Audits and Compliance
IBM measures its environmental performance against both external and internal requirements. Every year, and more frequently for some, IBM’s manufacturing, hardware development and research sites and organizations, such as Product Development, Global Real Estate Operations, Global Asset Recovery Services, Global Logistics and Global Service Environmental Compliance, complete a comprehensive self-assessment. Each year, certain sites are audited for environmental, health and safety compliance by IBM’s Corporate Internal Audit staff. Audit results are communicated to top management. Follow-up, accountability and actions are clearly delineated.
In addition, as part of IBM’s single, global registration to ISO 14001, approximately 20 sites or registered entities are audited annually by an independent ISO 14001 registrar. The company’s manufacturing, hardware development and chemical-using research sites are audited, by either the Corporate Internal Audit team or the external ISO 14001 registrar, at least once every two years.
IBM sites around the world report environmental incidents and accidental releases to IBM management through the company’s Environmental Incident Reporting System (EIRS). Every event meeting IBM’s environmental incident reporting criteria, which equals or surpasses legal reporting requirements, must be reported through EIRS.
Each IBM location must have a documented incident prevention program (including provisions for preventing environmental incidents or their recurrence) and reporting procedure.
In 2010, a total of 14 accidental releases related to IBM operations were reported through EIRS. Of these, four were to air, six to land, two to water, and two to both land and water.
The releases to the air included three refrigerants and one particulate matter, which was a wet residue left on fans after a cleaning activity.
The releases to land included one of treated industrial wastewater, one of untreated industrial wastewater, and one each of antifreeze, fuel oil, condensate water and oil.
The releases to water included one of turbid water and one of water containing food particles and grease from a kitchen.
The releases to both land and water included one of untreated sanitary wastewater and one of hydraulic fluid.
The root cause was investigated for all releases, and corrective actions were taken as appropriate. None of the releases were of a duration or concentration to cause long-term environmental impact.
Fines and Penalties
One significant measure of a company’s environmental performance is its record of fines and penalties.
In 2010, IBM received 116 successful agency visits worldwide with no fines being assessed.
Over the past five years, IBM has paid three fines for a total amount of $31,000.
successful agency visits worldwide in 2010 with no fines being assessed.
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