IBM has launched the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, a global environmental program that applies IBM technologies, such as hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence, and an ecosystem of experts, to help non-profits and government organizations scale environmental solutions.
With this program, IBM says it aims to enhance non-profit and government organization operations focused on populations vulnerable to environmental threats including climate change, extreme weather, and pollution.
The company is looking to select five clean energy, non-profit and governmental organizations from around the globe for the first cohort. Responses to the 2022 request for proposal (RFP) can be made through the submission portal here. Proposals are due by April 30 and the cohort will be announced in October 2022, Jen Roynon, IBM Canada corporate social responsibility (CSR) leader, told IT World Canada.
“We have really strong organizations in Canada working on conservation or climate or clean energy sustainability that I think could really help some of the vulnerable populations across Canada. So I just would encourage those organizations to apply and would love to get some great proposals from them,” said Roynon.
The IBM Sustainability Accelerator will provide support to each selected organization for two years following a two-phased approach, she said.
Phase I: Accelerator engagements will kick off with the IBM Garage, IBM’s methodology to apply design thinking and agile techniques to fast-track meaningful innovation and drive lasting culture change. During this process, IBM experts will work with the beneficiary organization to identify their needs and establish a clear roadmap to design, develop, deploy, and continually improve technology to help solve specific public challenges.
Phase II: In a second phase, IBM cross-industry experts will configure IBM resources and technology designed to help participants meet their community and environmental impact goals. Some of the technologies that will be applied will include IBM Watson, IBM Cloud, and the Environmental Intelligence Suite, among others. In addition, IBM Sustainability Accelerator beneficiary 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, to scale long-term impact and drive key societal outcomes.
Last year, IBM says it conducted a pilot project with three inaugural participants of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator. These organizations have begun their projects focused on sustainable agriculture and successfully finished their phase I last December.
- The Nature Conservancy India: The Nature Conservancy India is building a public information platform to help eliminate crop residue burning in North India in furtherance of their goal to improve agricultural sustainability, public health, and to help reduce climate change impact in India.
- Heifer International: Heifer International is working with IBM to develop scalable and affordable digital solutions designed to equip farmers’ cooperatives in Malawi with weather and crop yield forecasts to help increase their yields and incomes.
- Plan21 Foundation for Sustainable Human Development: Plan21 is helping smallholder farmers in Latin America manage their crops more sustainably, with the goal of increasing their productivity and income, and contributing to consumer awareness and the development of more responsible markets.
“We believe that the power of science, technology, and innovation can help tackle environmental issues while serving vulnerable communities exposed to environmental hazards,” said Justina Nixon, vice president of corporate social responsibility and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) at IBM. “By pairing expertise and technology with the goal of improving the lives of populations most affected by environmental threats, we have the potential to make lasting, scalable impact.”