IBM announced that it achieved strong sustainability results in energy conservation, data center energy efficiency and environmental responsibility to the tune of saving $43 million in electricity expenses last year.
Big Blue said that not only did it save more than $43 million in electricity expenses, but it also conserved 378,000 megawatt-hours of electricityenough to power almost 34,000 average U.S. homes for a year. IBM's energy conservation projects delivered savings equal to 7.4 percent of the company's total energy use, significantly exceeding the annual goal of 3.5 percent, IBM officials said.
IBM said this was the result of an ambitious ongoing program involving 2,300 conservation projects at more than 364 IBM facilities around the world. IBM will continue its conservation efforts and aim to eliminate 1.1 million megawatt-hours of energy consumption by the end of 2012.
IBM announced these savings in its ninth annual "Corporate Responsibility Report" released July 2. Corporate responsibility is an integral part of IBMs culture and drives how the company engages with clients, employees, shareholders and communities, the company said. According to the company's 2011 "Corporate Responsibility Report," commitment to socially and environmentally responsible behavior yielded a broad range of benefits: reducing energy use, creating a new model for secondary education, and using technology and expertise to help small businesses grow.
These and other accomplishments are detailed in IBM's 2011 "Corporate Responsibility Report," a year-to-year comparison of the company's citizenship and philanthropic projects, community partnerships, environmental stewardship, and employment policies and practices.
For instance, in 2011, IBM and the World Environment Center formed the Innovation in Environmental Sustainability Council to explore how innovation in business process and technology can enable strategic solutions to major challenges involving energy, materials, water, infrastructure and logistics. Charter members also include Boeing, CH2M HILL, The Coca-Cola Company, The Dow Chemical Company, F. Hoffman-La Roche AG, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, and The Walt Disney Company.
IBM's long-term sustainability policies are really paying off. From 1990 to 2011, the company's energy conservation efforts have eliminated 5.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity consumption and nearly 3.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and saved the company $442 million, IBM said.
"In order for sustainability to be more than a passing fad, it must be sustained over the long term," Wayne Balta, vice president of environmental affairs and product safety at IBM, said in a statement. "At IBM, environmental leadership is at the heart of our corporate values, and it shows in how we engage with clients, employees and communities in our efforts to make the planet smarter. From the impact of our operations and products on the environment, to how we manage our global supply chain, environmental leadership is a strategic imperative, backed by the conviction that good environmental management makes good business sense."
"For more than a century, IBM has served the community to make the world a better place," said Stanley Litow, vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs at IBM, also in a statement. "But in recent years, our technology innovations coupled with IBMs best talent have taken those results to new levels of performance. We continue to work with a global network of stakeholders from governments, businesses and society but are now increasing the level of real sustainable change in communities worldwide."
Also in 2011, in line with its Centennial celebration, IBM held the largest corporate community service event in history, the Celebration of Service, yielding more than 1,000 years worth of service by engaging more than 300,000 IBMers from 120 countries. They worked on 5,000 projects, ranging from improving education and health care to disaster relief response and conservation. IBM also increased corporate donations of cash, technology and services to $196.1 million, the 11th consecutive year that IBM donations increased.
Other highlights from the IBM "Corporate Responsibility Report" include that IBM:
- Pioneered a new model for economic development and education by opening Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or P-TECH, in New York City. It is the first grades 9-14 school, linking high school, college and career in one.
- Helped fuel economic growth and job creation in the U.S. by creating Supplier Connection, a consortium of 16 companies that have a collective supply chain spend of $300 billion, and make it easier for small businesses to become suppliers to large companies.
- Convened more than 100 IBM leaders from around the world for the first Global Diversity and Inclusion Summit, continuing IBM's commitment to diversity.
- Launched the Pro Bono Privacy Initiative, a group of privacy and legal professionals who engage with human services agencies to help them with privacy and data protection.
- Sent 115 IBM employees to 24 cities, from Johannesburg, South Africa, to St. Louis, Mo., as part of its Smarter Cities Challenge, helping city leaders devise strategies to improve efficiency, spur economic growth and engage citizens.
- Increased its global first- and second-tier spending with diversity-owned suppliers to $3.2 billion, providing more global opportunities to diversity-owned businesses.