Aside from taking steps to make its products more energy-efficient and environment-conscious, Lenovo is testing out several programs to help distinguish its green profile from those of its rivals.
One example is its Together E-coupon, which you can use if you're buying a Lenovo notebook. Lenovo has teamed up with The Climate Group to make a donation to a renewable energy project (wind, solar, biomass or the like) in the buyer's home state whenever someone purchases an IdeaBook or ThinkPad off its Web site. The amount of the donation is the cost of powering a Lenovo notebook for one year, which works out to be between $7 and $14 per notebook, according to Cyndy Yu-Robinson, corporate sustainability manager for Lenovo. The U.S. pilot is limited to 10,000 notebooks, and Lenovo will figure out where to go from there.
Lenovo also is testing out various free recycling approaches along with its partner, ECO International. Mike Pierce, director of environmental affairs at Lenovo, said the company would like to see a majority of returned products reused in some way. If there IS some value associated with a piece of technology that you send in, you'll get a check from Lenovo; otherwise, recycling is free. You can also return or recycle any other brand of computer as well, although if there is no residual value left in the system you might incur some kind of charge. incidentally, you don't need to buy a product in order to send one in for recycling. Lenovo runs a more formal asset recovery program that it offers to its enterprise accounts; the stuff you'll find on this web site is intended more for consumers or small-business owners.
Lenovo has also made power management a mantra for its products, and it has provided a visual cue (a green leaf) so that you know when certain defaults are set and working properly. By using DDR3 memory and LED backlit displays, it has helped extend battery life by about 24 percent for many of its notebook models, and like some of the other manufacturers Lenovo has started using recycled materials to manufacture "new" products. It also has done some fine work with its displays, which you can read about in this post I wrote a few weeks back.
This Lenovo Web site gives you a complete run-down on the various R&D, manufacturing and marketing programs that Lenovo has underway to promote its green image.