IBM's new greenhouse gas reduction goal
23 Mar 2007 -- IBM announced its second greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Climate Leaders program - a commitment to reduce its total global GHG emissions by 7% from 2005 to 2012. IBM will continue to focus its efforts on further reducing two classes of GHGs: carbon dioxide (CO2) and perfluorocompounds (PFCs). Since IBM's operations do not release significant quantities of GHGs, the company's greatest potential impact is an indirect one, through the release of CO2 by utility companies providing the electricity used by IBM. IBM also does directly release PFCs from its semiconductor manufacturing operations, although these are in relatively small amounts, in carbon equivalents, when compared to indirect CO2 emissions. CO2 can be reduced through energy conservation, and PFCs can be reduced by using new technologies in semiconductor manufacturing.
To meet its new GHG reduction goal, IBM will continue to implement traditional energy efficiency technologies, increase its purchase of renewable energy, and evaluate and extend as appropriate its conservation efforts into new areas, such as:
IBM will also continue to focus on minimizing its PFC emissions as it deploys new technologies and processes across its semiconductor manufacturing operations. The company has been a leader in the development of semiconductor manufacturing processes to reduce PFC emissions, developing industry standard processes which use chemical substitutions or more efficient material usage to reduce PFC emissions.
"Having achieved its inaugural commitment under the U.S. EPA's Climate Leaders program, IBM is now pleased to extend its participation even further," said Wayne Balta, IBM Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety. "This extension is natural given IBM's longstanding involvement in a wide variety of voluntary, 'beyond compliance' programs. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the EPA and other like-minded organizations to further address concerns over climate change with measurable results."
In 2002, IBM became a charter member of the U.S. EPA's Climate Leaders (link resides outside of ibm.com) program, a voluntary industry-government partnership that works with companies to develop long-term comprehensive climate change strategies and challenges businesses to set aggressive, companywide GHG emissions reduction goals. As part of its initial participation in Climate Leaders, IBM established two emissions reduction goals that covered virtually all of its direct and indirect GHG emissions: IBM committed to achieve average annual CO2 emissions reductions equivalent to 4% of the emissions associated with IBM's annual fuel and electricity use over the six-year period from 2000 through 2005; and achieve an absolute 10% reduction in PFC emissions from IBM's semiconductor manufacturing processes by the end of 2005, against a 2000 base year. The company significantly surpassed both goals. IBM achieved an average annual CO2 emissions reduction of 6.2 percent and reduced PFC emissions by 58 percent against the year 2000 baseline. These accomplishments also improved the efficiency of IBM's operations and reduced its operating costs.
As part of the company's multifaceted climate protection program, IBM has increased its commitment to renewable energy sources making direct purchases of wind, solar and biomass-generated electricity, and purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates. IBM's renewable energy purchases support the development of electrical generation technologies with minimal (or no) net global warming impact and help reduce its CO2 emissions footprint. The U.S. EPA recognized IBM's procurement of renewable energy in the United States with a 2006 Green Power Purchasing Award. In 2007, IBM expects its purchase of renewable energy to represent more than six percent of the company's global electrical usage for the year.
IBM also is focused on reducing the climate impact of transport, both from its employees' commuting to and from work and from the transportation of its materials and products. In 2006, for example, the company's work-at-home and mobile employees avoided over 68,000 tons of CO2 emissions. IBM also has a variety of commuter support programs around the globe which encourages employees to utilize commuting options such as public transit systems or carpooling. In addition, IBM recently joined the U.S. EPA's SmartWaySM Transport Partnership (link resides outside of ibm.com). This Partnership is a voluntary collaboration between the EPA and participating companies designed to increase transportation energy efficiency while significantly reducing GHGs and air pollution. Currently, over 50% (by dollar) of the goods shipped by IBM within the U.S. and from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico is already transported by SmartWay Transport Partnership carriers.
IBM not only believes in the importance of taking proactive steps to reduce its GHG emissions, it is leading the way.