[5].

Embracing energy-efficient end-user devices and data centres

Naturally, the devices you choose make a huge difference when it comes to creating a sustainable modern workplace. An on-demand data centre providing a cloud-like experience such as Lenovo TruScale Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) means you only deploy the resources required, eliminating excess capacity and making it easier to manage the provisioning of end-user devices and data centres.

TruScale IaaS metering capabilities also means you’ll be easily able to monitor power consumption, utilisation, and temperature in the data centre, giving you real-time visibility of your infrastructure’s health and energy use. It’s well worth the effort; optimising your datacentre with Lenovo TruScale IaaS can help reduce CO2 and power consumption by up to 20%[6].

Cutting-edge solutions such as Lenovo’s Neptune technology also play a part, providing direct water cooling for data centres, delivering 95% heat removal efficiency and up to 40% lower power consumption[7].

 Adding carbon offset services to mitigate unavoidable emissions

Some emissions will always remain unavoidable, but you can still do your bit to mitigate these through carbon offsetting. Lenovo CO2 Offset Services provides a seamless, tangible, transparent process that offsets the estimated carbon emissions associated with our devices

When you choose to opt-in, our service will offset your devices’ emissions by supporting verified United Nations, CDM, Gold Standard®, Climate Action Reserve climate action projects. It will offer an easy and tangible way to show your commitment to sustainability.

Navigating sustainability with the power of AI

AI solutions can help assess carbon footprints, mitigate waste, eliminate duplication, and give access to data to help organisations make more informed decisions around sustainability.

For example, AI can help businesses simulate the carbon impact of different IT purchasing decisions upfront. At Lenovo, we are building an AI-powered Sustainability Engine called Lenovo Intelligent Sustainability Solutions Advisor (L.I.S.S.A) to help enterprises see the impact of their IT purchases and choose the best IT sustainability path that fits their needs. By bringing the carbon impact alongside the dollar value of each decision, businesses can make more informed IT decisions that prioritise sustainability.

Creating a purpose-driven workplace

By working closely with your technology partner, and embracing a tailored approach to sustainability, you can tackle the challenges of implementing a sustainability strategy in the modern workplace head-on.

Not only will this help you to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and a smarter future, but embracing a more efficient approach to sustainability will help you improve recruitment and retention[8], helping your business to meet its potential.


[1] World Economic Forum, “Why sustainability is crucial for corporate strategy,” June 2022

[2] IBM, “Balancing sustainability and profitability: How businesses can protect people, planet and the bottom line,” April 2022

[3] Lenovo internal research

[4] Lenovo Internal Source, 2023

[5] Approximate percentage LCA GHG reduction versus fossil jet based on feedstock used in SAF such as waste and residue lipids, oilseed bearing trees on low-ILUC degraded land or as a rotational oil cover crops. Indirect CO2 emissions reduction benefit is obtained through the purchase of Sustainable Aviation Fuel credits. 

[6] TruScale IaaS accurately reports on power and CO2 emissions allowing managed infrastructures to be designed, implemented and tuned not only for performance and capacity but also for CO2 emissions. Ongoing monitoring of the system using Lenovo XClarity Power Monitor and systems performance figures are used to optimise power consumption by the infrastructure. CO2 emissions will be calculated based on the localised carbon footprint of the power source used

[7] Lenovo Internal Source, 2023

[8] IBM, “Balancing sustainability and profitability: How businesses can protect people, planet and the bottom line,” April 2022


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