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2023 Look ahead: ESG policies are good not just for the planet, but for business


It’s that time of year when we all take a moment to reflect on the past twelve months and, importantly, begin to chart the new year ahead. Here at IBM, our focus continues to be how we turn ambition into action—in sustainability, ESG and beyond.

Over the next year, we expect to see businesses across the globe advance important sustainability policies and practices. In fact, according to a recent Morning Consult poll commissioned by IBM, 61% of global business leaders said that their business will be investing in sustainability programs and initiatives to meet their ESG goals in the next 12 months. Interestingly, the poll also found that among the top sustainability investments planned are energy-efficient computing and IT, with 30% of companies planning to invest in green IT solutions.

As companies increase investments and strengthen their sustainability practices in an effort to transform their operations, they are wise to harness the power of technology to meet their ESG goals efficiently and make a profound impact on our planet.

That’s exactly what we aim to do at IBM. Through groundbreaking technology, including hybrid cloud and AI, IBM is not only supporting global companies in building successful ESG programs but is also consistently reaching its own ESG goals by investing in critical sustainability initiatives. Here are some examples:

IBM Sustainability Accelerator

This year IBM launched its Sustainability Accelerator, a pro bono social impact program that applies IBM technologies, such as hybrid cloud and AI, and an ecosystem of experts to enhance and scale non-profit and government organization interventions, helping populations vulnerable to environmental threats including climate change, extreme weather, and pollution. With the launch, the company announced the first group of partners to work on sustainable agriculture, including Plan 21 Foundation, The Nature Conservancy India, Heifer International, Texas A&M AgriLife and Deltares.

The second cohort of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator was announced during COP27, with five organizations focused on clean energy projects selected to receive end-to-end support and a technical roadmap to scale long-term impacts and drive key societal outcomes. The local and regional organizations selected were the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sustainable Energy for All, the Miyakojima City Government, the Environment Without Borders Foundation and Net Zero Atlantic.

IBM will work closely with the organizations to use sustainability technology to effectively scale positive climate outcomes.

Tech Solutions for Sustainability

This fall, IBM Global Real Estate won multiple awards for its cutting-edge sustainability initiatives, which included using sustainability software to embed insights into daily operating decisions for more sustainable facilities management. IBM reduced its carbon emissions by nearly 62% from 2010 to 2011 and reduced sustainability reporting costs by 30% by replacing multiple tools with a single, automated platform.

As a big global company, IBM has over 50 million square feet of space under management in 100 countries, so increasing the sustainability efficiency of those facilities is crucial to meet our commitments, including achieving Net Zero GHG Emissions by 2030 and diverting 90% of nonhazardous waste (by weight) from landfill and incineration by 2025.

These are just some examples of IBM harnessing the power of data and good tech to make a lasting, positive impact in the communities where we work and live.

A Shifting Culture

Through powerful data and tech, businesses are developing robust sustainability initiatives to meet their ESG goals and strengthen supply chain operations, saving money and reducing carbon emissions in the process.

IBM believes that having strong ESG principles and practices, including working towards sustainability goals, is good for business as well as the planet. Business leaders are paying attention to this, and IBM aspires to lead the way.





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