By Wayne Balta
Businesses operate in a competitive global marketplace – where they must not only deliver value and be efficient, but also must operate responsibly. That includes responsibility towards the environment.
In my view, environmental sustainability must transcend whether or not the topic is popular at any given time, and regardless of short-term business cycles.
Environmental sustainability should be a strategic imperative that anticipates and prevents, rather than reacts and fixes. It should be systemic, not an episodic fad. It’s much more than a demonstration project, or a marketing campaign.
Environmental sustainability demands global awareness, forward looking leadership, internal integration across functions, and effective business processes, plus a focus on good old fashioned roles, responsibilities and accountability.
A reliable supply of energy is integral to a business’ success, and it is important to use that energy as efficiently as possible. And energy conservation does not “just happen.” It requires commitment and action.
Such an operation requires collaboration of technical professionals across business units and staff functions as well as innovative technologies, ideas and know-how, underlined by a management system supported by top executives.
IBM relies on two basic approaches for its energy strategy: reducing the demand for energy in our IT and manufacturing operations; and conserving energy and improving energy efficiency in facility operations. It’s enabled IBM to earn EPA-sponsored climate protection awards five times since 1998, most recently in February. The success of IBM’s energy strategy shows the power of a globally integrated enterprise and cross-organizational collaboration.
Environmental sustainability is a global imperative for present and future generations. Managing one’s own affairs responsibly is one way to lead, and developing solutions that help make the world work in a more sustainable manner is another. We are committed to both, recognizing that what we learn from the former helps to inform the latter.