Responsibility reports

2012 Corporate Responsibility Report - To build a Smarter Planet—and to run a smarter enterprise—it turns out that your business and citizenship strategies must be more than aligned. They must become one

IBM's 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 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.

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.