Find opportunities in your assets

Knowing what’s working and what’s not across your existing infrastructure will help you optimize your operations, facilities and assets. Using technology and intelligent software to monitor and record operational data from your organization’s physical assets is an ongoing commitment and can better prepare you to predict future disruptions.

Consider Norfolk Southern, a giant in the transportation industry, leveraging hyper-localized weather information and environmental intelligence to optimize de-icing equipment. The result: the company reduced the amount of operational costs and, in turn, reduced the associated emissions by as much as 70%.

Some companies have experienced up to a 30% increase in productivity with more energy-efficient facilities.

Four use cases for intelligent asset management

The benefits of building intelligent facilities and assets are two-fold. First, your assets become more efficient and resilient. Second, your physical infrastructure becomes another source of data that’ll help you gain operational insights to drive even more action toward your goals (clean energy transition, efficient waste management, decarbonization).

Which technology solutions are integral to advancing sustainability?

Here’s how nearly 2,000 executives from around the world ranked the importance of different technologies in advancing sustainability objectives.


Cloud is critical for virtually all sustainability initiatives — reporting, operations, and products and services. Its most popular use case: 80% of trailblazers use public, private and hybrid cloud to develop new zero or lower-waste products and services.¹


The Internet of Things is increasingly critical for sustainability reporting, along with mobile technology. About 60% of trailblazers are using IoT to measure progress, adhere to recognized metrics and quantify risk.¹

Quantum computing

Out of 14 technologies, trailblazers have embraced quantum computing the least in current initiatives; only 15% do so. Yet quantum has potential to help reduce emissions, such as helping model the buildup of clay in hydrocarbon wells.¹

Case study: Sund & Bælt

Data-driven vision

Sund & Bælt Holding A/S owns and operates some of the largest infrastructures in the world. It’s now able to gather data from AI and drone photographs to monitor critical infrastructure status without dangerous and time-consuming human inspections. The solution consolidates this data with maintenance records, design documents and 3D models to help identify cracks, rust, corrosion, displacement and stress. “Now we know the traffic load, repetitions, how it is actually swinging — and through that, we can calculate the lifetime and look at the most critical areas,” says Bjarne Jørgensen, Sund & Bælt’s executive director of asset management and operations.

Invest in resilient IT infrastructure

Just like your physical infrastructure and assets, your IT needs to be resilient too. Data center outages disrupt workloads, sales and even brand loyalty. In a world of increasingly extreme climate events, count on them to happen.

IBM clients who use IBM Turbonomic reduced their cloud spend by 33%.²

Consolidate x86 server workloads onto IBM LinuxONE Emperor 4™ and reduce energy consumption by 75%.

Embrace circularity in supply chains

Circular supply chains encourage reuse and provide customers with transparent sourcing data for the products they buy. They’re transparent, traceable and decarbonized. The global network that produces and distributes goods between any one company and its suppliers, however, is often a source of wastefulness and inefficiency.

Key insight

More than 70% of consumers indicate that traceability is “very important” and are willing to pay up to a 35% premium.²

“Today’s buyers are more activist than they’ve ever been before,” says Jeremy Bodenhamer, co-founder and CEO of ShipHawk. “How and why products are made — and the transparency in the supply chain behind those products, including how the workers are treated — is becoming more of a unique selling point that buyers care about.” Reaching supply chain sustainability requires a global, real-time view of inventory and the ability to share data across your ecosystem with accuracy and trust.

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Can I holistically examine where supplies are made and from where they are transported?
  2. Are my supply chain partners interested in reducing the environmental impact of our enterprise activity?

IBV CSCO Study: Achieving data-led innovation

Another day, another crisis

A persistent pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a global geopolitical conflict continue to dominate headlines and fuel Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) frustrations. Now is the time to prepare for what happens next.

“Promoting change in an inclusive way requires that we deepen our communication with competitors...The industry mindset has evolved to the point where we all recognize that sustainability is something that every company should be pursuing.” —Miki Oikawa, president of POLA Inc., a Japanese cosmetics and personal care products manufacturer

Working to solve the world’s most vexing social and environmental problems demands strategic collaboration and innovative approaches within and across industries.

You should strive to work with partners from within and outside your industry to accelerate improvements to your workflows and the development of new, more sustainable products and services.

79% of sustainability trailblazers work effectively with ecosystem partners to execute their strategies.¹

What does a sustainability partnership look like? Here are four examples.

Take action

Don’t play defense. Open innovation with competitors and shared investments with partners can help uncover new strategies — and even resources — that’ll take your organization to the next level.

From strategy to culture to infrastructure, a winning sustainability plan champions integration, innovation and partnership at every level. The good news is we have never been smarter or had better tools to realize our ambitions. IBM believes in the power of technology to transform business for good, but it begins with those who aren’t afraid to blaze new trails. From there, IBM is here to help.

Become a trailblazer

Explore IBM technology, use cases and end-to-end models that can take your business to the next level.

¹ Sustainability as a transformation catalyst. IBM Institute for Business Value. 10 January 2022.
² Meet the 2020 consumers driving change, IBM Institute for Business Value, 10 January 2020.