IBM’s SmartCloud Brings Relief to Storm-Ravaged Areas
In the aftermath of one of the largest and most destructive storms to strike the heavily populated U.S. East Coast, IBM responded with pro bono consultants, strategies for both an immediate and long term response to disaster relief and recovery, and all of the technology and expertise needed to help establish the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Among the solutions donated to the fund and other key agencies in New York and New Jersey coping with the disaster was the SmartCloud for Social Business, which created the infrastructure necessary to launch immediate relief efforts, and will provide the cloud-based social collaboration tools that will sustain the fund during the long term recovery efforts.
“Because of IBM’s knowledge and expertise, the Fund is able to provide relief to New Jersey families and communities in an efficient and effective manner.”
– Hon. Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
This is just one of many initiatives described in IBM’s 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report, which outlines corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs aligned with the company’s Smarter Planet strategy to protect the environment, strengthen education and economic development, enable humanitarian research, and improve the quality of life in cities around the world.
In 2012, IBM expanded its Services Grant programs in the U.S. and abroad, awarding more than 350 grants worldwide. For instance, IBM donated SmartCloud services to help business owners in Italy recover from a 2012 earthquake, and helped improve the delivery of health care in Haiti through its collaboration with Colleagues in Care Global Health Network. Using the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, medical professionals on the ground in Haiti now have access to an immediate online medical knowledge system that includes treatment options, clinical pathways, and best practices.
In Korea, a similar grant to the Work Together Foundation supports the organization’s goal of providing information to help improve human resource capacity and social entrepreneurship for members across its network. In Texas, the second IBM Services Grant awarded to SER Jobs for Progress National enabled the organization to continue providing web conferencing, file sharing, networking and collaboration tools to its 22 affiliates across the country.
IBM Services Grants help communities accelerate cloud collaboration among key agencies, foster better decisions through predictive analytics, create greater value through social networks and re-imagine how services are delivered.
“These are important goals – and you can read in this report how we measure progress against them. But our commitment to Smarter Planet yielded something beyond Key Performance Indicators. To build a Smarter Planet – and to run a smarter enterprise – it turns out that your business and citizenship strategies must be more than aligned. They must become one.”
– Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO of IBM
IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge, which expanded from 67 to 98 cities in 2012, is among the best-known examples of the company’s integrated approach to corporate citizenship. This $50 million competitive grant program sends teams of IBM experts to cities around the world, unleashing the imagination of its research scientists, and the urban expertise of its consultants to help make the grant cities smarter and more livable.
As a result of its pro bono Smarter Cities Challenge engagements in 2012, Dà Näng, Vietnam is improving the way its government agencies coordinate with one another to provide better services to citizens. Cities like Tshwane, South Africa and Townsville, Australia have established groundbreaking water conservation programs. Cities like Nairobi, Kenya, Cheongju, Korea and Pittsburgh, USA are embarking on ambitious public transportation projects. And places like Jacksonville in the U.S. are proceeding with economic development initiatives.
In the area of environmental sustainability, IBM achieved and exceeded its second generation climate goal. As of year-end 2012, IBM’s energy conservation and procurement of renewable energy yielded a 15.7 percent reduction in energy related CO2 emissions since 2005 – exceeding the goal of 12 percent. This was on top of already reducing or avoiding CO2 emissions from 1990 to 2005 by an amount equal to 40 percent of its
In addition, 43 IBM data centers across 19 countries in the European Union (EU) were awarded “Participant” status in Data Center Energy Efficiency based on the EU Code of Conduct for Energy Efficient Data Centers. This honor represents the largest portfolio of data centers from a single company to receive the recognition to date. And, within one year of its issuance in 2011, IBM successfully achieved registration of the company’s global environmental management system and its integral energy management program to the ISO 50001 energy management systems standard. IBM was the first major company to earn a single global registration to the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems in 1997.
Other highlights of the report focus on IBM’s continued expansion of its successful Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) model, a new education paradigm for grades 9-14 which leads to an associate degree in applied science. P-TECH graduates will be first in line for IBM jobs.
In 2012, thanks to blueprints that IBM created, the P-TECH model was replicated in four Chicago schools, where IBM is directly partnering with one of them – the Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy – a collaboration among the Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago, Richard J. Daley College and IBM. Scale-up continues across New York State, where Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a state-wide plan to create 10 new schools modeled on P-TECH that will link education to jobs in each of the state’s economic development regions. New York City also has announced plans for additional P-TECH schools. But perhaps the highest accolade for IBM’s grades 9-14 model came from President Obama during his 2013 State of the Union address, when he remarked that all students should have opportunities like P-TECH.
The report also highlights the latest achievements of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC), which sent more than 500 top performers from IBM and our clients and partners in 2012 to dozens of countries in the developing world to address critical economic challenges and develop sustainable solutions. Among IBM’s CSC engagements was a partnership with the Kenyan government, the U.S. government and the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in the fight to increase screening to prevent cervical cancer. The groups collaborated to solve the massive data management challenges inherent when collecting information from 4,000 clinics and six levels of healthcare facilities serving 15 million women. With the CSC team’s help, the program will collect more reliable data to improve cervical cancer screening rates, which have already jumped from almost none to 70 percent in five years.
These examples of how IBM is using Smarter Planet business strategies are novel ways of looking at corporate responsibility. They are very different from so-called “checkbook philanthropy” or even traditional notions of strategic giving. I believe it comes from the core of IBM’s culture, values and purpose as an enterprise – to be essential to our clients and to the world.
Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation.