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The IBM Eco-efficiency Jam 2010
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The IBM Eco-efficiency Jam 2010

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What practical actions can be taken today and in the near future to create an eco-efficient economy—one that delivers competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs, while progressively reducing environmental impact?

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A Jam is a collaborative and interactive concept invented and refined by IBM. It represents an online conversation over a defined period of time across a number of main discussion forums. The potential audience can involve thousands of people, all of whom can participate “virtually” from anywhere in the world at any time while the Jam is active. Through mass collaboration and conversation, guided by informed moderators and facilitators, a Jam acts as an open generator of ideas and discussions. Since 2001 IBM has hosted more than 30 internal and external Jams, with the results used to inform values, strategy and agenda for change and innovation.

The IBM Eco-Efficiency Jam is an example of sustainable collaboration across geographies and organizations. IBM’s Special Events Infrastructure estimated that the Jam consumed approximately 93.6 kilowatts of energy, producing approximately 158 kilograms of CO2 emissions. Considering a single 747 flight from New York City to Paris produces approximately 1,487 kg of CO2, imagine what the CO2 emissions would have been if Jam participants from all over the world had travelled to this meeting!

Three core conclusions emerged from the collaborative discussion:

1. Eco-efficiency is poised to become the biggest economic game-changer for organizations over the next 20 years.
2. Direct and collaborative action from a range of stakeholders will be needed to address the challenges and opportunities posed by eco-efficiency.
3. There is a strong imperative for stakeholders to advance the eco-efficient economy.

Jam participants identified a number of drivers of an eco-efficient economy. These include:

• Changes in business models – Business models will need to evolve as companies pursue competitive advantage through improved efficiencies and explore new revenue sources related to eco-efficient operations.
• Employees 2.0 – A new generation of worker, digitally enabled and networked both inside and outside the office, brings eco-efficiency requirements to the workplace. They have fully embraced the concept of greater workplace mobility and integration. Many see themselves simultaneously as employees and potential entrepreneurs – effecting organizational change via their new ideas, behaviors and expectations.
• Demographic changes – Growing urbanization, increasing demand for density within cities and pressures of economic growth in emerging markets are increasing emphasis on eco-efficiency and resource sharing, as well as recognition of resource constraints.
• Governments and policymakers – Governments and policymakers drive the evolution of the eco-efficient economy through the introduction of policies and/or incentives that promote and encourage efficiency, elimination of waste and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The findings indicate that outperformers in the near future will be those that will adapt a proactive and holistic approach. They will move beyond current opportunistic "green" actions and transform their operations, processes and products to meet market expectations and opportunities in the advancing eco-efficient economy. Those companies and institutions that understand and embrace eco-efficiency will find they have deepened their engagement and advocacy with their stakeholders, employees, and customers.












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