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Chairman’s Letter

A commitment to corporate responsibility pervades IBM, from new hires to the chairman’s office. In this year’s letter, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano describes IBM’s long-term approach to corporate responsibility, and the IBMers that make it possible.

IBM’s Approach

Through the years, IBM has consistently expanded the definition of corporate citizenship, pushing the boundaries of what is required to be considered a responsible enterprise. In this section of IBM’s 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, you will find more detail on our approach to corporate responsibility, and some examples of how that approach manifested itself during the past year.


At IBM we engage with communities around the world by offering our technology, services and expertise to help solve some of the world’s most complex problems. While the monetary value of these contributions is great, we eschew checkbook philanthropy whenever possible. We believe that this approach is the most efficient, effective and sustainable way to practice good corporate citizenship. And we believe it is helping to make the world work better. In this section of IBM’s 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, you will find examples of the contributions IBM made to the global community this past year.

The IBMer

For the last 100 years, IBM has pioneered innovative approaches to hiring, managing and retaining our work force. From some of the earliest thinking on work force diversity to progressive programs for employee well-being and leadership development, this ongoing commitment to our employees is critical to the success of IBM and IBMers. And as the nature of our business changes, we will continue to apply the same innovation and creativity we use to develop products and services to our relationship with employees. In this section of IBM’s 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, you will find examples of the commitments IBM made to its work force this past year.


IBM has long maintained an unwavering commitment to environmental protection, which was formalized by a corporate environmental policy in 1971. The policy calls for IBM to be an environmental leader across all of our business activities, from our research, operations and products to the services and solutions we provide our clients to help them be more protective of the environment. Download this section of the report (2.2MB)

Supply Chain

IBM manages a supply chain of more than 27,000 suppliers in nearly 100 different countries. We understand that managing a supply chain of this size carries with it considerable social responsibility. Even so, we are continually expanding the definition of what it means to run a responsible supply chain, challenging ourselves and our suppliers to reach ever higher standards of social and environmental compliance. In this section of IBM’s 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, you will find examples of IBM’s supply chain responsibility efforts over the past year.

Ethics and Integrity

Both the size and nature of IBM’s business necessitate that it adhere to the highest standards of conduct. IBM employs more than 400,000 employees, and provides services and technology that support businesses, governments, schools, hospitals and highways. As such, integrity, transparency, privacy and risk management are all crucial parts of our business, and our commitment to making the world work better. In this section of IBM’s 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, you will find examples of how IBM is setting the modern standard for business ethics.

Public Policy

In seeking to build and transform the business and societal systems by which our planet works, IBM is deeply engaged with many of the most urgent issues facing the world today. In this, we are necessarily drawn into deep collaboration across civil society—working with lawmakers, regulators, public officials and civic leaders and contributing our expertise, experience and perspective.

One recent example of this is our work with the Technology CEO Council (TCC). The global financial crisis has exacerbated government budget deficits around the world, which pose a threat to the economic health of our societies. IBM believes that action must be taken to dramatically reduce or eliminate these deficits. Which is why the Technology CEO Council, led by IBM Chairman Sam Palmisano, is advocating smarter spending—the adoption of commercially proven best practices and operational efficiencies that could save the U.S. government more than $1 trillion by 2020, while enhancing the services it provides to citizens and laying a foundation for future growth and innovation. Below is an outline of the seven initiatives offered by the TCC to address the U.S. budget deficit. Much of this approach could be applied to other governments worldwide, at all levels, facing the same challenges.

Initiative 1
Consolidate Information Technology Infrastructure
Initiative 2
Streamline Government Supply Chains
Initiative 3
Reduce Energy Use
Initiative 4
Move to Shared Services for Mission-Support Activities
Initiative 5
Apply Advanced Business Analytics to Reduce Improper Payments
Initiative 6
Reduce Field Operations Footprint and Move to Electronic Self-Service
Initiative 7
Monetize the Government’s Assets

To read more on specific recommendations on how to accomplish each initiative, visit the Technology CEO Council.

$1 trillion

the U.S. could save by adopting commercially proven best practices and operational efficiencies.