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.”

Industry Collaboration

We embrace the practice of working in unison with other parties who share the vision of making sustained improvements in the extended supply chain.

In 2012, IBM’s involvement with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) continued to expand in terms of support, participation and utilization of the organization’s numerous resources. Founded in 2004 and incorporated in 2007 as a nonprofit industry group, the EICC continues to make strides toward its ultimate goal of creating a sector that consistently operates in a socially and environmentally responsible fashion. As a founding member, IBM encourages its suppliers of products and services to join the group and participate in the development and deployment of resources aimed at driving improvements in social responsibility. At the end of 2012, the EICC had grown to 75 member companies across retail, electronics, software, logistics and communication industries, representing five distinct tiers of the extended supply chain. IBM completed its two terms of volunteer service as chair of the EICC board of directors, and expanded its representation in a number of working groups including Learning and Capability Building, Extractives/Conflict Minerals, Asia Program outreach, Governance Taskforce and the Finance Committee.

Through the collective efforts of its members and support partners, the EICC attained the following notable accomplishments in 2012:

  • Completed its tri-annual stakeholder/membership open commentary and released Version 4.0 of its Code of Conduct
  • Expanded the geographic coverage of the Validated Audit Process to 19 countries and developed audit protocols for service suppliers and temporary labor agencies
  • Launched EICC-ON Resources for sector interchange of EICC Self-Assessment Questionnaires and Validated Audit Reports
  • Published updated rosters of Conflict-Free Smelters for Tantalum and Gold, with Tin and Tungsten in the works
  • Hired its first executive director and elected a new and expanded board of directors

In addition to working within the EICC, IBM is also active at the country level engaging with organizations that share a common interest in driving improvements in supply chain social responsibility. An example of this can be found in Mexico, where we work with three regional organizations in the Guadalajara/Jalisco region. Jalisco’s electronic cluster plays a key role in Mexico’s development and contributes significantly to Mexico’s GDP. IBM, along with other major electronic companies, has established collaboration mechanisms through industry chambers. One such group is CANIETI (Camara Nacional de la Industria Electronica y Tecnologias de Informacion, or National Chamber of Electronics Industry and Information Technologies) where firms are collaborating on common projects to increase the social responsibility of the sector in Mexico. IBM is also collaborating with ACTIVO Jalisco Sustentable to help small and medium enterprises develop socially responsible capabilities to drive economic, environmental and sustainable growth. During 2012 more than 800 guests from small and medium enterprises located in the Jalisco region attended workshops on Corporate Social Responsibility. IBM collaborates on this project with other leading companies and Tecnologico de Monterrey to help share our experiences and benefits of being a socially responsible enterprise. IBM also maintains a collaborative relationship with CEREAL, a key nongovernmental organization located in the region.

Through frequent meetings and open communication, the parties involved in these efforts can address in a constructive manner areas of mutual concern regarding working conditions in our regional IBM supply chain.