Responsibility at IBM

2012 Corporate Responsibility Report

Section Downloads

Download report sections


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.”

IBM Awards and Recognition 2012

Every year, our corporate responsibility efforts are rated and recognized by a number of publications, advocacy groups, governments and non-government organizations. We are proud to share some of that recognition here.

Corporate Responsibility

Civic 50

IBM was ranked #1 on the Civic 50, which measures S&P 500 companies on how they best use their time, talent, and resources to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business. The Civic 50 is a partnership among the National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light and Bloomberg News.

100 Best Corporate Citizens

IBM was ranked #2 on the CR Magazine “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list, based on the Russell 1000 listing of large public corporations, in March 2012.

World’s Most Admired Companies

IBM was ranked #5 in the Fortune 2012 World’s Most Admired Companies list, up from #12 in 2011.

100 Most Reputable Companies

IBM was ranked #19 on the Forbes list of the world’s 100 most reputable companies, based on a survey of 47,000 consumers in 15 markets.

Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations

IBM was identified as one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations by Corporate Knights, Inc., a Toronto-based media firm.


IBM Argentina was recognized for the third consecutive year as a company committed to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the Argentinean Institute for Corporate Responsibility (IARSE).


IBM received the Most Respected Company in China awarded by the Economic Observer for 11 consecutive years, the highest recognition for a company being essential to China. IBM is the only IT company among the awardees.

IBM was named as an Enterprise of Excellence in the annual CSR ranking by China Business News, for 3 consecutive years, recognizing IBM’s thoughtful and comprehensive approach to align CSR with corporate values and maximize impact.

IBM was recognized by Business Value for best practices in integrating CSR strategy into business.

IBM was listed in the annual Fortune China CSR Ranking Top 25.


IBM Spain was honored with the Red Cauces award, which recognizes CSR commitment and programs.

Smarter Cities Challenge was selected as one of the best 100 ideas in Corporate Citizenship by Actualidad Económica, a leading business magazine in Spain.

IBM Spain received an award from Fundación Madrina in recognition of its values and social commitment.


IBM Taiwan received a 2012 CSR award from Global Views Monthly.

Education and Workforce

Czech Republic

The IBM project “Science has a Future” was recognized by the Minister of Education for the Czech Republic. A letter was issued by the Minister, stating the importance of collaboration between business and schools.


IBM Hungary was presented with an award for supporting the employment of disabled people by AmCham, the Ministry of National Resources and the Salva Vita Foundation.


IBM was awarded a diploma by Junior Achievement for its active support of the “eskills 2012” campaign.

IBM Romania received a diploma for outstanding contribution for investment in education and a diploma for business volunteer involvement from Junior Achievement Young Enterprise Romania.

United States

IBM received the National Governors Association Public–Private Partnership Award from Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley for designing and building the Maryland STEM Innovation Network online platform.

IBM was honored with a Corporate Supporter award by the Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) in Westchester, New York. The award was based on IBM support to WEDC in helping women entrepreneurs promote their businesses and increase sales.



IBM received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award for its Corporate Service Corps program from the Australian Human Resources Institute.


Alcely Barroso, IBM Brazil Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs executive, received the Diploma de Merito Feminino for her contributions to Brazil. This award, in celebration of International Women’s month, was presented by the Brazilian Academy of Art, Culture & History.

IBM Brazil was recognized by the Dorina Nowill Foundation as a company committed to the inclusion of people with visual impairment.


IBM Canada received the Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) Employer of the Year award. CWC is a national organization that champions women’s advancements in the technology and communications sectors.


IBM was recognized for the Best CSR Program for IBM Executive Service Corps Nanjing, awarded by Philanthropic Time, a CSR media outlet managed by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.


IBM Hungary received the Hewitt Award for “Best Employer 2012.”


IBM India won the “Best CSR Practice Award” for the Corporate Service Corps program at the first ever Responsible Business Awards event.


