Carbon offsets, made famous by airlines giving travellers the opportunity to compensate for the carbon footprint of their flights, are now gaining momentum outside aviation.

The IT industry is taking note of consumer preferences to spend their money with companies that are transparent and sustainable. Lenovo’s CO2 Offset Services across Asia Pacific is an example of an initiative that ties carbon offsets to the purchasing of individual technology products.

According to Daniel Fields, Executive Director of Asia Pacific Services Business at Lenovo, “This initiative allows corporations to seamlessly offset the carbon emissions generated by selected Lenovo products in their entire PC lifecycle at the point of purchase.”

Daniel Fields, Executive Director of Asia Pacific Services Business at Lenovo

Fields says that the program calculates compensations “based on realistic emissions” providing consumers with “transparent and measurable information on what carbon impact the individual product purchased has.”

This initiative educates consumers to make informed decisions when it comes to their IT purchasing and their environmental impact. 

Lenovo’s offsets are made through various projects overseen by the United Nations, including a biomass energy project that uses a sugar mill to generate energy, a wind energy project and a safe and clean waste disposal project. 

According to Niclas Svenningsen, Manager for Global Climate Action at UN Climate Change, “Climate action is more urgent than ever. Consumers’ awareness about the issue is at an all-time high, and leading companies have been preparing for this and are responding to it.”

“The collaboration between the UN and Lenovo under the Climate Neutral Now initiative aims to raise awareness further and encourage the use of carbon markets as a tool to accelerate climate action. Lenovo is at the forefront of it,” says Fields.

Lenovo claims that it is reducing emissions throughout its entire supply chain, through projects including pioneering a low-temperature solder technology that saves CO2 emissions equivalent to 670,179 gallons of gasoline per year. The company shared the technology for free “to ensure the greatest long-term global benefit.” The company is working to remove 1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas from its supply chain by 2025.

While the trend towards transparency in business sustainability grows, Fields says we can expect eco-transparency to be “the standard and norm in the future.”

“This is just the beginning. Carbon offset presents a new way forward in green procurement, setting a new model for companies to aspire to and paving the way for the future of corporate purchases.”

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