Commitment to Environmental Leadership

Audits & Compliance

IBM measures our environmental performance against both external and internal requirements.

Every year, and more frequently for some, IBM’s manufacturing, hardware development and research locations and organizations—such as Product Development, Global Real Estate Operations, Global Asset Recovery Services, Global Logistics, Global Services Environmental Compliance and Integrated Supply Chain—complete a comprehensive self-assessment. In addition, IBM’s Corporate Internal Audit staff may conduct environmental, health and safety audits. Audit and self-assessment results are communicated to top management. Follow-up, accountability and actions are clearly delineated.

In addition, as part of IBM’s single, global registration to ISO 14001, approximately 25 sites or registered entities are audited annually by an independent ISO 14001 registrar. The company’s manufacturing, hardware development and chemical-using research locations are audited by the external ISO 14001 registrar every 18-30 months.


Accidental releases

IBM sites around the world report environmental incidents and accidental releases to IBM management through the company’s Environmental Incident Reporting System (EIRS). IBM’s environmental incident reporting criteria are equal to or exceed legal reporting requirements and every event meeting IBM’s reporting criteria must be reported through EIRS. Each IBM location must have a documented incident prevention program (including provisions for preventing environmental incidents or their recurrence) and reporting procedure.

In 2013, a total of 11 accidental releases of substances to the environment related to IBM operations were reported through EIRS. Of these, two were to air, seven were to land, one to water, and one to both land and water.

The root cause was investigated for all releases and corrective actions were taken as appropriate. None of the releases was of a duration or concentration to cause long-term environmental impact.


Fines and penalties

One significant measure of a company’s environmental performance is its record of fines and penalties.

In 2013, IBM was the subject of 86 successful environmental regulatory agency inspections and visits worldwide, with no fines being assessed.

Over the past five years, IBM has paid five fines for a total amount of $104,814.

Fines and penalties Worldwide

($ in thousands)

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Number 2 0 0 3 0
Fines $30.0 $0.0 $0.0 $74.8 $0.0