IBM senior management is responsible for our economic, environmental and social performance, as well as our adherence to IBM’s overall compliance programs. Corporate responsibility at IBM is integrated across the business through the following forums.


Corporate Responsibility Executive Steering Committee

Our Corporate Responsibility Executive Steering Committee is charged with providing leadership and direction on key corporate responsibility issues. Chaired by the vice president for Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, the committee comprises senior executives from functional areas across the company. Each functional area within IBM is responsible for developing its own corporate responsibility goals and strategy, and organization-wide goals are approved by the steering committee.


Corporate Responsibility Working Group

Management of IBM’s corporate responsibility activities and stakeholder engagement is handled by our Corporate Responsibility Working Group. Consisting of representatives from 10 functional areas across the company, including global representation, the working group meets at least monthly and is responsible for reviewing key policy and strategic issues, and making recommendations to the steering committee throughout the year.

Day-to-day activities are coordinated in the Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs organization, which reports to the senior vice president for marketing and communications.


Ethics and integrity leadership

For decades, IBM has been recognized for its ethics and integrity leadership. It always has been at the core of the way we do business, and continues to guide us through our current transformation. Creating and maintaining our culture of ethics and integrity starts with our employees and leaders and extends to our business partners and suppliers. To cultivate this culture, we teach, listen and collaborate, and we continue to evolve and enhance our internal compliance, education and integrity programs.

Teaching — In 2016, as in prior years, IBM achieved 100 percent participation by its employees around the world in its online Business Conduct Guidelines (BCG) course and certification. First published in 1961, the BCG is currently available in 24 languages. For more than 10 years we have provided an online, interactive BCG training program in 14 languages. It is refreshed annually to include both an introductory video from our chairman on the importance of integrity to IBM, and timely, relevant business scenarios that employees may face when conducting IBM business.

Throughout 2016, IBM’s trust and compliance officers, lawyers and management also provided compliance and ethics training to employees worldwide. These targeted group sessions covered various topics, including public procurement and business amenities.

In 2016, Trust and Compliance (T&C) provided “Enabling Excellence” and other T&C training sessions for T&C personnel. Nearly 14,000 IBMers completed Corporate T&C University online education lectures. Targeted integrity training was provided to employees at turning points in their careers, when they are likely to face integrity challenges related to their new responsibilities — for example, when they are new to IBM, new to management or new to emerging markets.

Also in 2016, IBM senior business leaders around the world worked to foster our culture of compliance by sponsoring integrity summits in 23 countries, in both emerging and major markets. These summits, managed and run by local senior leadership, emphasized the role of leaders in creating an ethical culture and focused on key compliance risks in each region, along with specific actions that can be taken to mitigate these risks.

Listening — In addition to teaching about ethics and integrity, we also listen. For more than 50 years, IBM has maintained an internal “speak up” reporting channel for employees, as well as channels for suppliers, business partners and others to report to the company concerns or suspected violations of our Business Conduct Guidelines as well as unethical or unlawful behavior. These channels support anonymous reporting.

Additionally, in 2016 nearly 27,000 IBM employees provided their perspective on integrity at IBM by participating in our annual Global Integrity survey. Since 2010, hundreds of thousands of employees have completed these surveys, providing valuable feedback about their perception of ethics and integrity within the organization. The insights from these surveys are used to enhance our global ethics and integrity programs.

Collaborating — IBM’s commitment to ethics and integrity leadership does not end with our employees. We also collaborate with IBM Business Partners and our suppliers to provide online ethics and integrity education to their employees, as part of their partnership commitment to IBM. In 2016, IBM extended its online education offerings to nearly 20,000 representatives from our IBM Business Partners and suppliers around the world. IBM Business Partner and supplier personnel have received in-person training in connection with our integrity summits in some emerging markets. And since 2013, IBM’s chief trust and compliance officer has delivered an annual address at our Global Business Partner Leadership Conference (PartnerWorld®) on the value of ethics and integrity. In 2016, the presentation “Business Integrity: Using Technology to Build Transparency and Trust” was delivered to more than 2,000 business partner employees at this event.

IBM intends to continue its long-standing tradition of teaching, listening and collaborating with all our constituents around the world.

Download the 2016 report