The Private Sector Is in a Position To Make a Sustainable Future Possible. IBM Has the Resources To Help.
By Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM VP of ESG and corporate social responsibility
With climate emergencies and disasters on the rise across the globe, private sector companies — particularly large companies with global reach — are in a unique position to make a difference in our collective fight to help build a more sustainable and equitable future.
According to the World Bank, climate-related disasters and natural hazards push 26 million people into poverty each year. The world's poorest populations face economic devastation after these events, which have long-term impacts on health, education, and more.
It's clear that there's a need for technical and institutional support for economically under-prioritized populations when it comes to bolstering our resilience in responding to climate change. As a tech company dedicated to using innovative technologies to address environmental challenges, IBM is working to provide this support to local and regional organizations across the globe. The model that IBM is developing helps invest in equitable and long-term solutions to environmental injustice.
There are on-the-ground, local organizations all over the world that are doing the challenging, important day-to-day work of helping their communities find solutions to combat climate change and increase climate emergency resiliency. They are rich in ideas and local networks but often need support to increase capacity, scale their projects, and boost their reach.
IBM has consistently tackled the most pressing challenges of the day by building technologies to help operationalize sustainability — including solutions designed to support developing economies transitioning to a clean energy future. That's why IBM is now working to give these local and regional organizations support from engineers, technology, and climate experts to help scale these projects and reach their environmental goals.
Through the Sustainability Accelerator program launched in February 2022, IBM selected five organizations to receive end-to-end support for projects focused on sustainable agriculture, beginning with the ideation stage and a technical roadmap to scale long-term impacts and drive key societal outcomes. This collaborative approach means groups already working on the ground in key countries and regions of the world are getting the support they need to help vulnerable populations combat environmental threats like climate change.
Now, IBM will be expanding its efforts in 2023.
For the second cohort of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, the five organizations selected to receive technology and support will be the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sustainable Energy for All, the Miyakojima City Government, the Environment Without Borders Foundation, and Net Zero Atlantic. These organizations will focus on clean energy projects.
Each organization was chosen because of its existing engagement with vulnerable communities, its ability to increase access to affordable clean energy services, and its strategic focus and transparency on measurement and reporting.
From utilizing AI and geospatial analytics expertise to leveraging modeling and engagement capabilities, these projects will use IBM technology and expertise to help people in Africa, India, Japan, Canada, and Egypt.
Turning sustainability ambition into action
Providing these organizations with innovative tech solutions along with the expertise needed to help scale their projects will play a crucial role in turning sustainability ambition into action. This is a model that all companies — and particularly those that have tech solutions and vast resources — should consider employing.
To help confront climate change, we will need an all-hands-on-deck approach that leverages technology and private sector funding, among a range of other tools, and work with local and regional organizations to make it happen. Companies across the world have a societal imperative to step up.
It will take work, but together, we can drive meaningful solutions designed to help us tackle today's most pressing climate issues through efforts centered on sustainability, resiliency, and equitability.
This post was created by IBM with Insider Studios.