“Beyond meeting legal requirements, these actions protect IBM’s brand image and protect hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue." —Louis Ferretti, project executive for environmental compliance
Center of Excellence for Environmental Compliance
Manufacturer achieves “no misses” with green regulations
It’s not easy being green, especially when regulatory requirements aren’t uniform worldwide. At IBM, the Center of Excellence for Environmental Compliance ensures that every product complies with every environmental regulation worldwide.
Established in 2007 shortly after the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances regulation, or RoHS, took effect, the Center of Excellence consists of engineers and scientists from IBM’s global workforce. The center’s core team provides direction globally to all internal organizations related to design, sourcing, engineering, manufacturing, and distribution of production hardware. This integrated approach ensures that all IBM hardware complies with governmental legislation in each country where IBM does business.
The team also influences all levels of the production process, including upgradability, reuse, safe disposal, ease of recycling, use of recycled material, improved energy efficiency, and the use of environmentally preferable materials. Products must meet not only government requirements but also voluntary objectives set by IBM, such as lower power consumption through less cooling. In fact, if a substance is prohibited in a single country, IBM prohibits its use in all products worldwide.
The center also creates strategies, deployment plans, performance metrics, milestones, and time lines to ensure total and timely compliance with legislation and regulations. In some cases, the group works to shape and influence proposed legislation and the work of environmental advocacy groups worldwide. When necessary, the center oversees consumer take-back programs.
Perhaps the greatest indicator of the center’s success is the fact that its organizational structure, processes, tools, and management system have been showcased with clients as a best-in-class solution for environmental compliance. In fact, IBM’s Global Business Services Supply Chain Management offers services based on the work performed by the center.
As evidence of the center’s success, IBM consistently meets its objective of “no misses” when it comes to compliance with environmental legislation worldwide. That earned the center a 2011 PM100 Award for Leadership Mastery.
“Beyond meeting the legal requirements, these actions protect IBM’s brand image and protect hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue,” says Louis Ferretti, project executive for environmental compliance. “Without…the compliance team in place to lead the actions of the many other IBM organizations, noncompliance could occur and result in fines/penalties, stop-ships, product impoundment, and unhappy customers.”