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 intervening years, the policy and the global environmental management system and programs supporting it have addressed IBM’s intersections with the environment and defined and driven our 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.
Consistent with IBM’s value of “innovation that matters—for our company and for the world,” we also apply our expertise, research and technology to develop solutions that help our company, our clients and the world address the planet’s most challenging environmental problems and operate in ways that are more efficient and sustainable.