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Governance

IBM Senior Management is ultimately responsible for our economic, environmental and social performance, as well as complying with IBM’s overall compliance programs. Corporate responsibility at IBM is integrated across the business through the following forums:

Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee

Our Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee comprises senior executives from functional areas across the business and is chaired by the vice president for Corporate Citizenship. The Committee meets periodically to provide leadership and direction on key corporate responsibility issues. Each functional area is responsible for the development of its own corporate responsibility goals and strategy, with organization-wide goals approved by the Steering Committee.

Corporate Responsibility Working Group

Our Corporate Responsibility Working Group consists of representatives from 10 functional areas (including global representation) and meets at least monthly to manage IBM’s corporate responsibility activities and stakeholder engagement across the company. The Working Group reviews key policy and strategic issues and makes recommendations to the Steering Committee throughout the year.

On a day-to-day basis our activities are coordinated in the Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs organization, which reports to the senior vice president for Marketing and Communications.

Stakeholder Engagement

At IBM, we view stakeholder engagement as much more than communications and consultation. For us, it is about business engagement and collaboration—working shoulder-to-shoulder with communities, governments and the social sector.

Here are a few examples:

  • Jams use IBM’s large-scale electronic collaborative brainstorming platform to garner stakeholder input and engagement on a scale not previously possible in real time—accelerating the development of solutions to society’s most enduring problems. Jams bring together thousands of representatives from not-for-profit organizations, corporations, academic institutions and government agencies to have real-time, virtual discussions around social and business issues ranging from security and privacy in the digital age to the future of service and volunteerism. For example, ServiceJam, held in 2010, brought together more than 15,000 representatives of not-for-profit organizations, corporations, academic institutions and government agencies in a discussion on how social innovation can help solve our world’s largest problems.
  • We use a variety of social media to help us more deeply engage with our extended IBM workforce and community. This includes our retirees through the IBM On Demand Community, our online system of community engagement, and a range of in-depth social collaborations as we beta test technology breakthroughs with community organizations, teachers, students and parents worldwide.

We also actively seek to work with organizations that are taking similarly innovative, global, open and collaborative approaches to corporate citizenship and sustainability.

Our memberships include:

  • AmCham-China CSR Committee
  • Business for Social Responsibility
  • Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
  • Confederation of Indian Industry National Committee on CSR
  • CSR Asia
  • CSR Europe (IBM is a Board Member)
  • Eco-Patent Commons
  • Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (IBM is the Chair)
  • Environmental Law Institute
  • European Academy of Business in Society (IBM is a Board Member)
  • Points of Light Institute Corporate Council
  • World Environment Center
  • World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers Program

Business Conduct Guidelines

Each year, IBMers demonstrate the importance of trust and personal responsibility in all relationships by reading and certifying to IBM’s Business Conduct Guidelines. The Business Conduct Guidelines, at their most basic level, are a description of the conduct we establish for all IBMers to comply with laws and ethical practices wherever we do business.

IBM employees who interact with government clients, or who have access to government confidential information, must exercise due care to properly navigate the unique requirements in that environment. This year we refreshed the Government Client Guidelines, a supplement to IBM’s Business Conduct Guidelines.

By establishing these guidelines decades ago and giving them the weight of a governing document, we have embraced the proposition that our choices and actions define IBM for others and that our relationships—with clients, investors, colleagues and the communities in which we live and work—are built on our core value of trust and personal responsibility.