IBM - 8th position, 40/100

The self anointed home of the “Smarter Planet,” IBM is active in several of the IT energy solutions areas identified by the SMARTer2020 report, including Smart Grid, smart logistics, and transportation-focused solutions.

IBM’s performance in detail Download the PDF


IBM has consistently ranked high for its solutions leadership, and continues to help lead the sector in operationalising the energy saving potential identified in the SMARTer2020 report, scoring 5th in solutions leadership in this Leaderboard. IBM also has an impressive track record in setting and reaching energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals, and ranks second among companies evaluated here for its leadership in addressing its own energy use.

Despite continued strong leadership in two of the three leadership categories, IBM unfortunately continues to be near the bottom of advocacy leadership. IBM maintains that it does not engage in advocacy on climate change because its greater contribution is getting ahead of policy by demonstrating what is possible. Greenpeace certainly agrees that demonstrating solutions is important, which is why we have placed the greatest point value on solutions leadership. However, as most recently identified by the SMARTer2020 report, significant changes in the policies governing our use and generation of energy, including a price on carbon, must be enacted in order for the IT sector to deliver on its ability to drive energy savings and enable greater amounts of renewable energy.

At the US national level, IBM has spent an average of $5m US dollars a year each of the past five years on lobbyists on a wide range of issues, putting it consistently among the top five among IT companies, but apparently without any priority given to climate or renewable energy advocacy.

In an earlier version of this edition of the Leaderboard, Greenpeace had penalised IBM by 5 points for its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a lobby group working to block clean energy and climate policy. IBM alerted us that they have no affiliation with ALEC at this time, so the 5 points have been restored, moving IBM from its previous 11th place overall to its current position in a tie for 8th place. We regret the error.

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IBM's performance in detail: Download the company’s Scorecard here