GHG emissions reductions

IBM has been a leader in addressing climate change through the company's energy conservation and climate protection programs for decades. We have set and attained a series of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals covering our operations.

In 2021, IBM set its fifth-generation GHG emissions reduction goal: Reduce IBM's GHG emissions 65 percent by 2025 against base year 2010, adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures. Our goal is based on science. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its "Special Report: 1.5 C," indicates that anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must decrease 45 percent between 2010 and 2030 to limit Earth's warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This translates to an annual rate of reduction of 2.25 percent. Our goal achieves a rate of reduction of 4.3 percent per year.

In addition, we set a new goal to reach net zero GHG emissions by 2030 using feasible technologies to remove emissions in an amount which equals or exceeds IBM's residual emissions. We aim for residual emissions of 350,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent or less by 2030.

Both goals cover all of our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, as well as Scope 3 emissions associated with IBM's electricity consumption at co-location data centers. We challenge ourselves by not counting the purchase of unbundled renewable energy certificates to account for lower Scope 2 emissions, by not including the purchase of nature-based carbon offsets to comprise any emissions reduction, and by setting a numerical target for residual emissions.

We will continue to reduce our GHG emissions through conserving energy, driving continual improvement of our operational efficiency and increasing our use of renewable electricity. We anticipate relying on new carbon removal solutions such as direct air capture to meet our net zero GHG emissions goal, and support their development with research to accelerate the discovery of enabling materials.

To learn more about IBM's progress against these goals, please see IBM's 2021 ESG Report Addendum: Energy and Climate Change.