IBM has a strong heritage in social responsibility. Our technical and industry professionals across business units and research divisions develop new ways of helping to solve difficult environmental problems based upon data and today’s exponential information technologies — including AI, automation, IoT and blockchain, which also have the power to change business models, reinvent processes, and reimagine work.

IBM has recently released the 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report where you will see our efforts on applying the power of technologies to advance societal progress. Trusted data is at the core of these successes, and blockchain empowers that at the ecosystem level. Together with our clients and partners, we are addressing industry-wide challenges and goals that are bigger than a single organization can achieve. I would like to share some of those stories from the report that I’m excited and energized about.

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Healthcare and life sciences

Last year, we launched IBM Digital Health Pass to assist the world’s recovery from the pandemic. New York State’s Excelsior Pass is one of the great examples that uses its capability and has been downloaded two million times by now. While other vaccine passports could result in privacy concerns or inequitable access, our solution was designed to share personal information only after individual consent and to enable everyone to benefit from the solution.

Retail and consumer goods

The Norwegian Seafood Association joined IBM and Atea to deploy a system that tracks fish from their source through processing and export, enabling suppliers to satisfy consumers’ demand to know that their seafood is produced in a sustainable, healthy manner.

Farmer Connect is using the IBM Food Trust™ platform to build a more efficient supply chain for coffee farmers, while enabling consumers to trace their coffee from its source with its Thank My Farmer app. They are partnering with leading coffee companies across the global supply chain such as UCC Coffee, Beyers Koffie, The J.M. Smucker Company, Massimo Zanetti and more.

Textile company KAYA&KATO is developing a blockchain network with IBM to create transparency about the origin of garments they manufacture, from the fiber used to the final product, so consumers can be assured their clothes are sustainably produced.

New fashion brand Covalent makes accessories from AirCarbon, a carbon-negative biomaterial made by microorganisms and using renewable power. Consumers can track their Covalent products’ carbon footprint and supply chain with a blockchain-powered system. Other fashion companies are exploring blockchain as a way to combat counterfeit goods by giving consumers a reliable way to verify a product’s authenticity.

Industrial and manufacturing

The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN) is a consortia-based initiative, built by IBM and assured by RCS Global, that is providing the transparency, trust and security needed to demonstrate responsible sourcing for cobalt and other minerals. Initial deployment has been in the automotive sector, where rapid growth in electric vehicle production is driving demand for responsibly sourced lithium-ion batteries.

Public sector

Finally, IBM became one of the founding members of the OneTen Coalition to help train black candidates to fill one million professional roles over the next 10 years. Their talent platform is being built using advanced AI and the IBM Learning Credential Network that provides valued information on the degrees, skills badges, certifications and credentials that talent has earned over the course of their career.

Social impact is built into our business, and these are all great stories where our clients and partners are leveraging our market-leading capabilities to innovate and make a positive impact on issues that matter. This approach, in which technology is used to benefit society, builds on the legacy of IBM leadership in social responsibility. Read the full report or visit our web page to learn more about our projects, and we look forward to working with you to make our world better together.

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