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IBM’s 30th Annual Environmental Report highlights reduction in CO2 emissions

IBM implemented 1,660 energy conservation projects at nearly 230 locations globally. These projects delivered annual energy savings of 136,000 MWh, equal to 3.2% of the company’s total energy use during 2019 and surpassing the corporate goal of 3%.

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IBM’s operational CO2 emissions have been reduced by 39.7%  since 2005, according to IBM’s 30th annual IBM and the Environment Report, released today. The achievement puts IBM well ahead of schedule in reaching its current goal of a 40% reduction in COemissions by 2025.

In addition, 47% of the electricity IBM consumed in 2019 came from renewable sources, keeping the company on track to get 55% of its electricity from renewables by 2025.

IBM implemented 1,660 energy conservation projects at nearly 230 locations globally. These projects delivered annual energy savings of 136,000 MWh, equal to 3.2% of the company’s total energy use during 2019 and surpassing the corporate goal of 3%.

“IBM was instrumental in establishing corporate environmental reporting three decades ago because we saw that embracing openness drives results,” said Wayne Balta, vice president of environmental affairs and product safety. “Our continual and dependable progress throughout the years has been underscored by our dedication to transparent reporting and IBM’s values.”

Other highlights from the report; in 2019:

  • IBM implemented 1,660 energy conservation projects at nearly 230 locations globally. These projects delivered annual energy savings of 136,000 MWh, equal to 3.2% of the company’s total energy use during 2019 and surpassing the corporate goal of 3%. IBM has sustained a goal for energy conservation since 1975 and began reporting annual energy conservation savings in 1992. Getting the same work done with less energy has long been a top priority at IBM for addressing climate change. 
  • IBM became a Founding Member of the Climate Leadership Council and supports its bipartisan roadmap for a carbon tax with corresponding carbon dividend.  
  • Technical experts at IBM across the company’s business units and research division continued to develop new ways of helping to solve difficult environmental problems based upon data and today’s exponential information technologies — including AI, analytics, IoT and blockchain, which have the power to change business models, reinvent processes, and reimagine work.

These solutions demonstrate “good tech” and the art of the possible. For example, IBM Research developed an AI-based forecasting and control system that improves electricity storage in photovoltaic systems. And IBM created a digital farming platform that will provide farmers with hyperlocal weather forecasts in addition to offering real-time recommendations tailored to the specific needs of individual fields and crops, helping to increase crop production, save water and decrease the need for fertilizers and pesticides.

Transparency in Carbon Reporting
The report codifies IBM’s longstanding practice of transparency in carbon reporting to ensure that IBM’s disclosure of energy consumption, COemissions, and renewable energy be done in a way that is clear.

“Climate change represents a serious threat to our planet that must be addressed right now,” Balta continued. “Transparent communications are essential to secure popular support for action.”

A long history of excellence
In addition to being one of the first multinational companies to produce its own environmental report, IBM also led the creation of the first cross-industry guidelines for voluntary corporate environmental reporting back in the early 1990s. Upon working with industry peers, learning from business associations, and with input from the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), IBM and nine other companies published the Public Environmental Reporting Initiative (PERI) Guidelines in 1994. These guidelines marked a beginning of what has since become a common business practice for many companies. 

Ethical Biz

Sustainability is core to Epson, with products made to be kinder to environment

Across the business today, Epson continues to leverage on its efficient, compact, and precise technologies to drive innovations that will make the world a better place. In fact, the company has taken their commitment to sustainability one step further to ensure that each new generation of core products are ever better for the environment.

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Over the last decade, we have seen a growing preference for products made by companies that have built purpose and sustainability into their business model.  Some of the world’s most successful and fastest growing companies have adopted care for the environment and a commitment to work to help solve some of society’s most pressing problems so that purpose and sustainability have become hallmarks of successful and respected businesses.

Research shows that consumers are willing to change their consumption habits to lessen their negative impact on the environment. In fact, millennials and Gen Z are especially willing to pay more for products that contain sustainable ingredients or products that have social responsibility claims.  

Harvard Business School Professor Rebecca Henderson explains it simply in her online course on Sustainable Business Strategy: “Doing well and doing good are intertwined, and successful business strategies include both”. 

