IBM has released its 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report and in my opinion the company’s efforts in the energy efficiency arena stand out as the main highlight of the report. Energy conservation projects at the company led to a $43 million savings in energy bills last year alone.
The company was able to realize a 378,000-megawatt hour of electricity use reduction, which is nearly enough power to provide electricity to 34,000 U.S. homes for an entire year. The reduction in energy use also allowed the company to avoid 175,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2011.
When looking at these numbers it is hard to quantify the overall savings but thankfully IBM has taken the time to explain the reduction. The $43 million in savings came from a 7.4 percent reduction in annual energy use. This is more than double the 3.5 reduction annual goal set by IBM.
In order to achieve a 7.4 percent reduction in energy use in a single year, IBM had to implement or maintain more than 2,300 energy conservation projects at 364 facilities located around the world.
Energy efficiency projects from 2011 include:
Modification of HVAC systems or operating schedules at 155 locations
Installation of building lighting and occupancy sensors or energy efficiency lighting at 203 locations
Implementation of IBM’s Smarter Building technologies at 10 of its highest energy use facilities
IBM doesn’t just focus on energy conservation methods; it also maintains a commitment to purchasing renewable energy. In 2011, 10.2 percent of IBM’s electricity use was from a renewable energy source. By combining energy conservation projects with the company’s renewable energy use, IBM was able to reduce its energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 16 percent when compared to the baseline emissions level from 2005.