IBM Launches New Sustainability Accelerator

IBM Sustainability Accelerator

(Credit: IBM)

by | Feb 17, 2022

IBM Sustainability Accelerator

(Credit: IBM)

IBM today announced the launch of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, a global pro bono social impact program that applies IBM technologies, such as hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence, and an ecosystem of experts to enhance and scale non-profit and government organization operations, focused on populations vulnerable to environmental threats including climate change, extreme weather, and pollution.

“We believe that the power of science, technology and innovation can help tackle environmental issues while serving vulnerable communities exposed to environmental hazards,” said Justina Nixon, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG at IBM, in a press release. “By pairing expertise and technology with the goal of improving the lives of populations most affected by environmental threats, we have the potential to make lasting, scalable impact.”

The program

The IBM Sustainability Accelerator will provide support to each selected organization for two years following a two-phased approach.

Phase I: Accelerator engagements will kick off with the IBM Garage, IBM’s methodology to apply design thinking and agile techniques to fast-track meaningful innovation and drive lasting culture change. During this process, IBM experts will work with the beneficiary organization to identify their needs and establish a clear roadmap to design, develop, deploy, and continually improve technology to help solve specific public challenges.

Phase II: In a second phase, IBM cross-industry experts will configure IBM resources and technology designed to help participants meet their community and environmental impact goals. Some of the technologies that will be applied will include IBM Watson AIIBM Cloud, or the Environmental Intelligence Suite, among others. In addition, IBM Sustainability Accelerator beneficiary organizations will receive monthly IBM Cloud credits, weather data credits, mentorship, and access to IBM partner ecosystem. IBM experts will also support pilot deployments of solutions to help facilitate optimal implementation, to scale long-term impact and drive key societal outcomes.

Selection process

Each year, IBM will define one theme for the RFP and project selection of the organizations that belong to that year’s cohort. Today, with the official launch of the program, IBM is inviting non-profit organizations to apply to a public RFP for the 2022 cohort’s focus on clean energy. Proposals are due by April 30, 2022.

Last year, the company conducted a pilot project with three inaugural participants of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator. These organizations have begun their projects focused on sustainable agriculture and successfully finished their phase I last December:

  • TheNature Conservancy India: The Nature Conservancy India is building a public information platform to help eliminate crop residue burning in North India in furtherance of their goal to improve agricultural sustainability, public health, and help reduce climate change impact in India.
  • Heifer International: Heifer International is working with IBM to develop scalable and affordable digital solutions designed to equip farmers’ cooperatives in Malawi with weather and crop yield forecasts to help increase their yields and incomes.
  • Plan21 Foundation for Sustainable Human Development:­ Plan21 is helping smallholder farmers in Latin America manage their crops more sustainably — with the goal of increasing their productivity and income, and contributing to consumer awareness and the development of more responsible markets.

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