Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

We are at a critical moment in time, as the first green shoots of recovery from the worst economic crisis in more than a generation are starting to appear but reducing operating costs and deferring capital investments remains paramount….the volatility in energy prices continues….and as the world awakens to the serious threat of climate change and prepares to come together in Copenhagen in December to address it, we are witnessing the rapid emergence of regulation and a dramatic shift in the expectations of stakeholders. For all these reasons, clients are telling us that ‘green’ matters more now than ever. In fact, IBM recently released an Institute of Business Value Study survey completed in January 2009, in the height of this economic environment and crisis, that indicates 60 percent of those surveyed believe corporate social responsibility (CSR) has increased in importance over the past year. There is a similar report from the Aberdeen Group that has the same finding.

The ecological reality of living in a globally integrated world is upon us as evident by:

  • An economic downturn requiring we do more with the same.
  • The effects of climate change which are both a societal and business concern.
  • Consumers who are empowered and demand more responsible business practices.
  • The emergence of a new regulatory environment.
  • The growing challenge of managing water supplies and sources.
  • The unprecedented rate in the rise of energy use.

To stem the tide it’s imperative that organizations such as IBM play a major role in shaping this reality, and therefore have a responsibility to manage its impact by forming partnerships, coalitions and driving Innovation. This week we made some key announcements with to respect to collaboration and innovation.

We’re looking at many new breakthroughs on the horizon…I’d like to hear your thoughts on how IBM can help facilitate global environmental advancement and sustainability.

Additional information can be found on our Green & Beyond page on


Editor’s note: A nice recap of some of the news coming from San Francisco today here at Earth2Tech.

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If the recovery really is on its way, I hope we do not abandon the talk of “green recovery” and a new, smarter infrastructure to replace the old one. It’s also really important to emphasise the fact that (as people cut expenses) green does does mean more expensive. It’s not a sacrifice, it’s a change, a different choice, and a better one at that.

Waxman-Markey just barely made it through Congress and still needs help getting through the Senate. But it undoubtedly marks a big shift in US policy — and does two things: gives hope to those who want action and signals that all corporations (and individuals) will need to think and act differently.

@Svejk: If you can’t find Soma, you have lots of other choices for pick-me-ups. But based on your comments, I’m not so sure you need one! Are you really not concerned with climate change?

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I must ask … did you misspell “idiotion”?

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I am concerned about climate change. This is the coldest June on record. It is dark now and colder than 12 hours ago when the sun was up. Where’s my soma?

Posted by: Svejk
June 25, 2009
12:20 pm

As Rich says, it’s imperative that we work collectively through public and private partnerships, and entirely new kinds of partnering structures to drive whole systems change. While individual companies can enable their clients to install more efficient building management systems, or HVAC equipment, or high efficiency motors, lighting, solar panels, water metering, etc… it take a coalition of like-minded companies with a common purpose to drive breakthrough change at a whole systems level. Think about a building, or a manufacturing plant, a city neighborhood, or a major medical complex… each of these actually run more like the human body, with interconnected systems that trigger (ideally) other systems to manage the health of the whole. In the human body, the muscular-skeletal system, integrated with the nervous system, which is consists of chemical and electical system, as well as structural components (and then there is the digestive system, etc…). The health of the whole cannot be optimized without understanding how all these “sub-systems” work together.

This is why we have formed the Green Sigma Coalition, with founding members ABB, IBM, Cisco, Eaton, ESS, Honeywell Building Solutions, Johnson Controls, SAP, Schneider Electric, and Siemens Building Technologies Division. While not all parts of the eco-system are included, this is a terrific start, and many more are lining up to join this coalition aimed at accelerating the move to enterprise sustainability. Instrumented, Interconnected, Intelligent – smarter partnering for a smarter planet.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about this coalition is the palpable excitement and engagement in the first Green SigmaTM Coalition meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday. We started out with just two questions – what are the greatest impediments to enterprise sustainability, and what is your greatest hope for the coalition? In a room of about 20 people, we mingled and chewed on these questions, and then shared the results. The greatest outcome was a sense of alignment and common purpose. These individuals from (often times) competitive companies became members of the same team, and we began to formulate the kinds of showcase projects that we believe will truly demonstrate what’s possible.

It’s a learning organization, this coalition. And we are all about moving from ideation to action. Stay tuned, and reach out to any coalition member (including me) to find out how to become part of this. Faint-hearted need not apply.

Posted by: Melissa O'Mara
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