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By | Kelly Fiveash 5th February 2009 17:43

IBM launches very serious enviro-commitment programme

Big Blue turns pale green

Big Blue wants world+dog to know it's deadly serious about green technology, and to underline that commitment, the company has launched its "Ready for Energy & Environment" validation program for biz partners.

Cynics may suggest that IBM's failure to consult any environmental groups about its plans before going ahead and coming up with its own criteria for green-savvy partners looks a little remiss - but we're assured they're getting to that bit.

Apparently, its 100,000-strong partner base worldwide need to offer products that are designed and demonstrated to provide energy and environment benefits to qualify for a pat on the back from IBM.

"We’ve set a fairly high bar," said Big Blue’s ISVs and developer relations veep Chris Wong in an interview with The Register. "Only 30 or so partners will make it through the first year."

Wong was at pains to insist that IBM wasn’t simply guilty of "greenwashing" or making a "marketing play" with the new validation program, even though the company effectively sidestepped any discussion with a group such as Greenpeace ahead of today’s launch.

When asked if the firm had considered consulting an environmental body about its plans, Wong said: "No we haven’t, but that’s a great idea and it would be a great endorsement."

He told us "quite candidly" that IBM "didn’t really engage with an outside body" on its latest "green tech" initiative, which could lead some partners to question the company’s "stringent criteria."

Those partners interested in pursuing a validation from IBM rather than an endorsement from the likes of Greenpeace, say, will be rewarded with a "unique mark that assures clients the product or service has been rigorously evaluated and demonstrated to reduce environmental impact based on real-world customers use," the firm said.

Wong said partners not living up to criteria will simply be rejected from participating in the program until they can prove they are serious about green tech. ®

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