Our Approach to Corporate Citizenship
Over the 100 years of IBM’s existence, we have developed and refined a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to corporate citizenship that we believe aligns with IBM’s values and maximizes the positive impact of which we, as a global enterprise, are capable. We do this in four ways:
- We identify and act upon new opportunities to apply our technology and expertise to societal problems (See Smarter Cities Challenge).
- We scale our existing programs and initiatives to achieve maximum benefit (See World Community Grid).
- We empower our employees and others to serve their communities (See Service Jam).
- We integrate corporate citizenship and social responsibility into every aspect of our company.
We focus our community engagement and corporate service programs on specific societal issues, including the environment, community economic development, education, health, literacy, language and culture. These are areas of urgent societal needs where we can apply IBM’s technology and talent to solve problems, rather than simply making cash donations. We believe that direct action and collaboration, not spare change, are the path to real change.
In all of our community service efforts, we aim to provide leadership, and we insist on excellence. Whether it’s using voice recognition technology to help children learn to read or cloud computing to make disaster relief tools available instantly to recovery workers, we expect to effect widespread positive change. And we work closely with highly qualified partners who are deeply committed to the same outcomes. This is our approach to stakeholder engagement: to collaborate with leading organizations to evolve meaningful and sustainable solutions.
This commitment is fostered throughout the company, led by senior management, which is ultimately responsible for our economic, environmental and societal performance, as well as compliance with laws, regulations and our various codes of conduct. The IBM Board, its committees and our CEO regularly review performance and accountability.
On a day-to-day basis, our citizenship activities are managed by Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs at IBM, which regularly reports to the Board on goals and performance. The vice president for Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs at IBM also serves as the president of the IBM International Foundation, which is chaired by IBM’s chairman and CEO.
It is only logical that responsibility for good corporate citizenship extends to all divisions of the company, because corporate citizenship at IBM consists of far more than community service. IBM is a company of more than 425,000 employees, doing business in nearly 170 countries. We manage a supply chain of more than 27,000 suppliers. We support a vast network of stakeholders — from clients, employees and business partners to community leaders and investors. And the work we do impacts not only other companies’ business success, but the efficiency and innovation of countries, cities, governments, communities and our planet’s critical infrastructure.
For these reasons, IBM’s business is inherently required to pursue the highest standards of social responsibility, from how we support and empower our employees, to how we work with our clients, to how we govern the corporation.
Featured IBM Initiatives
A Century of Shared Value
As IBM celebrates 100 years of building a responsible enterprise, we look back at several moments that have defined our values and served as cornerstones in our pursuit of progress.Launch Feature
Smarter Cities Challenge
The Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant program awarding $50 million worth of services and expertise over the next three years to help 100 cities around the globe address a wide range of challenges.Launch Feature
Celebration of Service
IBMers worldwide are improving the communities in which they work, learn and live by pledging time and expertise. IBM honors their commitments with a program of new and expanded grants, and the opportunity to join a global effort.Launch Feature