IBM joined over 200 forward-thinking companies as the newest member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The relationship further extends IBM’s strong heritage in sustainable leadership and development in managing waste, conserving energy, using renewable electricity and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Technical and industry professionals across IBM’s business units and research division develop new ways of helping to solve difficult environmental problems based upon data and today’s exponential information technologies — including AI, automation, analytics, IoT and blockchain, which also have the power to change business models, reinvent processes, and reimagine work.
“IBM is proud of our long-standing record for sustainable practices in developing our products and managing our company in ways that conserve resources and limit our impact on the environment,” said Mark Foster, senior vice president, IBM Services. “We have a shared vision with WCSBD that purpose-led companies can be the driving force for societal innovation that addresses the world’s most pressing sustainability issues at scale, from feeding the world’s growing population to renewable energy production.”
Connecting with WBCSD’s network of forward-thinking businesses across a variety of sectors can enable IBM to continue to enhance and implement its sustainability ambitions in collaboration with like-minded partners. IBM’s long-standing commitment to “good tech” reflects the company’s most deeply held values as well as its pledge to put responsible stewardship in the digital age at the core of its business strategy. IBM believes that sustainability is not only crucial for the well-being of people and the environment but can also power innovation and prosperity.
IBM is also aiming to help address the pressing global issue of climate change through its Future of Climate initiatives driven by IBM Research. These efforts focus on researching and developing actionable solutions to the global climate problem, including accelerated material discovery for carbon capture and conversion, optimizing carbon footprint of hybrid cloud and supply chains, as well as regional modeling to understand and prepare for the impact of climate change.
WBCSD has initiated a special COVID-19 response program for members to leverage their expertise to address the crisis and support the critical role of business. IBM plans to leverage its experience working with clients and partners like Yara, Shell and Equigy to help deliver cost efficiencies, speed to delivery, sustainability and new ways of working to keep workforces safe. IBM intends to participate on WBCSD’s strategic work such as the:
- Food & Nature program to build data driven and AI powered future farms leveraging weather, IoT, remote sensing data to help enhance farm yield and produce better quality sustainably grown crops, making farmers more resilient while restoring natural resources to avoid climate shocks.
- Climate & Energy program to help enable the scaling of distributed and centralize renewable sources through AI, advanced weather forecasting and asset resiliency capabilities, creating sustainable energy supply through electrification.
WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker said, “WBCSD is pleased to welcome IBM to our network of forward-thinking companies. From artificial intelligence to quantum computing, technology is a critical enabler of the systems transformation that we need to ensure a stable and healthy world for all. We congratulate IBM for taking an active role in shaping the future for the benefit of people and our planet.”
One of the first multinational companies to produce its own environmental report, IBM also led the creation of the first cross-industry guidelines for voluntary corporate environmental reporting in the early 1990s, and which is now a common business practice. From 1990 through 2019, IBM conserved 7.7 million MWh of electricity, avoiding 4.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and saving $646 million. In 2019, IBM was awarded the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Action Award, for use of IBM Blockchain technology by Plastic Bank in reducing ocean plastic. Also in 2019, IBM earned the Climate Leadership Award from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry for setting its 4th-generation GHG emissions reduction goal and accompanying 2nd-generation renewable electricity goal. And the company earned the 2019 Sustainability Initiative of the Year Award from the Business Intelligence Group, recognizing “Forecast: Change” from The Weather Company. IBM first published its position on climate change in 2007; supported the Paris Agreement in 2015; restated that support in 2017; and supports putting a price on carbon via a carbon tax with carbon dividend. IBM has reduced CO2 emissions by 39% since 2005, a rate of reduction that’s consistent with what scientists say is necessary to limit warming to 1.5-2.0 degrees Celsius. IBM has been voluntarily disclosing its CO2 emissions for 25 years, since 1995.
WBCSD is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We help make our member companies more successful and sustainable by focusing on the maximum positive impact for shareholders, the environment and societies.
Our member companies come from all business sectors and all major economies, representing a combined revenue of more than USD $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. Our global network of almost 70 national business councils gives our members unparalleled reach across the globe. Since 1995, WBCSD has been uniquely positioned to work with member companies along and across value chains to deliver impactful business solutions to the most challenging sustainability issues.
Together, we are the leading voice of business for sustainability: united by our vision of a world where more than 9 billion people are all living well and within the boundaries of our planet, by 2050. www.wbcsd.org