IBM's energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories are audited by a third-party in two ways:

  1. An independent certification body for ISO standards, including the ISO 14001 standard, and assessor of GHG emissions inventories, performed an audit of IBM's corporate GHG emissions inventory and disclosure process for the 2016 reporting year. They issued a limited assurance verification for the process, stating, "It is our opinion that IBM has established appropriate systems for the collection, aggregation and analysis of quantitative data for determination of these GHG emissions for the stated period and boundaries. IBM has provided evidence indicating that the corporate GHG reduction target for 2020 was met in 2016. IBM provided evidence that 2005 baseline adjustments have been properly calculated." For more information, see the Greenhouse Gas Verification Statement below.

  2. As an integral part of IBM's global Environmental Management System, an external registrar also audits IBM's energy management program and the enterprise-wide database for recording and managing energy information (e.g., consumption, conservation, renewable energy purchases) against the ISO 50001 standard on energy management systems. Annually, between six and eight of our ISO 14001 registered entities are audited for conformance to the ISO 50001 standard. The results of these audits are reviewed during the corporate GHG emissions inventory audit discussed above, and the results are reflected in the limited assurance document issued by the external registrar.

In addition to third-party audits, IBM's global Environmental Management System includes internal energy management audits performed by Corporate Environmental Affairs and Real Estate Operations staffs and an environmental audit program which is implemented by IBM's Corporate Internal Audit organization, independent of the Corporate Environmental Affairs staff. These audits include an assessment of IBM's data collection and reporting processes.