Lenovo Boosts Sustainability Efforts at European Manufacturing Facility With Expanded Solar Power Capacity

Jun 3, 2024 2:20 PM ET
  • New panels bring solar capacity to 3MW, enough to power an electric car to drive from London to Sydney
  • Global Innovation Centre can run entirely on solar power, fuelling High Performance Computing (HPC) testing and a customer experience with sustainability in mind

BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 3, 2024 /3BL/ - Lenovo has unveiled new solar panels at its in-house manufacturing facility in Budapest, Hungary, powering High Performance Computing (HPC) innovation. Lenovo’s newest Global Innovation Centre, unveiled in October 2023 and operating on-site at the facility, now has the capacity for customers to test HPC workloads on 100% solar energy.

Lenovo’s manufacturing facility in Budapest was built from the ground up with sustainability in mind and the new solar panels bring the total solar energy capacity onsite up to 3 megawatts (MW), enough to power an electric car to drive 10,800 miles. The completed installation, now totalling 5,072 solar panels across two buildings, form part of an ambitious global plan to reduce Lenovo’s Scope 2 emissions by expanding the use of solar energy worldwide, with 17MW of solar electric currently operational, and Lenovo investigating additional opportunities for solar installations in Brazil, Mexico, and China.

“With the focus on sustainability efforts a prominent part of the executive suite’s decision-making process, we see customers making significant shifts in their purchasing behaviour towards being more sustainable. At Lenovo, from our supply chain to our services, we offer customers significant support when it comes to helping reach their sustainability goals. Our European customers are now able to test HPC proof of concepts in our innovation centre which can be run off 100% renewable energy. They can then have their systems manufactured in a more sustainable factory and shipped within region using more sustainable modes of transport and bulk packaging services, collectively helping to minimise freight miles and emissions.” said Stefan Brechling Larsen, Global Sustainability Services Engagement Leader at Lenovo.

“Our customers also have the ability to purchase carbon offset credits to help offset the estimated CO2 emissions associated with the average lifecycle of their technology purchases by purchasing credits to support verified Climate Action Project, and with Lenovo Premier Support Plus and our Asset and Value Recovery Services, they can extend device life as well as more responsibly manage outdated technology.”

Sustainability in Innovation and Services

Lenovo technology is designed to help support customers sustainability goals once installed on premise too. For example, Lenovo Neptune™ direct liquid cooling technology has the ability to deliver 95% heat removal efficiency and lower power consumption up to 40%. The onsite Global Innovation Centre in Budapest, specializing in HPC and Artificial Intelligence (AI), houses Lenovo’s first European testing and demonstration centre for this sustainable liquid cooling, enabling customers to experience these efficiencies before purchasing.

Also on site in Hungary is Lenovo’s Value Recovery Service European facility where Lenovo equipment is returned, refurbished, and recertified as a sustainability service to support a more circular economy that helps to reduce e-waste and enables the purchase of enterprise hardware at an affordable price.

Sustainable Manufacturing in Europe

The facility in Budapest has implemented many sustainability measures including boosting heating isolation, adding new lighting sensors, and reusing heat from air compressors. Heat from the production house is used to keep the manufacturing space warm, while in winter, cold outside air is used for cooling, which helps reduce energy costs.

The physical manufacturing of Lenovo solutions on site is done using the patented Low Temperature Solder (LTS) process that was developed by Lenovo in 2017. With LTS, soldering heat is applied at maximum temperatures of 180 degrees Celsius, a reduction of 70 degrees from the previous method resulting in reduced carbon emissions during manufacturing. Beyond the processes, Lenovo also helps mitigate its employees’ environmental impact too by offering factory workers a free shuttle bus within the local area to reduce the number of cars driving to and from the facility.

“From day one we have worked tirelessly to boost the sustainability across the site in Budapest. Adding increased solar generation capacity has been an ongoing project and it is an exciting moment to now have the ability to run our Global Innovation Centre on 100% solar energy.” said Szabolcs Zolyomi, GSC (Global Supply Chain) Factory Site Leader at Lenovo.

“The new solar panels move us towards our goal of 4MW solar capacity at the site, equal to the power generated by 12 fuel tankers of natural gas. Being located in Europe, with the ability to reduce freight miles and this additional solar energy capacity, we are supporting Lenovo’s sustainability goals in a very tangible way. The European factory will only grow in importance as a part of Lenovo’s worldwide supply chain.”

Since the facility became operational, the Budapest factory has shipped 1.5 million workstations and servers to over 2,500 customers in 70 markets across EMEA.

The new solar panels were officially switched on by Szabolcs Zolyomi and Stefan Brechling Larsen on 24 April 2024, in front of media.