IBM sets new renewable electricity use and 3rd generation greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals

20 Mar 2015 -- IBM set two new goals to further reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in February 2015: a new renewable electricity use goal; and a third-generation GHG emissions reduction goal. IBM has been a leader in addressing climate change for decades with an annual worldwide energy conservation goal since 1996 and a CO2 emissions reduction commitment since 2000. While IBM's business continues to transform, the company's new goals exemplify IBM's consistent, driven focus on energy management and CO2 emissions reduction across our businesses.

The goals:

  1. Procure electricity from renewable sources for 20 percent of IBM's annual electricity consumption by 2020.

    To achieve this goal, IBM plans to contract over 800,000 megawatt-hours per year of renewable electricity -- an amount that can power a city of 100,000 people. IBM works with its electricity providers to directly procure renewable electricity to supply IBM's facilities, making a clear connection by matching purchases to consumption as opposed to purchasing renewable energy certificates as offsets.

  2. Reduce CO2 emissions associated with IBM's energy consumption 35 percent by year-end 2020, against base year 2005, adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures. This represents an additional 20 percent reduction, from year-end 2012 to year-end 2020, over the reductions achieved from 2005 to 2012 under IBM's second generation goal.

    From 1990 to 2005, IBM avoided three million metric tons of CO2 emissions -- an amount equal to 40 percent of its 1990 emissions -- through a program of conservation actions.

"IBM has long taken environmental sustainability seriously, and we have been making aggressive moves for 25 years to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions," said Wayne Balta, Vice President, Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety. "Incremental progress becomes harder at this stage of maturity, but IBM nevertheless sustains its leadership, achieves results and practices transparency."

Since 1990, when IBM first began publicly reporting on its energy conservation activities, IBM's conservation actions have saved more than 6.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity consumption, avoided 4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and saved the company more than $513 million.

IBM publicized these new goals during a White House Executive Roundtable on Federal Supplier GHG Reduction on March 19, 2015.