Aug 31, 2020 - 3:00pm

IBM Has Reduced Its Carbon Dioxide Emissions by 39.7% Against a 2005 Baseline


Solar array at IBM’s Boulder, Colorado, facility.
Solar array at IBM’s Boulder, Colorado, facility.


  • Operational efficiency and energy conservation are at the core of IBM’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Since 1990, IBM has conserved 7.7 million megawatt-hours of electricity, avoided 4.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and saved $646 million. Using less energy for the same task has always been paramount at IBM for addressing climate change.
  • These reductions were achieved through focusing on IT infrastructure productivity, the use of automated system management software to reduce the energy use of building infrastructure, and the use of traditional energy conservation and efficiency projects like lighting upgrades to LEDs and improved time-of-day management of building HVAC systems.
  • IBM began reporting its CO2 emissions in 1995. In 2000, the company established its first operational CO2 emissions reduction goal. IBM is now reporting against its fourth generation goal to reduce operational CO2 emissions 40% by 2025 against a 2005 baseline. This goal is in line with the recommendations of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and will be achieved through implementing energy conservation projects and achieving IBM’s companion goal to procure 55% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. In 2019, IBM reduced its CO2 emissions 39.7% against the 2005 baseline and sourced 47% of the electricity it consumed from renewables.


  • Server and storage products enable clients to execute more IT work with higher equipment utilization rates in a smaller equipment footprint.
  • IT solutions and services based on data analytics and cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies provide clients with new insights into their operations.
  • IBM’s research labs have applied their expertise in materials, data analytics and AI, and other areas to develop technology to recycle plastics more efficiently; use AI for water, renewable energy, and farming productivity; and utilize IoT and cognitive, cloud computing to identify methane leaks.

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