In its just released annual Environmental Report, IBM has announced an updated set of 21 environmental sustainability goals. The pledges support or complement the company’s current commitment to reach net zero GHG emissions by 2030.
Key themes covered in the report include, but are not limited to, energy conservation, renewables procurement, carbon emissions reductions, biodiversity, waste and water management, product reuse and recycling, European Green Digital Coalition involvement to develop eco-efficient technologies, and the IBM Research Future of Climate Initiative to discover carbon removal materials.
The European Green Digital Coalition, working closely with the European Commission, aims to help not only the technology sector to become more sustainable, circular and a zero polluter, but also to support sustainability goals of other priority sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture, and construction while contributing to an innovative, inclusive and resilient society. The first available progress reports will be presented in 2022.
Signatories of the European Green Digital Coalition commit their companies to the following:
- To invest in the development and deployment of greener digital technologies and services that are more energy and material efficient,
- Develop methods and tools to measure the net impact of green digital technologies on the environment and climate by joining forces with NGOs and relevant expert organizations, and
- Co-create with representatives of others sectors recommendations and guidelines for green digital transformation of these sectors that benefits the environment, society and economy.
Examples of IBM’s 21 environmental sustainability goals:
- Energy and Climate Change: IBM will further improve average data center cooling efficiency and will implement another 3,000+ energy conservation projects by 2025. The company will procure 75% of the electricity IBM consumes worldwide from renewable sources by 2025 and 90% by 2030, and reduce GHG emissions 65% by 2025 versus 2010.
- Conservation and Biodiversity: IBM will reduce water withdrawals in water stressed regions, procure paper and paper/wood-based packaging from sustainably managed forests, and plant 50 pollinator gardens by 2023 at locations globally.
- Pollution Prevention and Waste Management: IBM will eliminate non-essential, single-use plastic from its product packaging and cafeteria operations globally, and divert 90% (by weight) of its non-hazardous waste from landfill and incineration by 2025 through recycling, reuse, composting, and waste-to-energy processes.
- Supply Chain and Value Chain: IBM will require suppliers in emissions-intensive business sectors to set an emissions reduction goal by 2022, addressing their Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, that is aligned with scientific recommendations from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- Management System: IBM will sustain its industry-leading commitment to a global environmental management system by retaining annual certification to the ISO 14001 standard and conformity to the ISO 50001 standard.