Wait, IBM is the Greenest company in the US?!

Yes folks, it is true. IBM has been recognized for the second year in a row, as the Greenest company in the US, by Newsweek’s Green Rankings Survey. Out of 500 US companies being Surveyed, IBM came out on top.

“Environmental sustainability benefits our clients, our company and the planet, and we are constantly striving for continual improvement,” said Wayne Balta, IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety.

The criteria included: their environmental impact, environmental management and sustainability disclosure.    IBM definitely earned the number 1 spot due to their forward thinking initiative: Smarter Planet. It highlights how forward thinking leaders in Business can use smarter systems to achieve greater economic growth and sustainability. IBM suggests that if corporations can improve on creating greener buildings, use smart grids, use better water management systems, and find better ways to tackle traffic congestion, we will have a smarter planet. IBM  measures and reduces resource consumption for it’s clients in order to help them save the environment and their money. IBM is now providing better management systems and technology to other firms to encourage  “being green”. According to the Newsweek Survey, “At its Zurich lab, water that cools a supercomputer is used to warm nearby buildings”. IBM executives are doing interviews, speeches, and getting the word out on their forward thinking opportunities.

There is a lot that is bugging me about this whole Smarter Planet concept. First of all, does IBM actually want to improve the planet, or is it just trying to use all this marketing and publicity to silence stakeholders that are adamant on IBM being a socially responsible entity? Also, do you all think that the “Smarter Planet” concept will really raise awareness and make a difference for many companies or do you think it will fade away after it’s 15 minutes of fame? Thoughts?











3 thoughts on “Wait, IBM is the Greenest company in the US?!

  1. Very interesting topic. I feel there’s always another side to a story. For example, some companies donate to charity because they can deduct it in their tax return and earn that reputation of “giving back.” So being green is somewhat obligated by the general public. The public value green goods so if IBM wants its business to be successful, I would think that they have to have the green initiative of some kind. So yes, stakeholders do have an effect in company’s strategy but at the same time these ideas that IBM has do help advance their business. I think it’s great that they are finding uses to things like the water cooling down the supercomputers are used to warm buildings. So rather than dumping the water away they are using it for something else…saving a lot of money and energy.

  2. Hi Sabeen, despite all the questioning whether IBM is really thinking green or just seizing the moment and using it to promote its technologies and gain customer attention and market share, I believe any and all “green” initiatives are welcome and does raise awareness to the cause. Many companies start small with some internal green initiatives such as recycling, reduction of printing, being energy conscious, planting trees, etc and then go public with something bigger to use it to “get noted”. Nothing wrong with it, the more the better because starting with each and every employee, then vendors, then customers, the “thinking green” movement gets bigger and bigger and people start carrying these concepts, ideas and “disciplines” to their homes and lives are become more conscious about it.
    Some remember the movie “Who killed the electric car” of 2006 which portraits some early electric cars produced by GM that were so good and loved by their lessees that nobody wanted to return it to GM when it was mandated by that company and lately all cars were destroyed. A lot of bad media and “conspiracy theories” were created and regardless of whether true or false, here is GM back again with the “Volt” and other cars to come, with a lot of thanks to those EV1s of 2006.

  3. Very interesting article and post.
    I think “going green” by IBM is partially a marketing technique by improving brand image. I agree with the comment above that known companies are almost required to be socially responsible. As companies need to stay competitive, Smarter Planet concept will move on to other companies and make a positive impact. I not only think that the concept will not be forgotten, but companies will try a different, perhaps more creative approach, to be distinct, innovative, and socially responsible.

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