Being able to communicate that your company does good in the world is a competitive advantage that attracts and retains employees, helps protect against issues, and creates trust so that people will choose your services and your products over others again and again.    

Epson had the foresight to create a company built on purpose from its early years as a watch manufacturer in the 1940’s. Guided by the keywords “integrity and effort”, and inspired by the character of Epson’s founder Hisao Yamazaki, the drive to innovate, the creativeness and willingness to take on challenges, and a strong commitment to both local and global environmental preservation took root throughout the growing organization. Beginning with a pledge to keep Lake Suwa in the Nagano prefecture clean, Epson later became the first company in the world to declare that it would eliminate ozone-depleting CFC’s from its operations, which it did across the group in 1993.  Epson joined the United Nations Global Compact in 2004, and later declared a commitment to contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Products designed to be better for the environment

Across the business today, Epson continues to leverage on its efficient, compact, and precise technologies to drive innovations that will make the world a better place.  In fact, the company has taken their commitment to sustainability one step further to ensure that each new generation of core products are ever better for the environment. 

From conception to completion across the complete product range, products are designed to be more eco-friendly by eliminating hazardous substances. You will see this in the ‘heat-free technology’ employed by Epson printers to eliminate heat from the printing process, thus consuming far less electricity compared to laser printers.  You will also see this in high-capacity ink tanks which significantly reduce environmental impact while boosting operational efficiency.

“We are committed to transform the way businesses work and drive the circular economy,” explains Siew Jin Kiat, Epson SEA Senior Director for Regional Marketing.  “Within the office space, we designed our inkjet printing products to offer more cost-efficient printing that is better for the environment.  Our printers today offer one-tenth average printing costs, use one-eighth the average power consumption and can print 100 pages a minute. In the future, we will be able to provide an office-based paper recycling loop using our water-free dry fiber technology that can make new paper from used copy paper on the spot.” Epson’s revolutionary Paper Lab is the first office-based papermaking system that will shrink the office’s environmental footprint by repurposing used paper and using 60% less water in the process.

On the shop floor, products developed by Epson teams based on customer feedback are enabling better productivity, efficiency, and lower environmental impact.  Epson’s reliable robotics solutions are automating processes in labor-intensive industries to enable employees to leave behind harsh working conditions and long hours. Piezoelectric inkjet systems in digital textile printers are also driving a technology shift from analog, help textile manufacturers cut waste material by up to 95%, enable faster turnaround and the flexibility to run short-run jobs on a wide range of material.  

Purpose in the way teams work and the activities that we embark on 

This desire to make the world a better place is embraced and evident in the Epson work ethic which embraces the desire to build purpose and sustainability “into the details” of innovation and the “everyday”. Nowhere is this more evident than in Epson’s new office and solution centers where its own products are used to support a hybrid workplace while reducing power consumption, waste and caring for the environment. Workspaces are designed to be more energy efficient with layouts that allow resources to be better shared, enabling collaboration across teams that produce their best work.

Wherever they are in the world, Epson teams work to make significant contributions to global corporate climate change and social issues advocates championing human rights, environmental action, workforce diversity, and sustainable sourcing in supply chain management.  In Indonesia, for example, Epson launched an initiative that encouraged young students to take the lead in managing waste through the ‘3 R’s’: reduce, reuse, recycle. 

In the Philippines, partnered with the Rotaract Club’s ‘Juan Bottle at a Time’ project, Epson shared the basics of proper waste management and eco-brick making with the youth community of Santa Ana, Manila.

The Philippine office also partnered with the local Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its youth arm, GREENducation Philippines, for a film competition that aimed to raise public awareness on environmentalism.

In Thailand, Epson worked with the Better Thailand Foundation, to encourage underprivileged and disabled children to find self-appreciation through art.  

Says Siew Jin Kiat: “Our mission is to build stakeholder trust as we grow and prosper with communities and to help create a better world.  Aligned with our vision of a sustainable future, we are dedicated to laying the groundwork for a low-carbon society and will journey to keep educating the public and engaging the youth for longer lasting impact.”

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Visa, Shopee team up to launch ‘Where You Shop Matters’

The initiative is part of Visa’s broader small business strategy and follows commitments the company has made to support 10 million small and micro businesses in the Asia Pacific, and a global commitment from the Visa Foundation of USD210 million to provide COVID-19 emergency relief for the small business sector.

