April 21, 2023 By Christina Shim 4 min read

Over the past few years, sustainability pledges have emerged from nearly every major company. IBM® has had a bit of a head start: we’ve been focused on environmental conservation and sustainability for more than 50 years, operating our business pursuant to environmental leadership and minimizing our impact on the planet’s precious ecosystems.

As we celebrate Earth Day this month, we are reminded that addressing climate change will take more than any one organization; it will require companies, governments, nongovernmental organizations and communities, all working together, and with the aid of technology, to improve the efficiencies of our activities and operations and to reduce costs, waste and emissions.

To illustrate this need, this month, IBM released two Institute for Business Value (IBV) reports. First, The ESG conundrum reveals that while an increased focus on environmental sustainability remains a top priority for participating consumers and business executives, inadequate data is a key challenge for both groups when it comes to achieving personal and corporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. And second, in Redesigning brand values: Purpose and profit converge in core operations, authored by IBM and The Consumer Goods Forum, surveyed consumer goods leaders share that they estimate technology budgets will grow by 34% over the next three years.

To that end, IBM has been building out an ecosystem of technologies and partnerships to help clients optimize their core operations across assets, infrastructure and supply chains.

A clearer picture for environmental sustainability

No matter where organizations are on their sustainability journeys, they face questions like: “How do these goals tie to our business? How do we achieve them?” and “How can I measure, report and adapt our sustainability goals?” In other words, “How can I balance revenue and risk and drive shareholder returns while still reducing my company’s waste and emissions?”

Simply put, data is key for environmental action: without detailed insights into your environmental impact, it’s difficult to take systematic steps to reduce it. Without data, sustainability is not visible, it’s not actionable, and it’s not operational. 

That’s why IBM offers clients a comprehensive portfolio of technology and consulting expertise to help organizations operationalize their sustainability goals. Our practical approach embeds sustainability decision-making directly into daily business operations so organizations can better translate their sustainability ambitions into actionable results. 

And as our clients’ needs continue to evolve, so do our capabilities. In fact, we recently announced that we are helping Chief Information Officers (CIOs) operationalize sustainability via a new software integration between the IBM Envizi™ ESG Suite and IBM Turbonomic®. CIOs are positioned to drive lasting impact in support of sustainability and can use tools like this new IBM integrated solution designed to help reduce data center energy consumption and carbon impact. The solution provides organizations with near-real-time visibility of data center energy demand and emissions impact at an application level to support the optimization of data center resources and workload placement.

From insights to action

IBM also has a growing roster of customers across a range of industries that are taking steps toward their corporate sustainability goals with our products. For example, the Downer Group, an integrated services company in Australia and New Zealand, has worked with IBM Consulting™ to use the IBM Maximo® Application Suite to power its TrainDNA platform, which provides a holistic view into its more than 200 trains across Australia. This view includes train location, timetable and status information and predictive maintenance insights, supporting the company’s commitment to provide timely service to passengers, and getting them where they need to go. Downer also relies on IBM Envizi ESG Suite to capture and manage data that help them more effectively meet their sustainability goals, including data on energy consumption, waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions.

Another example is BlueIT, which provides direct IT outsourcing for clients. In addition to helping their customers improve their tech performance, BlueIT also strives to support their sustainability initiatives. To do so, BlueIT has been employing IBM Turbonomic and IBM Instana™ Observability solutions to get a better picture of their clients’ IT environments so they can help them reduce waste. Since implementing Turbonomic and Instana, BlueIT has been executing resourcing decisions quickly, which has translated to a measurable reduction in its clients’ CPU and memory usage.

To demonstrate the transformative power of these data and AI-driven solutions, IBM has integrated many of these solutions into our own operations to help improve efficiency and reduce our environmental impact—beginning with our facilities. As highlighted in a recent IBM case study, IBM operates more than 50 million square feet of real estate across some 800 locations in 100 countries, and we’re committed to making these spaces as efficient as possible.

IBM Global Real Estate (GRE) has been using the IBM TRIRIGA® Application Suite and the IBM Maximo Application Suite to manage its facilities and assets, creating an IT foundation for sustainability decisions. GRE is also using the IBM Envizi ESG Suite to integrate data that supports sustainability reporting, including key elements from TRIRIGA and Maximo, creating a streamlined, auditable system of record. By replacing multiple tools with a single automated platform, GRE has reduced its spend on data reporting software by 30% while achieving greater operational efficiency.

It takes all of us

Staving off climate change and protecting our natural resources is a mission that can’t succeed without all stakeholders doing their part. Our innovations and sustainability software solutions are just a start, and we look forward to continuing to apply them to causes that support the well-being of our planet.

As we celebrate Earth Day 2023 and begin writing the next chapter of IBM’s long history of innovation, we’re proud to be doing our part in helping to preserve our planet for future generations to come—and we’re hoping you’ll join us.

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