In December of 1997, IBM was awarded the first single worldwide ISO 14001 registration, encompassing product development and manufacturing. IBM addresses the product related requirements of the ISO 14001 Standard through its Product Stewardship Program and network of experts in the areas of product stewardship. The corporation has taken a two-tiered approach to addressing the requirements of ISO 14001, both at the corporate level and also at the business unit level.
At the corporate level, IBM has developed a list of significant environmental aspects applicable to IBM products, as well as objectives and targets for products addressing issues such as reuse and recyclability, upgradability, use of recycled materials, and improvements in energy efficiency.
For IBM's major product lines, Product Environmental Team Leaders are responsible for determining what significant aspects are applicable to his/her product line. A team of experts identifies product attributes and other related product environmental considerations, including those environmental aspects of their products which have significant environmental impacts. The product lines in turn establish objectives and targets to support the corporate goals, as well as a management program to achieve the targets and objectives. The teams provide training to product designers whose work may affect the environmental impacts of IBM products, perform design for the environment (DFE) assessments, and work towards the continuous improvement of IBM products' environmental attributes.
IBM has incorporated its EMS requirements under ISO 14001 into the formal framework of the product development process.