IBM's 16:1 Advantage

I had the privilege of attending the Davos Energy Summit a couple of weeks ago and heard all kinds of global perspectives on the future of energy and the use of energy by countries, communities, and individual businesses. 

One of the panel discussions I attended featured an amazing speaker from IBM, Edan Dionne. Edan is the VP, Environmental, Energy & Chemical Management Programs, Corporate Environmental Affairs and she shared some of the ways that IBM sees energy conservation and sustainability. As they say on their website: 

“Company-wide focus on environmental programs at IBM began in the early 1960s, and grew to encompass not only its manufacturing processes and operations, but also the environmental aspects of its products.”

While these sorts of claims are not uncommon in corporate statements such as this, the numbers and impact that Edan reported at Davos Energy Week are worth sharing. Since 1990 IBM has:

  • conserved 7.7 million MWh of electricity
  • saving $646 million dollars
  • avoiding 4.5 million Metric tons of CO2

These numbers are even more impressive than the slightly older numbers on their website. But as they state there: 

“All of this adds up to real money. Over the years, IBM estimates that the environmental savings and cost avoidance associated with its commitment to environmental leadership has exceeded its environmental expenses by a ratio of approximately 1.6 to 1.”

In 2019 alone IBM implemented 1,660 energy conservation projects in nearly 230 locations globally, delivering an annual energy savings of 136,000 MWh, which is equal to 3.2% of their total energy used in 2019. These include anything from changing out lighting to IT computing efficiency. 

I loved this story because they not only talked about this being the right thing to do, and baking it right into the corporate DNA, they also shared that it is incredibly good for business.

Stories such as this one, and many of the stories of our members here in Waterloo region are the proof in the pudding of why corporate sustainability is as much about the emissions and impacts as they are about the dollars and cents. 

If you want help reaping the benefits of corporate sustainability, reach out to us. We would be happy to help you on the journey to being more green (pun fully intended!)