IBM Malaysia won the Prime Minister’s CSR Award 2011 for Family Friendly Workplace, which recognizes companies that have contributed significantly towards the development of policies and procedures that foster family friendly workplaces.


IBM Vietnam received the Certificate of Excellence 2012 from the Danang People’s Committee for its extensive contribution to socio-economic development, especially through the Executive Service Corps.


2012 Gold Medal, World Environment Center

IBM received the World Environment Center’s (WEC) 28th Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development, becoming the first and only company to earn the award twice. We were recognized with our first WEC Gold Medal in 1990.

EU Data Center CoC 2012 Corporate Level Participant of the Year

IBM received recognition as the EU Data Center Code of Conduct (CoC) 2012 Corporate Level Participant of the Year. The award recognizes IBM's achievement in registering 27 data centers to the CoC and its work to improve the efficiency of the cooling operations at the registered data centers.


IBM Canada’s Bromont site received an Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC) Energy Award for its ongoing energy conservation initiatives. From 2008 to 2012, the site completed more than 145 energy conservation projects reducing or avoiding annualized energy use of 76,000 MWh/year and saving $3.1 million.


IBM received the International Institute for Advanced Purchasing & Supply (IIAPS) Sustainable Supply Chain Award at the IIAPS Asian Supply Chain Excellence Forum in Shanghai, China, for its Supply Chain Social and Environmental Management System.


IBM India received the 2012 Golden Peacock Environment Management Award. The Award is designed to promote best strategy and management of environmental issues by organizations.


IBM was recognized in The Chambers Ireland President's Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility for Excellence in Marketplace for its Integrated Supply Chain Social and Environmental Management System.


IBM Netherlands was awarded the International Union for Conservation of Nature prize for sustainability.


IBM Singapore Limited received the Singapore Environmental Achievement Award (Services) from the Singapore Environment Council for its outreach to the community on environmental issues, meeting its own environmental goals and data center energy efficiency.

United States

2013 (and 2012) Climate Leadership Award

IBM received a 2013 Climate Leadership Award from the US EPA, the Association of Climate Change Officers, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and The Climate Registry. The award recognized IBM for its ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and for being at the leading edge of setting requirements for suppliers to measure, disclose and reduce their emissions. This is the second Climate Leadership Award for IBM, having received one in 2012, the first year the awards were given.

#1 Ranking of World’s Greenest Companies, Newsweek

IBM was the #1 company in Newsweek's 2012 Green Rankings. This is the second year in a row that IBM was recognized as top-rated in this annual listing. The methodology behind this annual ranking assesses the environmental performance, management (policies, initiatives, controversies) and transparency of the 500 largest public companies in America.

White House Champion of Change Award for Leadership
in Corporate Sustainability

IBM received a White House Champion of Change award for leadership in corporate sustainability in recognition of IBM's environmental leadership. Only eight awards were given, and IBM was the only company to receive one.

Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award

IBM East Fishkill, New York, won a Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award (MVP2) from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable for its On-site & Off-site Waste Solvent Accomplishments Project. The project eliminated 200 tons per year of n-methyl-2-pyrrolidone and photo resist stripper chemical use and 300 tons per year of hazardous waste solvent and enabled the beneficial reclamation of 500 tons per year of waste solvent.

2012 Environmental Excellence Award

IBM East Fishkill also received a 2012 Environmental Excellence Award from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The site was recognized for its catalytic hydrogen peroxide treatment system that demonstrates the environmental, economic and health and safety benefits that can be achieved as a result of pollution prevention and green chemistry technologies.

Vermont Governor’s Award, US

IBM Burlington, Vermont, received a 2013 Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its energy outreach efforts with two non-profit organizations (Howard Center and Vermont Technical College) and multiple Vermont-based companies. IBM shared its innovations in energy management to help them achieve energy, associated CO2 emissions and operational cost reductions. This marks 20 consecutive years that IBM has been recognized with at least one of these awards—which is every year the competition has been held.

Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award

IBM facilities in Burlington, Vermont, received the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Project of 2012 in recognition of IBM’s Centennial Energy Outreach Project.

Earth Charter Sustainable Business Award

Earth Charter US (ECUS) Sustainable Business Coalition, in partnership with the University of Tampa’s Center for Ethics, recognized IBM Tampa Bay, Florida, with its Sustainable Business Award, large business category. IBM was recognized for its Smart Building Technology as well as the company's annual corporate responsibility report.

Supply Chain

ISO 14001 Certification — IBM’s Social & Environmental Management System, which encourages IBM’s supply chain partners to adopt a more responsible approach to social and environmental issues, received significant recognition during 2012 including ISO 14001 certification.

IBM’s Social & Environmental Management System also received an award from the International Institute for Advanced Purchasing & Supply in Asia.

IBM/Supplier Connection won the Best Collaboration Award from the Supply Chain Awards North America.


IBM’s Social & Environmental Management System also received the President’s Award for Excellence in Marketplace at the Chambers Ireland President’s Awards for CSR.

United Kingdom

IBM received Corporation of the Year designation by the Minority Supplier Development Council-UK.

United States

IBM was named a Top Corporation by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

IBM received the National Minority Supplier Development Council International Committee’s Global Link Award.

IBM was named a 2012 Corporate One recipient by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

IBM was named Corporation of the Year by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council of Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware.

IBM was named Corporation of the Year by the Minority Supplier Development Council of Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware.

IBM was recognized as a Top Corporation by



The IBM Ottawa Adopt-a-Family Centennial volunteer team received the 2011 Community Builder Award from the City of Ottawa.


IBM received a Gold Award for Volunteer Service from the Director of Social Welfare, Hong Kong Government for accumulated service hours in the 2011 Centennial Year.


Responsible Business Forum selected IBM’s Celebration of Service and Mentor Place volunteering (mentoring of NGO leaders by IBM managers) for publication in its CSR Best Practices Annual Report.


IBM Portugal was awarded the OCI Award 2011 for Excellence in Internal Communications in recognition of its Celebration of Service campaign.


IBM RCIS was awarded “Volunteering Company of the Year 2011” by the Moscow government under the Corporate Volunteering category. It recognizes the Celebration of Service initiative, the use of skills-based volunteering, innovative practices and the development of long-term partnerships with NGOs.


IBM Spain was recognized with the CODESPA Foundation Award in the category of Corporate Volunteering for its On Demand Community program.


IBM’s On Demand Community in Uruguay received the DERES Best Practices award in the Community Support category. DERES is an Uruguay organization of businesses that promotes the conceptual and practical development of CSR.

Work with NGOs and communities


IBM Argentina won the Scouts of Argentina Association “Siempre Listo” Award 2012, which recognizes companies that contribute their time and talent to the community.


IBM Chile received the Chilenter Award, recognizing IBM for the invaluable commitment, contribution and environmental responsibility in the reduction of the digital divide.


IBM China Limited was awarded for the 10th consecutive year the Caring Company Award by Hong Kong Council of Social Service. The Caring Company Award is specifically geared to build strategic partnerships among businesses and nonprofit organizations.


IBM won the “Excellence in Community - Partnership with Charity (Multinational Corporation)” award at the “Chambers Ireland President’s Awards for CSR” in recognition of the cloud-based Care to Drive Centennial grant project with the Irish Cancer Society.


IBM Korea won a CSR award granted by The Republic of Korea National Red Cross to honor the outstanding social service responsibility for individuals and companies.


IBM Peru received the Socially Responsible Company award from the NGO Fundades, which works to improve the education and social integration of people with disabilities.


IBM Philippines won an ANVIL Award for “Making Our Communities Work Better.”


IBM was recognized by Thailand’s HRH Princess Soamsawali for supporting HIV prevention through a grant of IBM software and IBM volunteers working with the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre.