IBM Wins a 7th Climate Leadership Award

by | Mar 22, 2019 | Stories

IBM is honored to have received its seventh Climate Leadership Award, and its second award in the Goal Setting category. This award recognizes the company’s 4th generation CO2 reduction goal, and an accompanying second generation renewable energy procurement goal.

As we conclude the 8th Climate Leadership Conference and address the need to accelerate actions to limit global warming, we remind ourselves of the important role that businesses have to implement or facilitate real, tangible operational changes that deliver scope 1 emissions reductions. The ability of businesses to set and meet meaningful GHG emissions reduction goals requires innovation and action across each business’ core capabilities. For IBM these are its internal operations; the products, solutions and services it offers to clients; and its research and development expertise.


Operational efficiency and energy conservation are at the core of IBM’s efforts to reduce its GHG emissions. Avoiding the consumption of energy is the best method available to reduce GHG emissions. IBM has a long history of implementing energy conservation and efficiency projects in its operations, with a corporate-wide, energy conservation goal in place since 1996. From 2013 to 2017, the period of its third generation CO2 reduction goal, IBM reduced or avoided 1,600,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of annual energy consumption, an annualized 6% reduction and avoidance, while saving $139,000,000 in annual operating expenses. These reductions were achieved through a strong focus on the efficiency of our IT infrastructure, the use of automated system management software to improve the efficiency of our building infrastructure, and traditional energy conservation and efficiency projects like lighting upgrades to LEDs and improved time of day management of building HVAC systems. These savings are achieved through the dedicated efforts of the IBM energy management and data center and IT systems operations teams.


IBM offers a range of products, services and solutions that enable its clients to make their operations more efficient and reduce their energy and GHG emissions footprints. The data center operations we host for our clients benefit from our operational energy reductions. Our server and storage products enable clients to execute more IT work with higher equipment utilization rates in a smaller equipment footprint. Our IT solutions and services — based on data analytics, cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies — provide clients with new insights into their operations. They also enable clients to make data-driven decisions toward conserving natural resources and energy and reducing the environmental impacts associated with their operations. The results of these efforts, spread across our global client base, extend the reach of our capabilities and technologies far beyond our own operations, contributing greater quantities in energy conserved and emissions reductions than those we achieve in our own operations.

Research and Development

IBM’s research labs have applied their extensive expertise in materials, data analytics and AI and other areas to develop technology to recycle plastics more efficiently; apply AI to water, renewable energy and farming productivity; and apply IoT and cognitive, cloud computing to identify methane leaks. These are just a few examples of current IBM research projects with applicability to environmental challenges.

We are proud of our heritage of environmental leadership. We are equally excited to work with our clients, partners like C2ES and The Climate Registry, and Climate Leadership Conference participants to drive new innovative approaches to energy efficiency, energy generation and delivery, electric vehicles and the hundreds of other transformations necessary to transition to a low carbon economy. Ultimately, we, as responsible businesses, must achieve reductions in scope 1 emissions to limit global warming.