Gap Score

The US EPA recently recognized IBM for its leadership in climate change, highlighting its management and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in internal operations and through their supply chain, as well as integrating climate resilience into their operating strategies. In 2012, for the second year in a row, Newsweek selected IBM as the Greenest Company in the United States, based on criteria assessing the company’s environmental impact, environmental management, and sustainability disclosure. Yet, despite such accolades and its Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities messaging, IBM’s perception as a sustainability leader slipped this year, while its performance slipped due to a lack of detail in key areas of reporting.In 2013, less detail was provided in three areas—supply chain monitoring program and supply chain GHG emissions data (GHG emissions intensity increased year over year, this led to lower score), and less detail around stakeholder identification process, and the process for engaging with investors—than in previous years. The brand is still making strides on the sustainability front. In March it was a top five winner in the Verdantix Study of Green Technology Services, which celebrates leaders in the global market who design and implement IT systems that support energy and environmental management. Its Smarter Energy Research Institute to Advance the Utility of the Future is looking to engage stakeholders and spur innovation across the global energy and utilities market. Its Global Asset Recovery Services now recycles millions of unwanted electronics into new products. Now, it just needs a more unified messaging and more transparency on these efforts.