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Mon 6 Jul 2009 09:00 AM

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Lenovo takes energy action but backtracks on green pledge

Greenpeace slams company for dropping its commitment to phase out use of toxic chemicals

Lenovo takes energy action but backtracks on green pledge
Greenpeace slams Lenovo for going back on its promise to phase out use of toxic chemicals this year (Getty Images)

Lenovo has announced that more than 25 of its business and consumer PCs now meet the new Energy Star v5.0 specification which went into effect on July 1st - the same day it was slammed by environmental crusaders Greenpeace for not doing enough to phase out the use of toxic chemicals during production.

The adoption of new Energy Start standards means that Lenovo’s certified PCs now adhere to various energy standards including power management and on-mode power consumption requirements.

“Green design factors into each step in engineering our PCs, starting with recycled materials to delivering higher levels of energy efficiency to giving customers options for recycling at the end of life,” said Fran O’Sullivan, senior vice president, Think Product Group, Lenovo. “Improving the energy efficiency of Lenovo PCs helps customers not only reduce their carbon footprint but also save money throughout the life of their PC.”

But Greenpeace isn’t impressed. In its updated Guide to Greener Electronics, the organisation has given Lenovo, along with HP and Dell, a penalty point for “for backtracking on their commitments to eliminate PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from their products by the end of 2009.”

PVC is the single most environmentally damaging of all plastics forming dioxin, a known carcinogen, when burned. BFRs, in comparison, are highly resistant to degradation in the environment. It can bio-accumulate (building up in animals and humans) and release from products during use, leading to their presence in household dust and resulting in increased human exposure.

Lenovo’s new timeline for phasing out PVC plastics and BFRs by the end of 2010 has also been dropped without being updated, Greenpeace stated.

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