Responsibility at IBM

2012 Corporate Responsibility Report

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In this section, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty’s letter describes how IBM’s goal to unite its business and citizenship strategies is taking shape. We take a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship at IBM, and we integrate that approach into many aspects of our company. In this section you will also find a high-level overview of some of our major activities.


It’s not enough to develop world-class technology, services and expertise—at IBM we realize we must directly apply these things to the communities in which we live and work in order to have a positive impact. In this section, you will find examples of the ways we practiced this approach over the course of 2012 and into 2013.

The IBMer

A great company is forever evolving and growing. At IBM, we make it a top priority to hire, support and retain the people who make us a great company. In this section, you will find examples of the ways we support both the personal and professional development of our employees.


IBM’s unwavering commitment to environmental protection is evidenced across all of our business activities, from our research, development, products and services to the solutions we provide our clients that help them be more protective of the environment. In this section of IBM’s Corporate Responsibility Report, you will find information on our environmental programs, performance and solutions during 2012.

Supply Chain

Social and environmental responsibility is an important part of our business relationships with our suppliers. We work closely with them to encourage sustained improvement throughout our global supply chain and across various aspects of corporate responsibility. In this section you will find examples of how we set requirements for the companies we do business with, grow the global diversity of our supply base and collaborate with industry groups and stakeholders.


IBM’s culture of ethics and integrity is guided by a rigorous system of corporate governance. In this section, you will find examples of the many ways we govern the conduct of the company, manage risk and contribute our expertise to public discourse.

Awards & Metrics

Many of our corporate responsibility efforts received recognition from others in 2012. The most significant of these are listed in “Awards and Recognition.” We rely on a number of metrics to measure our corporate responsibility efforts. Our Key Performance Indicators and other significant metrics can be found in “Performance Summary.”

Service in Communities

At IBM, creating a culture that promotes service and skills-based volunteerism is essential to our corporate citizenship efforts. These priorities are an important part of what it means to be an IBMer.

Employee Donations and Programs

IBM teams with employees to support organizations and causes in the communities where they live and work. Community-level grant making and extensive volunteer programs help our employees become personally involved in community projects.

Employee Charitable Contributions Campaign

The annual Employee Charitable Contributions Campaign (ECCC) in the United States provides employees and retirees with an opportunity to contribute to more than 10,000 community organizations. These organizations offer a wide array of services including environmental, cultural, health and human services, literacy and disaster relief. The 2012 ECCC generated about $34.2 million in support to communities in the United States. The Employee Charitable Fund program in Canada provided about $3 million in contributions to Canadian organizations. IBM salutes the generosity of its employees and is proud to provide these programs to assist them in support of their communities.

$34.2 million

The total of US employee and retiree contributions to the Employee Charitable Contributions Campaign in 2012.

Matching Grants

The IBM Matching Grants program enables US employees and retirees to increase the value of their donations to educational institutions, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and cultural and environmental organizations with a matching gift from IBM. The recipient organization can choose to receive its gift in the form of either cash or IBM equipment. Hundreds of educational institutions and thousands of nonprofit organizations have benefited from contributions by IBM and our employees through this program. Recipients of IBM Matching Grants are a variety of organizations that includes the Nature Conservancy, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Educational Broadcasting Corporation, the Metropolitan Opera, the University of North Carolina and Yale University. In 2012, 6,395 organizations received grants with a total value of $12 million.

$12 million

The total value of matching grants received by 6,395 organizations in 2012.

Community Grants

IBM Community Grants support employees and retirees around the globe who regularly volunteer with nonprofit organizations. When IBM volunteers work with eligible community organizations for a minimum of 40 hours, the organization qualifies for either a cash or equipment grant. Grants begin at $500 and may be higher if the IBM volunteer uses Activity Kits from the IBM On Demand Community site, or if IBM volunteers work in teams. Organizations may receive one Community Grant per calendar year. In 2012, community organizations received grants with a value of $4 million through IBM Community Grants.

$4 million

The total in IBM Community Grants to organizations in 2012.

On Demand Community

One of the most common ways IBMers demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and citizenship is through service. The focus of this service activity is IBM’s On Demand Community, an online community that offers programs, presentations, software and IBM professional expertise to facilitate volunteer engagement and action. Using this community, which is designed to accommodate the way people work today by including mobile and work-at-home employees, IBMers can find volunteer activities and apply skills and expertise to a cause.

Through the On Demand Community, IBMers have an opportunity to apply to community organizations the same strengths and talents that they use at IBM, be it project management skills, technology expertise, communication strategies or other capabilities. IBMers can develop a unique service project that speaks to them personally, or they can select from a range of pre-packaged projects that marry IBM’s competencies with community issues. Since its launch in 2003, more than 235,000 IBM employees and retirees have registered at the site and logged 15 million hours of volunteer service.

Every year IBM awards significant individual and team volunteer work with the IBM Volunteer Excellence Award. Among the 13 winners for 2012 were:

Mobilizing legal pro bono support for global disaster response—Theresa Mohan, senior regional counsel for IBM in New York, has led the charge to create an infrastructure that supports legal pro bono volunteerism across the IBM legal function. In 2011 she collaborated with international disaster relief charity ShelterBox to kick off a volunteer legal effort with more than 60 lawyers. But she didn’t stop there; when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast of the United States in late 2012, Theresa initiated an informal legal clinic in the early days of the disaster with IBM lawyers, former IBM lawyers, law firm associates, bar association lawyers, and law school faculty and students to help hurricane victims. From their first weekend with one tent, the effort grew to staffing five locations. Theresa’s efforts have evolved further, and she’s now working with all of the legal groups responding in NYC, participating in a Disaster Best Practices conference, and using IBM’s SmartCloud collaboration software for cross-organization communication and collaboration.

Improving education in rural China—Hai Nan Yin has led a team of eight colleagues from IBM China in a three-part project designed to improve education in rural areas of the country. These efforts include organizing employees to donate books to rural schools in the Gansu province of China; IBMers collaborating with students at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) in a volunteer teaching program that uses IBM Activity Kits; and IBMers working with SJTU students to help an NGO solve issues in its donation process. For the third issue, the team set up a cloud platform to automate the donation tracking process and serve as a portal of volunteer activities, showcasing how cloud computing can streamline operations management for communities, business, schools and government. Throughout the project the IBM volunteers have used their professional skills in project management, software development and business process management, as well as training and presentation.

Motivating at-risk young people—Pilar Linan Vallecillos is the IBM team lead for a group of 77 volunteers from IBM Spain committed to helping young people with a background of academic failure find motivation. Project Coach, an initiative started by the nonprofit group Fundacíon Exit, works to help these youth continue their education and develop the work-readiness skills required to be successful in the business world. Launched in 2009 in Madrid and 2011 in Barcelona, the program engages IBM volunteers to serve as coaches to the youth, sharing their own personal experiences and giving the students their first contact with the professional world. The IBMers rely on their professional skills in this project and use a variety of IBM Activity Kits in their mentoring.

15 million

Hours of volunteer service logged by more than 235,000 IBM employees and retirees since 2003.