The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has just bestowed its “Best Corporate Steward” award for large business – the Citizens Award – on IBM. The Chamber Foundation’s Best Corporate Steward award recognizes businesses that serve as powerful forces for good around the world. Companies and chambers of commerce from around the globe compete for Citizens awards in several categories, making them among the most coveted opportunities for recognition in corporate citizenship.
Among this year’s nominees, IBM is not alone in doing excellent work. But what distinguishes IBM in the increasingly crowded and competitive field of corporate citizenship is the breadth and depth of its programs, and the company’s longstanding culture of service that begins with its CEO and radiates through nearly 400,000 employees around the world. It is the high level of engagement and support of IBM’s CEO and top leadership that inspires and encourages contributions of service by employees, partners and clients as an integral part of IBM’s global business model.
In 2012, Early Childhood Development work in Surrey, British Columbia had cross-sectorial collaborative leadership established, a range of programs and services offered, a growing amount of resources invested, and a range of data and plans, yet 32 percent of Surrey’s kindergarten-aged children were assessed as developmentally vulnerable.
This is only one of the many reasons why the City of Surrey prioritized Early Childhood Development as the focus for IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge in 2012. Combining a fresh perspective with our resources, we believed we would be able to shine new light on a critical population health issue in one of Canada’s fastest growing cities.
In a decade-long collaboration with over half a million World Community Grid volunteers, The Scripps Research Institute has made significant advances in the fight against HIV. With the virus constantly evolving, the research team is leveraging World Community Grid to pioneer the use of new analysis techniques to more quickly and accurately identify promising anti-HIV drug candidates. These techniques could prove effective for other medical research efforts too.
There have been some amazing advances in the fight against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), including treatments that have improved and extended millions of lives. But the fight continues – HIV is continually mutating, and as it does it evolves resistance to existing treatments. With tens of millions of people currently living with HIV, and millions more infected every year, the search for more effective HIV treatments is as critical as ever. Our team at The Scripps Research Institute is therefore launching the next phase of our FightAIDS@Home project on World Community Grid to build on the success of the project and more accurately analyze the most promising drug candidates we’ve identified so far.
For almost a decade, our FightAIDS@Home research project has contributed to the fight against HIV by exploring different ways of disabling the virus. With access to an unprecedented amount of computing power donated by over 580,000 World Community Grid volunteers, we were able to expand our research and perform the biggest drug docking experiment ever conducted. Along the way, our team has improved the tools used in the fight, by developing – and validating – software tools to simulate chemical binding, and discovering new potential binding sites for drugs to attack. These tools have become the world’s most widely used and cited docking programs supporting many other medical research efforts.
Corporate volunteering has long fostered the active engagement of employees in their communities, providing a platform for them to take charge and help address critical issues affecting the lives of others. Today, we have greater access to information and that information is inspiring us more than ever to contribute our time, talent and service to address and abate societal challenges around the world.
The effective implementation of the United Nation’s Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, no matter how ambitious, will remain limited without well-facilitated corporate action. Corporate volunteering is a highly effective and valuable mechanism to strategically foster collaboration, complement the capacity of government institutions to deliver essential services, and make a lasting impact.
Furthering energy efficiency through conservation and leading edge analytics solutions
IBM uses energy across its business to deliver products, services and solutions to our clients around the world. In order to be competitive and minimize our environmental impacts, we strive to reduce the energy we consume and the associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as we deliver innovation that matters to our clients. In 2014, IBM reduced or avoided the consumption of 404,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy and an associated 142,000 metric tons (MT) of CO2 emissions, while saving $37.4 million through the execution of over 2,200 energy conservation projects. These energy conservation savings were equivalent to 6.7 percent of IBM’s 2014 energy consumption, exceeding our goal of 3.5 percent.
Based on these results, IBM was presented the prestigious Alliance to Save Energy Chairman’s Award on September 17, 2015. This annual award is given to an individual or organization that has shown exemplary service to the cause of energy efficiency. The award recognized IBM’s long term commitment to energy efficiency in our operations and the results from energy efficiency projects, while taking special note of our efforts to implement leading edge, IT-based systems like TRIRIGA®Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Manager and Chiller Optimization Software.
