Our supply chain

Social and environmental responsibility is a major component of our corporate responsibility strategy, and we incorporate this in our business relationships with over 17,000 suppliers operating in nearly 100 countries.

IBM’s global supply network is a strategic asset that enables us to deliver goods and services to our customers on a local and global level. We understand the stewardship that comes with having a supply chain of this scale and have implemented our social responsibility work in conjunction with our suppliers to promote sustainable performance as a shared objective. And in light of the increased interest stakeholders have in our global supply chain, we continually invest in and enhance our initiatives described here.

Supplier spending: $30.3 billion total in 2014

2014 supplier spending by category

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2014 supplier spending by location

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In 2014 supplier spending was approximately 8 percent lower than 2013 due to the effects of the fourth-quarter divestiture of IBM System x server business to Lenovo and reflecting lower market costs in multiple categories of goods and services purchased. Geographic distribution of supplier spend remained consistent year to year, reflecting IBM’s balanced supply chain in support of our global customer base.

As in prior reports, we are providing the following two lists of suppliers that represent a significant portion of our global expenditures. Feedback received from stakeholders indicates this is useful information, as it expands their understanding of IBM’s extended supply chain. In the spirit of supporting greater transparency in the supply chain, we are including links to our suppliers’ corporate responsibility reports and/or related websites. In 2014, 60 percent of our listed suppliers have published corporate responsibility reports, and 80 percent of these reports are mapped to the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines — most to the latest G4 criteria. We are gratified with this sharing of information and encourage all of our suppliers to create and publish these reports as they serve to enrich our collective knowledge of the efforts taking place to improve social and environmental performance in the extended supply chain.In 2014, approximately 85 percent of our global spend in Production and Logistics Procurement (in support of our hardware and logistics business operations) occurred with the following firms:

In Services and General Procurement (in support of our software, services, and overall operations) approximately 45 percent of our global spend was with the following firms: