IBM launches global pro bono environmental program for nonprofits

ARMONK, NY, February 17, 2022 — IBM today announced the launch of the IBM Sustainability Acceleratora global pro bono social impact program that applies IBM technologies, such as hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence, and an ecosystem of experts to improve and scale the operations of nonprofit and government organizations, focused on populations vulnerable to environmental threats, including climate change, extreme weather and pollution.

“We believe the power of science, technology and innovation can help solve environmental problems while serving vulnerable communities exposed to environmental risks,” said Justine Nixon, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG at IBM. “By combining expertise and technology with the aim of improving the lives of those most affected by environmental threats, we have the potential to have a lasting and scalable impact.”

The program

IBM Sustainability Accelerator will provide support to each selected organization for two years using a two-phase approach.

Phase I: Accelerator engagements will begin with the IBM Garage, IBM’s methodology for applying design thinking and agile techniques to accelerate meaningful innovation and drive lasting culture change. During this process, IBM experts will work with the recipient organization to identify their needs and establish a clear roadmap to design, develop, deploy and continually improve the technology to help solve specific public challenges.

Phase II: In a second phase, IBM’s cross-industry experts will configure IBM resources and technology designed to help participants achieve their community and environmental impact goals. Some of the technologies that will be applied will include IBM Watson, IBM Cloud or Environmental Intelligence Suite, among others. Additionally, IBM Sustainability Accelerator recipient organizations will receive monthly IBM Cloud credits, weather data credits, mentorship, and access to the IBM partner ecosystem. IBM experts will also support pilot deployments of solutions to help facilitate optimal implementation, extend long-term impact and drive key societal outcomes.

Selection process

Each year, IBM will set a theme for the bidding and selection of projects from organizations in that year’s cohort.

Today, with the official launch of the program, we invite nonprofit organizations to apply for a public tender for the 2022 cohort focus on clean energy. Proposals are due by April 30, 2022and must be submitted through our submission portal.

Last year, we conducted a pilot project with three inaugural IBM Sustainability Accelerator participants. These organizations started their projects focused on sustainable agriculture and successfully completed their Phase I last December:

  • The Nature Conservancy India: The Nature Conservancy India is building a public information platform to help eliminate the burning of crop residues in North India in pursuit of their goal of improving agricultural sustainability, public health and helping to reduce the impact of climate change in India.
  • International Heifer: Heifer International is working with IBM to develop scalable and affordable digital solutions designed to equip farmer cooperatives with Malawi with weather and crop yield forecasts to help increase their yields and income.
  • Plan21 Foundation for sustainable human development: Plan21 helps small farmers Latin America manage their crops more sustainably — with the aim of increasing their productivity and incomes, and contributing to consumer awareness and the development of more responsible markets.

“The cloud, AI, 5G, quantum computing can all be leveraged to positively impact big social issues like climate change. Yet the populations most in need are often those who have the least access to technology. Said Carolina Milanesi, Founder, Heart of technology. “It is the responsibility of technology companies like IBM to ensure they are prioritized rather than left behind.

Source: IBM

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