Chigozie Okorie, P-TECH student and intern at the IBM Center for Applied Insights, is conducting a series of executive interviews exploring topics such as the skills necessary for business today and how to prepare students for a very dynamic future. Here are some of the key takeaways from his interview with Nancy Pearson, who leads all aspects of marketing for IBM Cloud.
Read the full interview here.
IBM’s 100+ year commitment to corporate citizenship runs broad and deep – encompassing dozens of programs and initiatives. While some of our programs, such as P-TECH, Corporate Service Corps and Smarter Cities Challenge involve our direct engagement to address significant societal challenges in education, public health and economic development, we have designed other programs to bring IBM’s global expertise and capabilities to smaller organizations. Sharing capacity through the IBM Impact Grant program benefits us, our partners and their constituents in at least two ways. First, grassroots nonprofits – challenged with increasing demands in an era of diminishing resources – are able to operate more effectively while gathering the performance data often required by funders, government agencies and socially responsible investors. Second, by working with a diverse group of small and fast-moving organizations, IBM becomes more agile in its ability to engage and transform client organizations – both nonprofit and for-profit.
IBM and AMB Sports & Entertainment (AMBSE) have entered a strategic partnership for IBM to develop a game-changing fan experience at the state-of-the-art new Atlanta stadium set to open in 2017. This will enable AMBSE to provide highly advanced, interactive technologies for Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer Atlanta games, as well as concerts and other marquee events.
How do you get students’ involved in their own learning and thinking of the endless possibilities of a career in the STEM field? For the past four years, Peekskill Middle School has been selected as one of the four schools to have eight female students attend the IBM Girls Go TechKnow Camp. The goal of the camp is to introduce young females to the fields of science and engineering in a fun and nurturing environment. The girls participate in a four day-long Lego-robotics design project, as well as a variety of other hands-on, team-building science projects with IBM professionals.
Examples of the many projects that the students have completed are: extracting the DNA from a strawberry, designing a web page, building bridges to hold cans using string and popsicle sticks, making ice cream using nitrogen oxide, and getting an egg in and out of a bottle. The camp’s impact goes beyond the projects the students have completed. It has offered the students an experience and memories that will last a lifetime.
As a nonprofit striving to provide meaningful and high-value services to our beneficiaries, Mouse is glad to receive assistance that supports our mission – to empower youth to create with technology to make meaningful change in our world. Mouse increases diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields, and opens opportunities to young people from underserved communities.
Contributions of funds are welcome and greatly appreciated. But the Strategic Planning Impact Grant that we received from IBM in 2013 proved transformative to the way we operate. By sharing its expertise with our organization, IBM enabled us to augment and improve essential capabilities that make a real and sustainable difference in our ability
Among the essential differentiators of the IBM P-TECH program is the opportunity for young people to gain skills-based workplace experience in addition to their rigorous academic work in high school and college courses. This holistic approach to preparing our students for successful futures has already shown significant results. In June, P-TECH’s first graduates either joined IBM in well-paying positions or headed to four-year universities to continue their studies this fall. The next promising class from P-TECH is following in their footsteps and looking to build its own legacy –including Amanda Crawford, who turned 16 just weeks prior to starting her IBM internship. Amanda, her classmate Anthony Lewis and more than 50 of their classmates who have earned college credits brought their talent, skills and enthusiasm for learning to such projects as conducting competitive research, creating websites, drafting social media strategy, and even contract negotiations at IBM and other employers this summer. In my role coordinating the Brooklyn P-TECH program, I feel very lucky to interact with young people who can think on their feet, collaborate with anyone and learn on the job.
– Will Ehrenfeld, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Education
My name is Amanda Crawford, and I am a rising senior at P-TECH in Brooklyn, New York.
I am a summer intern for the North America Market Development team at IBM in New
York City. During my first week, I was introduced to cloud computing. I learned that
cloud platforms are infrastructures that benefit customers and make the consumer experience better.
My assignment was to research and study energy companies within the Fortune 500 that have industry cloud platforms or participate in industry cloud platforms. We also aimed to understand the energy industry ecosystem players.