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Home » IBM announces new set of environmental initiatives

IBM announces new set of environmental initiatives

by Madaline Dunn

IBM has announced its latest investments to advance environmental sustainability through its social impact programs.

This new set of environmental initiatives, including a partnership with the University of Sharjah, are pioneering water solutions that will be scaled through the IBM Sustainability Accelerator to benefit local communities across the United Arab Emirates. 

It is also launching a first-of-its-kind roadmap of sustainability skills courses, available for free through IBM SkillsBuild.

The University of Sharjah will build a model and application to monitor and forecast water access conditions in the Middle East and North Africa, to help support communities in arid and semi-arid regions with limited renewable internal freshwater resources, it shared. 

“Our commitment to climate action is unwavering, and through our partnership with the University of Sharjah, we are empowering communities, fostering innovation, and addressing the urgent need for green and technology skills. Together, we are not just adapting to climate change; we are shaping a resilient and sustainable tomorrow,” said Shukri Eid, General Manager, IBM Gulf, Levant and Pakistan.

“The University of Sharjah is proud to partner with IBM in developing solutions for the pressing environmental challenges faced by communities in arid regions” said Dr. Adewale Giwa, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Water Desalination Engineering at the University of Sharjah.

 “Through the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, we aim to monitor and forecast water access conditions in the region, offering vital support to communities with limited freshwater resources. This collaboration reflects our commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of society and creating a lasting impact in the face of climate change.”

IBM said that it is furthering 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 2023 IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report identified that 3.3 billion people live in areas vulnerable to significant impacts from climate change. With a commitment of $30 million worth of technology and services by IBM through the end of 2025, the program is adding five new projects focused on water management, offering IBM technologies, such as watsonx, and an ecosystem of experts.

Further, new research from IBM and Morning Consult confirms a growing skills gap in sustainability that threatens the workforce across industries. 

Sixty-four per cent of business leaders surveyed in the UAE anticipate their business will emphasise sustainability skills criteria in their hiring in the next two years, with 79% expecting to invest in sustainability training in the next year.

To help build this pipeline of sustainability talent, IBM SkillsBuild shared that it is providing free training that “connects cutting-edge technologies to ecology and climate change.”

With AI-powered recommendations available for each learner, interdisciplinary coursework connects topics such as ecology and biodiversity, with technology training in AI and data

analytics. The curriculum aims to help equip the next generation of leaders with skills for the green economy.

IBM shared that it provides a holistic environmental tech training journey via IBM SkillsBuild, with digital credentials available at each step.

It includes:

· Introductory courses to help establish a foundation with historical insights and fundamentals to connect sustainability and technology.

· Mid-level offerings in design thinking and green entrepreneurship to encourage learners to grow their skills.

· Advanced coursework that will ask learners to apply their skills to sustainability topics across AI, cybersecurity, and ESG reporting.

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