IBM Expands Consulting Services With 'Green Sigma'

IBM Expands Consulting Services With 'Green Sigma'

IBM is ramping up its consulting services targeting businesses seeking a softer environmental footprint.

Dubbed Green Sigma, the service can study water and energy use wherever these resources are used, such as in transportation, data centers, IT systems, manufacturing and distribution or retail facilities. The tech giant launches the consulting service based on the Lean Six Sigma strategy at a time when companies are facing growing pressure from stakeholders to lighten their environmental impacts.

"When we talk to clients, they're very much in tune with the fact that they need to be doing these things," IBM Spokesman Jay Cadmus told Tuesday.

He pointed to studies suggesting that corporate brass are increasingly looking toward corporate social responsibility (CSR) to open new revenue streams and gain competitive advantage.

"If they can do that in a compelling way, it's a way for them to differentiate themselves from competitors and grab more of the market for themselves," Cadmus said.

Green Sigma involves a five-step approach: establish performance indicators, determine which practices to measure, monitor, analyze results and identify new areas for improvement.

The company, which launched its CSR consulting service in July, has been testing Green Sigma through three pilot programs in the U.S., China and Ireland.

"We're anticipating we're going to reduce natural gas use in Dublin (Ireland) by 20 percent this year," Cadmus said. "That's pretty compelling."

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