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.”

A Commitment to Environmental Leadership

IBM’s corporate environmental programs date back to the 1960s. In 1971, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., IBM’s CEO at the time, formalized the company’s commitment to environmental protection with our Corporate Policy on IBM’s Environmental Responsibilities. Updated a number of times over the years, the policy and the environmental programs supporting it have defined and driven IBM’s longstanding commitment to environmental leadership across all of our business activities.

IBM’s operations can affect the environment in a number of ways. For example, the chemicals needed for research, development and manufacturing must be properly managed from selection and purchase through storage, use and disposal. Our data center operations are generally energy-intensive, and some of our manufacturing processes use a considerable amount of energy, water or both. We continually look for ways to reduce consumption of these and other resources.

Our product stewardship requirements include product energy efficiency, the use of environmentally preferable materials and designing for reuse, recycling and safe disposal at the end of the product’s useful life. In addition, as we incorporate more purchased parts and components into our products, our requirements for the overall environmental responsibility of our suppliers and the environmental attributes of the goods they provide have become even more important.

We also apply our expertise, research and technology to develop solutions that can help our company, our clients and the world operate in a way that is more efficient and protective of the environment. We apply our research and innovation to help discover scientific solutions to some of the world’s most challenging environmental problems.