• Dusan Mijailovic

IBM commits to net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2030


The leading technology company IBM declared its commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, just days after the Biden administration formally rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement.


Building on fundamental measures to not only make the company energy-efficient, but also to combat climate change, IBM said it “will accomplish this goal by prioritizing actual reductions in its emissions, energy efficiency efforts and increased clean energy use across the more than 175 countries where it operates.”


“I am proud that IBM is leading the way by taking actions to significantly reduce emissions,” said Arvind Krishna, chair and CEO, IBM. “The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our time. IBM’s net zero pledge is a bold step forward that strengthens our long-standing climate leadership and positions our company years ahead of the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.”


By 2025, IBM strives to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 65% relative to the base year 2010. The net zero target of the company is also followed by a precise, numerical goal for residual emissions that are likely to exist until IBM has first done everything it can across its operations to reduce.


IBM intends to procure 75% of the energy it uses globally from green sources by 2025 and 90% by 2030. It would also use viable technology such as carbon capture (in or by 2030) to cut emissions by a volume equal to or greater than the residual emissions level of IBM.


The net zero commitment from IBM also sets near-term goals to drive transparency and progress now. In terms of how the company measures and reports green energy usage, it is transparent. For instance, the goal of IBM is focused on the electricity that the organization will actually use, not on the procurement of unrelated, unbundled certificates for renewable energy.


IBM Research has introduced a Future of Climate initiative to accelerate the development of solutions to address the effects of climate change, as part of IBM's commitment to sustainability and its emphasis on using science and technology to tackle global social challenges.


Using a combination of artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud, and quantum computing, IBM researchers collaborate with customers and associates to apply science to challenging climate-related problems, like the increasing global carbon footprint of cloud workloads and data centers, methods to accurately model and evaluate the danger of transforming environments and climate trends, and the development of new polymers, membranes, and materials that can capture and absorb carbon at the source of emission.


IBM's environmental sustainability activism dates back decades, with the first statement of corporate environmental policy released in 1971. In an annual Corporate Environmental Report, IBM has reported its success in waste control, energy conservation, the use of green electricity, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and implementing groundbreaking solutions since 1990. In 2007, IBM publicly stated its position on climate change, saying that “climate change is a serious concern that warrants meaningful action on a global basis to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases.”


In 2015, the firm endorsed the Paris Agreement and officially affirmed its commitment for the U.S. to remain a party to it in 2017. IBM became a Founding Member of the Climate Leadership Council in 2019 and strongly embraces the bipartisan carbon tax initiative with 100% of the net proceeds paid as a carbon dividend to people.


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