IBM first company to achieve its voluntary commitment in the Climate Savers program
04 Oct 2005 -- The World Wildlife Fund recently recognized IBM with an award for its leadership on climate change. IBM reduced its CO2 emissions from fuel and electricity use in its worldwide operations by an annual average of 5.7 percent from 1998 to 2004, exceeding its voluntary Climate Savers program commitment to achieve average emissions reductions equivalent to 4 percent over that time. Through the Climate Savers program, an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund and the Center for Energy & Climate Solutions, companies make specific commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and the use of clean energy technology, and participate in an independent verification process. IBM's average annual emissions reductions resulted in the avoidance of more than 1.28 million tons of CO2 emissions since 1998, and savings to IBM of $115 million in reduced energy costs. These reductions are equivalent to eliminating 51,600 midsize cars traveling 10,000 miles per year off the road. Energy conservation efforts and the use of renewable energy sources alone contributed to this achievement. Additional CO2 emissions savings from consolidations and restructuring did not count against the goal.
"While some assume that cutting CO2 emissions costs businesses money, we have found just the opposite. Addressing climate change makes business sense," said Wayne Balta, Vice President for Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety, IBM. "We have saved more than $100 million since 1998 by conserving energy. When you consider the significant environmental benefits also achieved, cutting emissions is a win-win proposition."
IBM has pursued energy conservation activities and has had a formal corporate-wide energy management program since 1974. Since 1996, the company has had an annual energy conservation goal of 4 percent based on energy use, and has consistently met or exceeded that goal each year. IBM's conservation efforts over the life of its Climate Savers commitments alone have yielded an average energy savings of 413,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, equivalent to saving $16.4 million annually. These savings were achieved through a combination of energy efficiency improvements at IBM's office and manufacturing facilities, and an increase in the quantity of electricity procured from renewable sources. Energy was conserved through simple projects, such as installing motion detectors in bathrooms and copier rooms and changing temperature set points in office areas to complex projects such as rebalancing heating and cooling systems to rebuilding and resizing pump high purity water pumping systems in semiconductor manufacturing lines. Energy engineers within IBM meet regularly to exchange ideas and opportunities so that proven energy efficiency solutions get deployed throughout the company. In addition, IBM has increased its commitment to renewable energy sources, utilizing wind, solar and biomass energy suppliers. Renewable energy sources supplied 53,500 MWh of electricity in 2002, 111,824 MWh in 2003 and 220,000 MWh in 2004, eliminating more than 29,000, 55,000, and 95,000 tons of CO2 respectively. Projects range from installation of solar panels on the Zurich, Switzerland, headquarters building, generating 300 MWh of electricity, to procurement of the majority of the electrical power used by IBM in the United Kingdom from renewable energy sources.
IBM was a charter member of the Climate Savers program and is the first company to achieve its voluntary commitment in the program.