The primary component of IBM's climate protection program is energy conservation, as the company's energy use represents the greatest potential climate impact associated with IBM's operations. The CO2 emissions reductions IBM reports thus focus only on emissions avoided through energy conservation and the purchase of renewable energy. Changes due to acquisitions, divestitures and downsizing are not included in those results.
However, many people are interested in knowing companies' absolute reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over time, without consideration for the effects of acquisitions and divestitures. Using the Kyoto Protocol baseline of 1990, IBM has reduced the CO2 emissions associated with the use of energy (electricity and fuel) in its operations by 68 percent from 1990 through year-end 2010.
In addition to the reductions in IBM's CO2 emissions, the company has also focused on reducing the emissions of PFCs used in our semiconductor manufacturing operations. Our baseline for these emissions was set in 1995 when industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began focusing on emissions from these operations, so we cannot definitively tie this information back to the 1990 baseline year of the Kyoto protocol. However, we have reduced our PFC emissions against the 1995 baseline year by 36.5 percent through 2010. To estimate IBM's reductions in its GHG -- that is, CO2 and PFC combined -- emissions between 1990 and 2009, and taking the most conservative approach by assuming the company's 1990 PFC emissions to be zero, IBM would have reduced its GHG emissions by over 64 percent between 1990 and 2010.