IBM launches green consulting practice

IBM Corp. has created a consulting practice around helping agencies manage their overall effect on the environment, including their carbon footprint.

The practice will help agencies analyze energy and water use, assess waste management, evaluate their environmentlal impact and develop strategies for improvement, the company said, adding that the practice will be known as IBM Public Sector Energy and Environment Diagnostic.

The concept began with the idea of helping federal agencies meet Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements that agencies track and report their environmental performance, said Jim Loving, IBM U.S. federal government executive.

OMB has been releasing scorecards with red, yellow and green scores on agency environmental performance for about three years.

The IBM offering is a diagnostic tool so agencies can identify where they are deficient, Loving said. “We can do a quick analysis to identify areas where they may be red in and that require further analysis or remediation,” he said..

With the new administration and the stimulus law sending funds to the state and local level, IBM sees an opportunity to take the concept to that market as well, he said.

The typical engagement would last about 30 days and cost $15,000 to $30,000 to complete. Although that is a small piece of work, Loving said the larger opportunity will come from helping agencies improve their performance.

The stimulus law will help drive the opportunities as well, particularly with $20 billion dedicated to improvement facilities. High on the list of improvements is the greening of the facilities, Loving said.

IBM’s new offering will help agencies build the business cases for investing in green technologies.

“Part of the benefit is getting into compliance, but there also is a real economic benefit,” Loving said. “But there is a real need for cost savings as well.”

The offering uses IBM’s Component Business Model approach, which breaks down organizations into segments: finance, operations, procurment, etc., and then analyzes them according to how well the perform in terms of efficiency, cost and environmental impact, the company said.

Specific areas the offering looks at are:

● Environmental management systems.
● Energy and greenhouse gases.
● Water management.
● Waste and disposal, including how electronics are disposed.
● Facilities and equipment.
● Workforce programs.

IBM ranks No. 16 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest government contractors.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

Reader Comments

Mon, Mar 23, 2009

Interesting that IBM is playing a big part in this. John Tantillo pointed out on his http://b DOT that it's actually not such an odd fit as it seems at first glance--more of a "brand extension" than a brand departure. "Basically, in trying to develop a more efficient computer chip, the company recognized that the same thinking that led to a more efficient computer chip could be used to regulate water usage more efficiently on a large scale. This is a brand in touch with itself and in touch with its history." Here's a link to the DOT rand-winners-and-losers-ibm-and-aig.aspx

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