IBM establishes next generation goals regarding renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions

14 Jan 2019 -- In October 2018, IBM established new goals to further reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: a fourth-generation GHG emissions reduction goal and a second-generation renewable electricity procurement goal. IBM has been a leader in addressing climate change for decades, maintaining a corporate-wide energy conservation goal since 1996 and a GHG/carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction commitment since 2000. IBM's new goals cover the energy consumption and corresponding CO2 emissions associated with the company's global businesses -- from research, product development and manufacturing activities to our enterprise and cloud data center operations, whether they occur in real estate managed by IBM or by a third-party landlord.

Our next generation goals:

From 1990 to 2005, IBM avoided three million metric tons of CO2 emissions -- an amount equal to 40 percent of its 1990 emissions -- through conservation actions. We expect to achieve the CO2 emissions reductions needed to achieve the new goal through a combination of energy conservation and efficiency activities and increased procurement of renewable electricity.

Achieving our CO2 emissions reduction goal requires an annual reduction of 2.2 percent of IBM's CO2 emissions from 2010 to 2025, exceeding the 2 percent reduction per year science-based benchmark recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 2014 5th Assessment Report. Our goal is also in-line with the IPCC's recommendations in its 2018 Special Report, "Global Warming of 1.5°C," calling for a 2.25 percent per year reduction in GHG emissions from 2010 to 2030 to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

We are working with IBM's energy providers to increase our procurement and consumption of renewable electricity. We are also collaborating with peers in industry, energy providers, and nongovernmental organizations to increase the portion of renewable electricity incorporated into reliable grid electricity supplies. A sustainable renewable energy future requires not only the capacity to generate renewable energy but also better grid integration and an enhanced forecasting and demand management system.

"IBM has a long history of taking action to reduce its environmental impacts and has delivered significant energy conservation results and GHG emissions reductions for almost three decades," said Wayne Balta, vice president, Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety. "IBM's next generation goals are comprehensive and aggressive, covering our global operations and requiring us to sustain a 2 percent or more per year reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 to 2025. Further, in the interest of transparency, IBM does not plan to use unbundled renewable energy certificates (RECs) as a means of asserting that IBM is using renewable energy. We will continue to innovate, conserve energy, consume renewable energy, and reduce GHG emissions."

Since 1990, when IBM first began publicly reporting on its energy conservation activities, IBM's conservation actions have saved more than 7.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity consumption, avoided 4.4 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, and saved the company more than $616 million.

To learn more about IBM's energy conservation and climate protection initiatives, visit our climate protection web page.