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Visa launched Where You Shop Matters to encourage consumers to support local businesses while helping SMEs to go digital following the onset of COVID-19. The initiative is part of Visa’s broader small business strategy and follows commitments the company has made to support 10 million small and micro businesses in the Asia Pacific, and a global commitment from the Visa Foundation of USD210 million to provide COVID-19 emergency relief for the small business sector.

As part of the Where You Shop Matters initiative, Visa has partnered with Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, to help support thousands of local small businesses who are selling on Shopee. Visa and Shopee will be creating campaigns to enable Visa cardholders to enjoy discounts when they shop at these local merchants.

“We introduced Where You Shop Matters to support our small businesses in the Philippines. The impact of COVID-19 for these businesses along with shifting consumer behaviors to eCommerce reinforced the need for Visa to launch Where You Shop Matters. Furthermore, the partnership with Shopee will help us support thousands of local businesses in the Philippines. We are confident that Filipinos will help support the local economy, especially since our study showed that 95 per cent of Filipino consumers will purchase from local retailers to support small business recovery,” said Visa Country Manager for the Philippines & Guam, Dan Wolbert.

“The pandemic has accelerated several years’ worth of change into the span of a few months, and this rapid acceleration of the shift to digital payments also means that businesses need to go through a digital transformation and adapt to changing consumers’ behaviors to do well.”

“We are happy to partner with Visa to launch the Where You Shop Matters campaign to help small business owners go digital. Shopee commits to offer our sellers and MSMEs a more secure, seamless, and rewarding way to do business online, and we will continue to explore new ways to help them succeed online” says Martin Yu, Associate Director at Shopee Philippines.

The Visa study also showed that 77 percent of Filipino consumers believe it is important for local retailers to have an online presence. To encourage SMEs to go digital, Visa will be providing them with a Visa eCommerce Starter Kit to help them start, manage, and grow their online storefronts. Visa is partnering with BigCommerce to provide onboarding support and special discount rates for SMEs to sign up and start selling online. SMEs can also benefit from a variety of offers, including Office 365 business packages and cashback on Google Ads to help them get their online business up and running. For SMEs with physical stores, they can order free Visa POS signage to build trust with consumers.

“The pandemic has accelerated several years’ worth of change into the span of a few months, and this rapid acceleration of the shift to digital payments also means that businesses need to go through a digital transformation and adapt to changing consumers’ behaviors to do well,” added Dan.

Said Jowee Alviar, co-Founder of Team Manila, one of the six marquee merchants in the Where You Shop Matters campaign, ” We’re happy to be featured among the local brands in Visa’s #WhereYouShopMatters campaign. It is vital for TeamManila to reach our customers wherever they are, be it through online shopping portals or our website. We can show them the new designs of our collection, answer their inquiries, and fulfil their orders easily and securely through card payments using Visa, at the convenience and comfort of their own homes.”

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Ethical Biz

Consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from brands with strong purpose – study

A global study analyzing the business value of brands having a well understood Purpose has revealed a strong business benefit as consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from, trust, champion, and defend companies with a strong Purpose.

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A global study analyzing the business value of brands having a well understood Purpose has revealed a strong business benefit as consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from, trust, champion, and defend companies with a strong Purpose.

The 2020 Zeno Strength of Purpose Study, commissioned by Zeno Group, the global, integrated communications agency, surveyed more than 8,000 individuals across 8 markets (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Singapore, Malaysia). As part of the study, consumers rated their perceived strength of Purpose of more than 75 brands. Zeno then performed a correlation and regression analysis to understand the relationship between consumers’ perceptions of a brand’s Purpose and their attitudes and intended behavior toward them.

Zeno found that when a brand is perceived to have a strong Purpose, consumers were:

  • Four times more likely to purchase from the brand;
  • Six times more likely to defend that brand in a challenging moment;
  • Four and a half times more likely to recommend (champion) the brand to friends and family;
  • Four times more likely to trust the brand.

Globally, France and the UK emerged as the countries most likely to trustchampion and defend a brand with a strong Purpose; consumers in Malaysia, India and Singapore were most likely to buy from a brand with a strong Purpose.

