IBM's energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories are audited by a third-party in two ways:
- Bureau Veritas Certification (BVC), 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 2013 reporting year. BVC 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."
- BVC also audits the IBM process and enterprise-wide database for managing energy consumption information as part of IBM's single, global registration to the ISO 14001 and 50001 standards. Each year, using a sampling approach, BVC audits between 15 and 25 of IBM's ISO 14001 registered entities (e.g., locations, business organizations) around the globe. The audited entities typically cover between 30 to 60 percent of IBM's global annual operational energy consumption.
As part of these ISO 14001 audits, BVC tests the energy consumption records in the enterprise-wide database, comparing the consumption values on the energy bill to the database entries for a randomly selected 4 months out of 12 in a calendar year for all audited entities. A representative sample of a registered entity's energy conservation projects completed in the 12 months prior to the audit are also reviewed to validate the reported energy savings results. The audits by BVC provide an independent check on the accuracy of energy data and GHG emissions reporting by IBM locations globally.
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.