Position on Scope 3 GHG emissions

Approximations of Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can help entities recognize where the greatest amounts of GHGs may be generated during the lifecycle of a typical process, general product or service on a macro level. This can be helpful when assessing, for example, what phases of a general product's design, production, use and disposal provide the best opportunities for improved energy efficiency and innovation. However, IBM does not estimate all Scope 3 GHG emissions associated with our value chain because the assumptions associated with such estimates simply do not lead to credible results.

Like many companies, IBM has thousands of suppliers around the world. They are in all types of businesses and very few, if any, work solely for IBM. Furthermore, the sources of energy used by these suppliers vary, and IBM does not believe we could generate a credible estimate or apportionment of the energy used by these suppliers that would be associated with the products or services provided to IBM alone, versus those emissions associated with products or services provided to their other customers. In addition, IBM's specific scope of business with any given supplier remains dynamic, as it is driven by business need.

Moreover, one company's asserted Scope 3 emissions are another company's Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Since the ultimate goal for climate protection is for global societies to achieve demonstrable reductions in actual Scope 1 GHG emissions, IBM believes real results in GHG emissions reduction are directly achieved when each enterprise takes responsibility to address its own emissions and improve its energy efficiency. This is reinforced by IBM's announcement in 2010 that all of our first-tier suppliers are expected to develop a management system, identify their significant environmental impacts – including GHG emissions – and develop reduction plans for those impacts.