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Lenovo working with channel on sustainability challenges

Vendor Lenovo acutely aware it needs to work with its partner community to hit carbon reduction targets and help customers do the same

Sustainability has to be a concerted effort across all tiers of the channel if the challenge of reducing Scope 3 emissions is going to be cracked.

The majority of the channel have embarked on their own efforts to identify and reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions as part of plans to get their individual businesses to a net-zero position over the next few years.

However, those emissions that originate outside an organisation and are passed through the supply chain require collaboration with vendors and manufacturers, and there are encouraging affords being made on that front, with Lenovo a prime example of the steps that are being taken to improve the position of the industry.

Lenovo’s executive director of global sustainability services, Claudia Contreras, is masterminding the efforts made by the vendor to improve its sustainability position and correspondingly help partners and customers meet their goals.

“Lenovo is a very large company and Fortune 500m and as a company of our size we touch upon over 180 markets – we’ve got a big footprint. There’s the corporate responsibility that we have to make good on those commitments of getting to a business that’s much more sustainable,” she said.

“We’re signed up for science-based target agreements of net zero by 2050, and there’s all sorts of goals that we have for 2030 as well.

“What we found out is that everything we have been doing – building up networks, creating infrastructure for our own purpose on the corporate side, making good on those commitments – is also marketable, meaning if I am going to figure out how to dispose in an environmentally friendly way our assets, that’s not just an issue that I have, but my customers have too,” she said.

Under the Sustainability Solutions banner, the vendor has pulled together a portfolio that provides a number of products and services, including asset recovery, carbon offsetting, recycling and a reduced carbon transport option for those keen to cut the carbon generated during the freight process.

“These are all services that [have a] specific purpose to get one step closer to being more sustainable,” said Contreras.

All of those services can be sold via the channel, and Contreras is clear that it has to work with partners to make a positive difference.

“It’s not just about what we do as a corporation, but how we work with partners and the way we work with customers,” she added. “It’s not just us creating a network, know-how and the ability to do things for Lenovo, but also productising it so our partners have the option of offering these up for our customers.”

On the partner side, Lenovo has formed the 360 Circle, inviting the channel to work with the vendor on sustainability indicatives.

“The 360 Circle is part of our Lenovo 360 Channel programme. We are a channel-first company and what we saw was that this interest, this sense of purpose, this push towards a more sustainable business needed that group, that community of partners, that we would find solutions together,” she said.

The chance to develop ideas, share experiences and shape the future in sustainability efforts has underlined the benefits of collaboration.

“There’s been a lot of really good interactions, even among channel partners that you think of as competitors, but we’re all interacting in this common place, which is this purpose of bringing sustainability into the data space,” she said.

Contreras is clear that Lenovo can go only so far and the baton is then picked up by partners and embraced by customers. The challenge to reduce carbon emissions remains a tough one, but a problem that can only be solved by the community working together.

“We have the solutions, the services, the way that we can enable these things and the products that we’re facilitating for customers to choose and our channels to go promote, and then it’s all of that support system from this community that is enabling our channels to take steps on their own journey,” she concluded.

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