IBM recently announced its Green Sigma Coalition, an industry alliance among technology oriented companies, which I believe should be applauded by our community. 

Charter members of this coalition are Johnson Controls, Honeywell Building Solutions, ABB, Eaton, Cisco Systems, Siemens Building Technologies Division, Schneider Electric and SAP, and each has indicated its willingness to work with IBM to integrate their products and services under the umbrella of a “Green Sigma” product offering. The program is further described as helping IBM Business Partners validate market and sell their offerings with an assurance that the product or service has been evaluated and demonstrated to reduce environmental impact based on customer use.

Green Sigma is an IBM approach that applies Lean Six Sigma principles and practices to energy, water, waste and GHG emissions throughout a company’s operations, which include transportation, manufacturing and distribution center operations that make-up a product’s value chain. A validation process calls for products and services to meet stringent criteria that address the reduction or use of resources such as energy, water or paper materials.  Submissions are to be reviewed by an IBM Energy and Environment Review Board.

IBM’s commitment to a sustainable supply chain includes its own internal operations.  As a founding member of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), the company accepts the EICC Code of Conduct as an equivalent and alternate to its existing Supplier Conduct Principles. IBM is also actively involved with two initiatives to analyze greenhouse gas emissions associated with its supply chain through its membership in the EICC and as a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration.

What I especially like is an approach that brings together real-time metering and monitoring with advanced analytics that can facilitate more-informed decisions regarding improved energy efficiencies and reduced environmental impact.

Well known and respected companies such as IBM, Hewlett Packard, and lately SAP continue to provide an active executive commitment toward more environmental sensitive products, and are now taking the lead in bringing together more environmentally sensitive technology from multiple companies. This can help in facilitating more green initiatives that involve many aspects of a company’s supply chain.  Surely other companies will follow in these efforts.  It just makes good business sense for both prospective customers as well as the companies themselves.

Bob Ferrari