By Wayne Balta
Today, IBM is participating in a White House roundtable on greenhouse gas reductions, which spotlights leadership by IBM and other large Federal suppliers who are committing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
IBM has long taken environmental sustainability seriously, and we have been making aggressive moves for 25 years to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Today IBM is announcing new goals for the use of renewable energy and for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In the case of greenhouse gas emissions, this marks the company’s third generation goal.
Our new goals aim to:
1. Procure electricity from renewable sources for 20% of IBM’s annual electricity consumption by 2020. To achieve this goal we plan to contract over 800,000 megawatt-hours (MWH) per year of renewable electricity — an amount that can power a city of 100,000 people. We intend to match our purchased renewable electricity directly to our operations as opposed to purchasing renewable energy certificates as offsets, making a clear connection between our purchases and our consumption.
2. Reduce CO2 emissions associated with IBM’s energy consumption 35% by year-end 2020 against base year 2005 adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures. This represents an additional 20% reduction from year-end 2012 to year-end 2020 over the reductions achieved from 2005 to 2012 under our second generation goal.
From 1990 to 2005, IBM avoided three million metric tons of CO2 emissions — an amount equal to 40% of its 1990 emissions — through a program of conservation actions. Incremental progress becomes harder at this stage of maturity, but IBM nevertheless sustains its leadership, achieves results, and practices transparency.
Also, since 1990, when IBM first began publicly reporting on its energy conservation activities, IBM’s conservation actions have saved more than 6.4 billion kWh of electricity consumption, avoided 4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and saved the company more than a $513 million.
IBM has a long standing commitment to environmental protection and energy conservation. It dates back more than 40 years to when CEO Thomas J. Watson Jr. established IBM’s first Environmental Policy, which called upon the company to be an environmental leader across all of its business activities.
Today’s announcement is yet another example of IBM’s environmental sustainability that leadership. We owe this progress to all the energy and environmental professionals at IBM that have made these new commitments possible, and to the hundreds of thousands on IBMers whose personal actions help us maintain IBM’s legacy of environmental leadership every day.