With IBM’s release of our 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report, we demonstrate clearly and convincingly how we are interweaving our citizenship efforts and business strategy into an integrated approach to making the world a better place. To do this –
to become an indispensable partner in the success and sustainability of the communities
we serve – IBM and IBMers do more than just open their wallets. IBMers around the world give generously of their time and talents, rolling up their sleeves as partners in doing the often unsung work behind the headlines of “philanthropy.”
It is our focus on direct action that distinguishes IBM’s culture of service – a culture that has been deeply ingrained since the company’s founding more than 100 years ago. To celebrate our recent Centennial, more than 300,000 IBMers from 120 countries worked on 5,000 large-scale projects that served more than 10 million people worldwide. This celebration – the result of nearly a decade of planning and partnership – represented the largest corporate community service event in history. More than that, it was an acknowledgement of our history, of things to come, and of the service we continue to give every day. And it didn’t end there!
- IBMers are helping to build the smarter cities of our rapidly urbanizing planet. One aspect of that, our Smarter Cities Challenge, is providing $50 million in competitive grants that send teams of our most talented people into 100 cities around the world
over a three-year period to help transform them.
- Our Celebration of Service resulted in 3.2 million hours of community-based service,
and was part of an overall effort during our 100th year that yielded more than 1,000 years worth of service in fewer than 12 months. Both before the Centennial and as a continuing initiative, the efforts of our Corporate Service Corps (modeled on the Peace Corps) demonstrate that deploying teams of high-potential IBMers in the developing world not only makes communities smarter and more sustainable, but also builds the global skills of IBM’s future leaders.
- We are helping to re-imagine education – not just in theory, but in practice through the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn, New York, and through the five new P-TECH-model schools that will open in Chicago this fall.
The P-TECH model – a rigorous grades 9 through 14 approach to secondary education – focuses school systems, higher education, and business on a collaborative effort to connect education to employment.
In addition, our work with other leading enterprises and the U.S. Small Business Association is connecting thousands of small businesses to large-company supply chains – infusing these engines of innovation and job creation with the capital they need to grow and further strengthen our economy. Meanwhile, our sustainability practices are helping to preserve the irreplaceable environment that each of us depends on – conserving 378,000 megawatt hours of electricity last year, and avoiding 5.8 billion kWh of electricity consumption, and nearly 3.8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions since 1990. We’re also providing computing resources to the scientific community to accelerate their search for new clean energy technologies.
We hope that our Corporate Responsibility Report will not only inspire readers by sharing the achievements of committed IBMers around the world, but will prompt them to join us in taking action to help build a smarter planet.
Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation.