Responsibility is integral to our business and draws us to social challenges where we can matter, where IBM’s innovation and expertise can improve communities and lives. We forge sustained partnerships with nonprofit organizations — allied in purpose, focused on results. Following are highlights of these efforts from our 2016 report.

New skill, new collar

Many jobs in today’s economy are neither white nor blue collar but rather “new collar,” requiring expertise but not always advanced degrees — so IBM is exploring new ways to build skills. Pathways in Technology, or P-TECH, joins schools with corporate partners to extend high school curricula with college courses and skills development through mentoring and internships. P-TECH schools will soon number 100 in the U.S. and Australia, with more planned. IBM has hired 10 P-TECH graduates, and most are pursuing four-year degrees as IBMers.

Our new Veterans Employment Accelerator Impact Grant program has trained 600 military veterans in IBM’s i2® Analyst’s Notebook software, and 100 have joined IBM and partner companies as data analysts. Our IBM Africa Skills Initiative helps universities across Africa prepare students for today’s IT jobs, with nearly 600 participants having joined IBM as interns or employees.


Vice President, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President, IBM International Foundation

Stan Litow is retiring after 22 years of leading the extraordinary evolution and growth of IBM’s social engagement initiatives. Read more

Vice President, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President, IBM International Foundation

Stan Litow is retiring after 22 years of leading the extraordinary evolution and growth of IBM’s social engagement initiatives. Read more

C is for cognitive

Teacher Advisor with Watson uses cognitive computing to help teachers plan lessons, initially focused on third-grade math. Piloted with hundreds of teachers in 2016, the free resource will be available across the United States for the 2017-18 school year. Also, IBM Watson Education has partnered with Sesame Workshop to design and build an adaptive platform that applies Watson to early education through apps, games and educational toys. The collaboration’s first result is a cognitive vocabulary app for kindergarten students, which completed the first phase of its pilot in Georgia’s Gwinnett County Public Schools in May 2017.

Another initiative, Teachers TryScience, offers STEM-focused lessons and strategies free of charge to teachers worldwide. In 2016, its website added 425 new resources in 10 languages. Read more about our education initiatives.

IBM

A new, rainbow version of our logo represents IBM’s commitment to inclusion and equal opportunity for all IBMers worldwide. It’s now used with our diversity initiatives and advocacy. Read more in the IBMer section.

IBM

A new, rainbow version of our logo represents IBM’s commitment to inclusion and equal opportunity for all IBMers worldwide. It’s now used with our diversity initiatives and advocacy. Read more in the IBMer section.


Teacher Advisor With Watson

Society is our client

Applying expertise and technology to problems is what IBM does best, and our citizenship work takes the same approach. Launched in 2016, IBM Health Corps sends experts worldwide to work pro bono on engagements that expand and improve healthcare. Among its first five projects is a predictive analytics system to forecast demand for chemotherapy in sub-Saharan Africa, where few patients receive it. Read more in the communities section about other IBM initiatives that employ the same strategy:

99IBM regularly audits its suppliers for compliance with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Code of Conduct. In 2016, 99 audits and re-audits were conducted in 15 countries. Read more in the supply chain section.

99IBM regularly audits its suppliers for compliance with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Code of Conduct. In 2016, 99 audits and re-audits were conducted in 15 countries. Read more in the supply chain section.

  • Corporate Service Corps deploys teams of consultants worldwide to assist community organizations. In 2016 it reached 28 cities and began a partnership with the Peace Corps.
  • Smarter Cities Challenge works with city authorities to devise strategies to manage congestion, pollution, poverty and other urban challenges. In 2016, the program engaged 10 cities on six continents.
  • Impact Grants engaged over 400 nonprofit organizations in 60 countries in 2016, with consulting and software to support their work to resettle refugees, disrupt human trafficking, respond to natural disasters, contain infectious diseases, and much more.
  • IBM SafetyNet helps nonprofits automate the collection and management of their data by providing Cúram software, consulting and ongoing support. Its initial five engagements are expanding to six more in 2017, with grants valued at $300,000 each.

Introducing IBM Health Corps

Indonesia typing challenge

3,400 x 7

IBMers in Indonesia volunteered to organize a “typing challenge” to help convert books into braille. This event in Makassar, South Sulawesi, represents a fraction of the 50,000 who joined the effort. IBM supports volunteers like these through On Demand Community, which provides resources to assist their efforts and in 2016 recorded 1.2 million hours of service — or an average of 3,400 hours volunteered by IBMers worldwide, every day.


Picture: windmills

Environmental milestones

IBM achieved two important goals related to our efforts to help combat climate change, four years ahead of schedule. In 2016, IBM’s renewable electricity purchases represented 21.5 percent of our global consumption (beyond what’s already provided from the grid), exceeding our goal of 20 percent. IBM also achieved its third-generation CO2 emissions goal, reducing operational emissions by 38.1 percent compared to a 2005 baseline and surpassing the 35 percent target we’d set for 2020. We continue to apply expertise and technology to address environmental challenges for our clients and the world. Read more in the environment section.


Innovation for life

World Community Grid® combines the idle computing power of PCs and mobile devices worldwide to create a “virtual supercomputer” that helps researchers working on humanitarian projects. In 2016, it provided the equivalent of 167,000 years of computing time to support projects including research into treatments for the Zika virus, cancer and tuberculosis.

IBM Research and the Vermont Electric Power Company have jointly developed a system to forecast the amount of power generated by solar and wind, to help integrate renewable energy into the electricity grid more effectively. IBM Research is also working with The Weather Company (acquired by IBM in 2016) to explore how “hyperlocal” weather forecasting can help farmers make more informed decisions. Read more about solutions for environmental sustainability.

Science for Social Good

This new initiative partners IBM Research scientists and engineers with academic fellows and experts from nongovernmental organizations to tackle emerging societal challenges using science and technology. Read more

Science for Social Good

This new initiative partners IBM Research scientists and engineers with academic fellows and experts from nongovernmental organizations to tackle emerging societal challenges using science and technology. Read more

Vermont Weather Analytics Center

IBM Accessibility Research is developing technologies that are more interactive and adaptive to people’s ages and abilities. Its work includes “cognitive eldercare,” exploring ways that technology can help families and caregivers monitor the health and well-being of older adults, and help seniors strengthen their social fabric. Read more at ibm.com/able.

IBM and Rice University create Watson-powered robot to improve eldercare

Download the 2016 report