Our ambitious energy and climate goals

IBM has committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. We announced this goal in February 2021 and will meet it by further improving our operations’ energy efficiency, procuring electricity for our operations from renewable sources, and then using technologies to remove carbon in an amount that equals or exceeds our residual emissions.

We do not purchase unbundled Renewable Energy Certificates to comprise any percent renewable if IBM cannot credibly consume the electricity those certificates represent. In addition, we do not equate the purchase of nature-based carbon offsets to any reduction of IBM’s emissions. Our plan includes several interim goals:

Increase our average data center cooling efficiency 20 percent (compared to 2019), and implement an additional 3,000 conservation projects across IBM by 2025.

Procure 75 percent of the electricity we consume worldwide from renewable sources by 2025 and 90 percent by 2030. This includes power IBM generates on-site or contracts to purchase, as well as renewable electricity already in the grid mix received from utilities.

Reduce GHG emissions 65 percent by 2025, measured against 2010 and adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures. This rate of reduction exceeds what scientists from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicate is necessary to limit Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Our strategy’s final element anticipates new technologies to capture or remove carbon, and IBM is contributing to their development. Launched in 2020, the IBM Research Future of Climate initiative includes a focus on the accelerated discovery of materials for carbon capture.

These goals and our ongoing work to achieve them continue a legacy of environmentally responsible business. IBM formalized its environmental policy in 1971 and has maintained a global Environmental Management System for decades. You can find more detail on our goals and programs in the environment section of our full report.

Headshot of Wayne Balta

IBM’s goals to conserve energy, increase energy efficiency, use renewable electricity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach a state of net zero continue a decades-long commitment to environmental leadership. Our goals are ambitious, science-based and prioritize the reduction of emissions, which we believe is the most important element in our shared fight against climate change.

Wayne S. Balta

Vice President, Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety, and Chief Sustainability Officer

Headshot of Wayne Balta

IBM’s goals to conserve energy, increase energy efficiency, use renewable electricity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach a state of net zero continue a decades-long commitment to environmental leadership. Our goals are ambitious, science-based and prioritize the reduction of emissions, which we believe is the most important element in our shared fight against climate change.

Wayne S. Balta

Vice President, Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety, and Chief Sustainability Officer

Pursuing efficient emissions capture

IBM Research expects that new solutions will enable more efficient capture of CO2 emissions within five years.

IBM Research expects that new solutions will enable more efficient capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions within five years, and is working to help make that possible.

Current approaches to capturing emitted CO2 work, but they are energy-intensive and costly. We need new materials and processes, so IBM’s Future of Climate initiative is creating a cloud-based knowledge base of existing methods and materials, and applying AI to help scientists define properties of molecules to consider for CO2 capture and separation. 

We are also exploring ways to transform captured CO2 into useful materials such as feedstock or plastic. The goal is to make CO2 capture and reuse efficient enough to scale globally.

IBM Research expects that new solutions will enable more efficient capture of CO2 emissions within five years.