IBM launches “Green Sigma” consulting program
A new IBM consulting offering can help clients lower their environmental impact, increase efficiency and reduce costs by applying Lean Six Sigma principles to energy and water usage throughout their operations.
"There’s a fundamental truth to understanding and improving any aspect of a company’s performance — if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it," said Dave Lubowe, global leader of IBM’s operations strategy consulting practice. "This applies as much to a company’s energy and water consumption as it does to anything else, and our new offering can help clients apply this principle to make their businesses greener."
IBM’s Green Sigma consulting offering is based on Lean Six Sigma, a business strategy for carefully analyzing operations to improve overall efficiency, lower costs, increase quality, and add, change or eliminate activities and processes to improve overall performance.
This new offering applies these principles wherever energy and water are used throughout a client’s operations — transportation systems, datacenters and IT systems, manufacturing and distribution centers, office facilities, retail space, research and development sites, etc.
The constraints and costs of energy and water usage are rising at an accelerating rate, with a significant impact on business operations and financial performance. In addition, companies are coming under increasing pressure from governments, advocacy groups, investors, prospective employees, and consumers to make their operations, products and services more socially responsible, particularly regarding the environment.
IBM’s own conservation efforts have saved 4.6 billion kWh of electricity and $310 million in costs, and avoided over three million metric tons of CO2 emissions since 1990. The company’s work-at-home program for employees saves roughly eight million gallons of gasoline annually.
Combining IBM’s experience with energy efficiency and carbon reduction, measurement and management dashboards, Lean Six Sigma processes and corporate social responsibility consulting, Green Sigma allows clients to apply this strategy to their operations and environmental practices to:
• Manage and reduce carbon output and water inefficiencies;
• Reduce energy and water usage, and associated costs;
• Use advanced analytical techniques to establish ongoing carbon footprint and water management practices;
• Increase profit through activities such as carbon trading.
Business leaders acknowledge the advantages that come from proactively addressing corporate social responsibility issues like green. An IBM global CSR survey of more than 250 c-suite executives showed that 68 percent of them already are focusing on CSR activities to create new revenue streams and 54 percent believe CSR gives them a competitive advantage. Additionally IBM’s biennial global survey of more than 1,100 CEOs showed that the majority of them plan to increase their investments in CSR by 25 percent over the next three years.
Companies can ensure they are investing in the right CSR activities and processes by using IBM’s consulting offerings like Green Sigma, which consists of a five-phase approach to a client’s operations and environmental practices:
• Establish key performance indicators defined and tailored to the client’s operational environment, industry and business. Activities include building key process indicator sets for carbon and water, including regulatory and stakeholder requirements;
• Identify areas where activities and practices should be measured.
This can include developing a facilities management plan and determining where to use sensors to collect information for analysis;
• Use a Carbon and Water Management Dashboard system to monitor key performance indicators and analyze performance data. This can be linked to other systems to help initiate processes such as carbon trading;
• Apply Green Sigma(TM) statistical tools and techniques to analyze and improve processes to reduce energy usage, carbon emissions and water inefficiencies;
• Create ongoing optimization of processes and key performance indicators through the Carbon and Water Management Dashboard, and identifying new areas where improvements can be made.
For more information about CSR, you can access IBM’s global survey of more than 250 senior executives from around the world at: www.ibm.com/gbs/csrstudy.
For a demo of the Green Sigma monitoring dashboard go to: