IBM achieves a first under ISO 14001

ARMONK, NY - 10 Dec 1997: IBM announced that it has received the first edition of a single worldwide ISO 14001 registration that will cover all of the company's global manufacturing and hardware development operations across all of its various business units. The scope of this single registration, awarded by Bureau Veritas Quality International (BVQI), encompasses the company's worldwide Environmental management system (EMS) at the corporate headquarters level and at 11 of IBM's 28 plant sites involved in the manufacture and development of microelectronics technology, data storage systems, personal systems, servers and networking hardware. It is IBM's intent that the remaining 17 plant sites will complete the audit and registration process and be brought under the single registration during 1998.

ISO 14001 is a voluntary international standard issued September 1996 by the International Organization for Standardization. It identifies the elements of an EMS necessary for an organization to effectively manage its impact on the environment. The ultimate objective of the standard is to integrate the EMS with overall business management processes and systems so that environmental considerations are a routine part of business decisions.

IBM decided during the fourth quarter of 1996 to pursue one single worldwide ISO 14001 registration rather than pursuing registration on a site-by-site, business unit-by-business unit, or geographic basis and is believed to be the first multinational company to do so. "IBM's operations have been conducted in accordance with the company's corporate Environmental policy and a worldwide Environmental management system for many years," said Wayne Balta, IBM's Director of Corporate Environmental Affairs. "Our longstanding commitment to environmental affairs leadership, coupled with our longstanding practice of managing environmental responsibility in the same manner no matter where in the world we do business, has placed us in an excellent position to pursue a single worldwide ISO 14001 registration regardless of our different business units or the locations of our plant sites."

IBM also believes this registration and its partnership with BVQI as the company's single ISO 14001 registrar will further drive common solutions, consistency and continual improvement, resulting in a more efficient and effective EMS.

This unique approach was a first for BVQI also. Mr. Greg Swan, President, BVQI (North America) noted, "Now that we have been fully exposed to IBM's Environmental management system, we are convinced as well that the most effective approach for IBM is to pursue ISO 14001 registration on a common, global basis."

IBM first began obtaining ISO 14001 registrations on a site-by-site basis when several IBM sites became registered to the draft standard in 1996. When the international standard became final, however, IBM decided to seek the single worldwide ISO 14001 registration. The initial registration was obtained within just one year of establishing the corporate-wide strategy.

For more information, read the IBM ISO 14001 frequently asked questions.