The survey also found that the benefits of a strong Purpose held across regions and generations, with 82% of consumers saying they took action to support a company or brand when they believed in its Purpose, sharing positive opinions of that brand with others, encouraging others to support or buy it, or starting to buy from the brand themselves.

Elements of Purposeful Brands

Zeno asked survey respondents to identify the top attributes of purposeful brands and uncovered eight key elements:

  • Fair treatment of all employees
  • Products or services that reflect the needs of people today
  • Ethical and sustainable business practices
  • Support for important social causes
  • Creation of new job opportunities
  • Diverse and inclusive culture
  • Issue advocacy
  • Strong set of values 

In North America and Europe, respondents ranked “fair treatment of employees” as the number one element of a purposeful brand. In Asia, consumers rated making “products and services that reflect the needs of people today” as the top element of a purposeful brand.

The Purpose Paradox

Consumers have also raised the bar and are looking to companies to advance progress on important issues within and outside of their operational footprint. Ninety four percent of global consumers say it is important that the companies they engage with have a strong Purpose. However, a significant gap exists as only 37% believe companies today actually do. Moreover, 83% of consumers surveyed globally said companies should only earn a profit if they have a positive impact, implying consumers have developed an expectation for brands and companies to have a higher calling beyond earning profits and rewarding shareholders.

When it comes to Gen Z – teens and 20-somethings – the stakes for brands couldn’t be higher, as many of these young people are in fact their own brands.  They expect brands to live their Purpose with action and to responsibly and consistently wield their economic and social power for good.

“By evaluating over 75 global companies, this is truly the first study of its kind directly linking the strength of a brand’s Purpose to reputation and business benefits. The data proves that consumers expect companies to have a more meaningful reason for being and are making decisions about what to buy and where to work with an eye toward supporting those that share their values,” said Alison DaSilva, Managing Director, Purpose & Impact at Zeno Group. “Yet, companies are leaving equity and opportunity on the table as the majority of consumers do not believe companies today have a clear and strong Purpose. It has never been more important for companies to not only articulate their Purpose, but to consistently demonstrate that Purpose in how they operate, support issues and engage with all stakeholders.”

Holding Brands Accountable

The study also found the so-called “cancel culture” expressed in respondents’ replies, as nearly eight-in-ten (76%) global consumers indicated they will act against brands whose Purpose, values or behaviors they disagree with, by no longer buying from the brand, switching to a competitor, or discouraging others from buying  or supporting it. 

The cancel culture behavior appears strongest among younger generations, with 88% of Gen Z and 85% of Millennials saying they were more likely to act negatively towards a brand they disagreed with. Primary actions included sharing their opinions with family and friends, whereas Boomers and Matures were more likely to act with their wallets, saying they would stop buying from the brand altogether.

The inclination for consumers to act against brands or companies they disagreed with was stronger in Eastern countries (China, 92%; Malaysia, 91%; Singapore, 89%). Meanwhile, in the United States, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom, consumers were slightly more forgiving of brands when they disappointed.

Younger Generations: Valuing Purpose

While respondents across generations recognized the strength and importance of Purpose, younger generations were most likely to champion on behalf of brands with a strong Purpose. Findings included:  

  • 92% of Gen Z and 90% of Millennial respondents say they would act in support of a purposeful brand – at least 10 percentage points higher than other generations surveyed.
  • 87% of Gen Z and 84% of Millennials state it’s a CEO, Founder, or Owner’s responsibility to drive a brand’s Purpose – six-to-three percentage points higher than all respondents.
  • 70% of Gen Z and Millennials feel a brand should have a Purpose they personally believe in – 22 percentage points higher than Boomers and Matures.
  • Across all survey questions, Gen Z led all generations in their positive affirmation of a brand’s Purpose. 

“When it comes to Gen Z – teens and 20-somethings – the stakes for brands couldn’t be higher, as many of these young people are in fact their own brands.  They expect brands to live their Purpose with action and to responsibly and consistently wield their economic and social power for good,” said Therese Caruso, Managing Director, Global Strategy & Planning at Zeno Group. “Gen Z’s number one ambition is to build a better world through the strength of collective action.  Those brands that do not put authentic and actionable Purpose at their core risk losing one of the most influential youth generations on the planet.”  

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