IBM Sustainability

Berns’ article has tried to put an emphasis on how sustainability has come to be important for many business ventures in recent times. Most of the information contained in the article is true and relevant based on how companies are operating nowadays. Sustainability is not an option to companies, but an imperative action that must be instituted.  Different companies might be using different approaches, but the end product is the same. To have a good evaluation of the article it would be prudent to assess an organization that has been involved in sustainability. IBM would be a good example in this case.

IBM is an American consulting and technology corporation that operates at the multinational level. The company develops computer software and hardware, offers consulting services, offers hosting and infrastructure among others (DeRespinis, 2012). The main sustainability aspects of the company are enhancing innovation that brings value to the world in many facets. This is through the products and services offered by the company.  There is development of products that emit fewer carbon gases that are hazardous to the environment. Devices manufactured by the company also tend to save energy. It is an advantage to consumers since they will incur minimal costs in energy consumption. The company also tries to integrate aspects of corporate responsibility in its sustainability program. This mainly targets the company’s employees.  They are offered fair treatment and involved in major decisions of the company. The aspect brings a sense of belonging and hence motivates their work rate (DeRespinis, 2012).

MIT Sloan article has highlighted that companies engage in sustainability for different reasons. There are a number of forces responsible to these companies making the decision. Among them is pressure from consumers, shareholders and the government. The enhancement is also driven by the desire to gain a competitive advantage and creating brand viability for the company. Also these aspects can be ascertained by examining the reasons as to why IBM is initiating sustainability prospects.  It is evident that the government has played a significant part in this realization. The government has set low carbon footprint levels that need to be attained by each organization. This means that companies need to reduce the level of green house gases emission. Failure to achieve the set standards will definitely lead to some negative consequences. IBM is also in dire need of creating a competitive advantage over other organizations involved in this industry. Enhancing corporate social responsibility has been viewed as the yardstick to attaining this realization. This is because it helps in creating consumer loyalty hence expanding the market share in future (Clancy, 2013). Adopting the green economy and enhancing corporate social responsibility will become part of every business entity in future. Products with the ability of being recycled are expected to increase since every government is discouraging usage of environmental harmful products. The workforce needs to be sustainable as it will help in innovation strategies likely to curtail the competition being posed by other companies.  Current trends have also shown that when the company supports the community, there is the tendency of the society paying back by being loyal to their products or services.

Based on various assessments from different stakeholders, it seems that IBM is doing well in this area. The company has moved to join forces with other organizations in the region sharing similar sentiments. The recent development is the formation of the Green Sigma Coalition that constitutes like-minded companies on regards to sustainability (Clancy, 2013). MIT Sloan article outlines that there are several challenges involved in the initiation of sustainability aspects. Among the challenges is understanding what is involved in sustainability, modeling the business and execution of the process.  The challenges entailed in barns’ article are also vivid in IBM. IBM did not have many challenges in understanding the concept of sustainability and developing a favorable model for the process. The main challenge was encountered in the execution process. This was mainly contributed by the nature of the company’s supply chain. Many individuals are involved, and working to bring all of them to terms was quite a difficult task. The company had to involve its suppliers and other relevant parties into signing of contracts that would see them abide to the direction of enhancing sustainability (Maczulak, 2010).

The company does not have an alternative to sustainability. This is because every company in the world is heading there. Failure to initiate sustainability prospects might even lead to extinction of companies in future. Advantages that come with sustainability are increased loyalty from both consumers and employees. This helps in increasing the market share and work rate from the employees. There is also minimal collusion with government officials as a result of not adhering to some legislation. This has been highlighted in the MIT article. On the onset of initiating the process, there are several disadvantages that are likely to be encountered. Among them is increased operation cost and resistance to change from some stakeholders (Maczulak, 2010). However, as time goes by, it becomes easy to overcome these challenges. IBM also faced resistance to change from its stakeholders due to the fear of unknown.



Clancy, H., 2013. How IBM link sustainability to career development. Sustainability, 5(7), 13.

DeRespinis, F., 2012. The IBM style guide conventions for writers and editors. Boston, MA:          IBM Press.

Maczulak, A. E., 2010. Sustainability building eco-friendly communities. New York: Facts On       File.