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IBM to Receive World Environment Center's 2012 Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development

Washington, DC, February 9, 2012.  The World Environment Center’s (WEC) Twenty-Eighth Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development will be awarded to IBM for its commitment to advancing environmental sustainability throughout the company and providing business solutions in support of more sustainable cities and the planet.  IBM Chairman Samuel J. Palmisano will accept the Gold Medal Award on behalf of the company on Thursday, May 3, 2012 during the Gold Medal Presentation Ceremony in Washington, DC.

IBM was selected by the independent Gold Medal Jury, chaired by Dr. Joel Abrams, Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh. The Jury found that IBM’s long-term commitment to integrating sustainable development into its business strategy and operations, and its specific efforts toward developing information technology products and services for sustainable cities as part of its “Smarter Planet” initiative, merited the award.  IBM now becomes the first company in the history of this award to receive it on separate occasions, having also been the 1990 recipient.

IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative applies instrumentation and intelligent systems through interconnected services to design innovative business solutions to a host of business and societal challenges, including electricity generation and distribution, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions, more efficient government services, healthcare, traffic management and mobility, and water conservation.

“We are deeply honored to receive this award,” said Mr. Palmisano.  “For IBM, corporate citizenship, environmental stewardship and profitable growth are all inherent to building a smarter planet. We are most excited to be working with progressive mayors, their teams and community leaders in smarter cities around the world, as they seize upon the vast quantities of data their cities generate to drive growth and sustainability in the face of unprecedented urbanization, economic and technological change and increasing social mobility.”

“On behalf of the independent Gold Medal Jury, I extend my congratulations to IBM for advancing sustainability across its business operations and for enabling the public and private sector to extend their own aspirations and achievements,” stated Dr. Abrams.  “The Smarter Planet initiative and its application to making cities more sustainable, will establish long-term benefits for society and shareholders by improving the quality of life for the majority of the world’s population that now lives in cities.  As with past recipients, the Gold Medal provides a positive incentive for IBM to continue to improve its noteworthy achievements through innovative investments in people, technology and systems.”

The World Environment Center’s Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development was established in 1985 to recognize significant industry initiatives in global environmental excellence and sustainable development.  Recent recipients of the WEC Gold Medal Award are: Nestlé (2011), Wal-Mart Stores (2010), The Coca-Cola Company (2009), Marks & Spencer (2008), Alcan Inc (2007), ABN AMRO Bank (2006), Starbucks (2005), Johnson Controls Inc. (2004), and the Ricoh Group Ltd. (2003).

The WEC Gold Medal Jury is independent of WEC and its programs, and is composed of international leaders from academia, government, non-governmental organizations and retired industry professionals.

The World Environment Center, headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices and operations in emerging and developed markets, is unique in its direct application of sustainable development strategies and practices to the business operations of its member companies. WEC creates sustainable business solutions through individual projects in emerging markets; convenes leadership roundtables to shape strategic thinking across a range of sustainability topics; and honors industry excellence through the annual Gold Medal Award.  An independent non-profit organization, WEC conducts no advocacy activities. For more information please visit

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