“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”—Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I am often impressed with how younger generations are not only showing real concern for protecting the environment and combating climate change but also taking meaningful action to change the future.

For example, a recent consumer study by IBM determined that the pandemic has in fact shifted consumer views on sustainability. While all age groups are now looking for brands and retailers to help them shop more sustainably, the research found Gen Z and millennials are leading the way. In fact, roughly half of consumers in this age range who responded are using greener transportation options and changing their daily habits to reduce their environmental impact.

Why is this important? Because these generations are not only consumers, but they are also employees, shareholders and voters.  

Especially as Gen Z continues to join the workforce, they bring with them a desire for a sustainable economy and personal ethics that directly impact where they work, where they live and what brands they engage with.

To help build a more sustainable future — for the younger generation and all those who will come after them — it’s up to all of us to come together.

Empowering vulnerable populations to address climate change  

To help create a better future, we believe it is critical to give back to populations vulnerable to environmental threats, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates to be 3.6 billion people. IBM recently launched a global pro bono environmental program to help non-profits and government organizations that are focused on helping underserved communities adversely affected by climate change, extreme weather and pollution. We’re making IBM technologies — such as hybrid cloud and AI — and an ecosystem — including experts — available to help these organizations to create real solutions that will drive a long-term impact in their communities.

Countries, companies and consumers coming together

Environmental leadership must be a strategic imperative companies put at the center of their mission to guide their business decisions and operations, day after day. And last fall at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), some important strides were made, aligning countries, companies and consumers behind an ambitious goal of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reductions to limit global heating and net-zero emissions.

For our part, IBM has committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to further its decades-long work to address the global climate crisis. We will accomplish this goal by focusing on short-term targets, including procuring 75% of the electricity IBM consumes worldwide from renewable sources in just the next three years. As we strive to create a better future, we will continue to prioritize actual reductions in emissions, energy efficiency efforts and increased clean energy use across the more than 175 countries where we operate.

At IBM, we’re continuing to address customers’ high standards for environmental sustainability, while pursuing our own ambitious goals. As we strive to create a better future, for all generations, we must put sustainability at the heart of everything we do.

Putting in sustainable efforts in place now will position us for a more efficient, resilient and inclusive world. And this starts at the community level. By practicing sustainability at home, I am empowering my children to construct knowledge, explore values and develop an appreciation of the environment and its relationship to their worlds. This will help lay the foundation for an environmentally responsible adulthood.


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