As vulnerable communities worldwide continue to suffer the disproportionate impacts of climate change, IBM is empowering innovators with cutting-edge technologies and training. Ahead of COP28, IBM announced the latest investments in its efforts to promote the environment sustainability through its social impact programs. A new set of environmental initiatives pioneering water solutions will be scaled through IBM Sustainability Accelerator benefiting local communities around the world. At the same time, there is a unique roadmap of sustainability skills courses, available for free at IBM SkillsBuildwill enable future climate action.
“With almost half of the world’s population vulnerable to significant environmental problems, new strategies to help create a sustainable future are essential.said Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President & Chief Impact Officer of IBM. “This means scaling solutions to help people immediately, while cultivating a pipeline of future leaders at the intersection of technology and sustainability across all sectors.“
New IBM Sustainability Accelerator partners and projects:
IBM is strengthening its commitment to sustainable innovation with projects focused on water management solutions as part of its global social impact program, the IBM Sustainability Accelerator. The IPCC’s 2023 AR6 Synthesis Report shows that 3.3 billion people live in areas vulnerable to significant impacts from climate change1. With a commitment of $30 million in technology and services by IBM through the end of 2025, the program adds five new projects focused on water management, offering IBM technologies such as watsonxand an ecosystem of experts.
- The University of Sharjah will build a model and application to monitor and predict water access in the Middle East and North Africa, to help support communities in arid and semi-arid areas with limited renewable internal freshwater resources.
- The University of Chicago Trust in Delhi will collect information on water quality in India; develop and deploy tools designed to democratize access to water quality information and help improve water management for key government and nonprofit organizations.
- The University of Illinois will develop an AI geospatial foundation model to help predict rainfall and flooding in the upper reaches of the Appalachian Mountains in the US
- Institute IGUÁ will create a cloud-based platform for sanitary infrastructure planning in Brazil, together with local utilities and governments.
- Water company will design a self-managed water quality testing system for Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.
The IBM Sustainability Accelerator program already supports communities in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia on sustainable agriculture and clean energy efforts.
New IBM SkillsBuild sustainability roadmap
New research from IBM and Morning Consult confirms a growing sustainability skills gap that threatens the workforce across all sectors. 71% of business leaders surveyed expect their company to emphasize sustainability skills criteria in their hiring over the next two years, while 92% expect to invest in sustainability training in the coming year.
To help build this pipeline of sustainability talent, IBM SkillsBuild offers free training that links cutting-edge technologies to ecology and climate change. With AI-powered recommendations available for every student, these interdisciplinary courses connect topics such as ecology and biodiversity with technology training in AI and data analytics. This is a comprehensive curriculum to equip the next generation of leaders with skills for the green economy.
Students can benefit from a holistic environmental technology training path from IBM SkillsBuild, with digital credentials available every step of the way.
- Introductory courses will help lay a foundation with historical insights and foundations to connect sustainability and technology.
- Intermediate level The design thinking and green entrepreneurship offering will encourage students to enhance their skills.
- Advanced courses will ask students to apply their skills to sustainability topics in AI, cybersecurity, and ESG reporting.
Related article: IBM pledges to train 2 million people in artificial intelligence in three years, with a focus on underrepresented communities
These offerings build on IBM’s stake train 30 million people by 2030, with a focus on underrepresented communities. Through partnerships among social service, economic development and job training organizations, as well as government agencies and universities, IBM SkillsBuild makes free online learning widely available to communities underrepresented in technology. This includes organizations that help women gain skills, including mothers returning to the workforce, ethnic minorities, people on low incomes and refugees.
Read more about the programs here.