IBM: A True Bay Champion

IBM: A True Bay Champion

Bay Day would not be possible without our dedicated sponsors, who demonstrate their commitment to supporting our organization’s mission and the San Francisco Bay. Save The Bay gives special thanks to our official Bay Champion title sponsor for the second year in a row: IBM Bay Area!

Save The Bay is proud to work with regional leaders like IBM, who deliver positive solutions that help the Bay adapt and thrive in the face of climate change. IBM employees have long been passionate and committed caretakers of the natural world that frames their campuses, and in the South Bay, they regularly conduct activities such as “bioblitzes” that help identify and record the variety of species around the Lab.

Another great example of their ongoing engagement with conservation and biodiversity-promoting activities is the Wildlife Habitat Certification program. Five IBM sites nationwide maintain Conservation Certification status through the Wildlife Habitat Council— the only voluntary sustainability standard designed for corporate landholdings.

Of these five sites, two are located in San Jose:

  • IBM Research Almaden (active program since 1991), located on 691 acres in the hills, provides valuable wildlife habitat in an otherwise urban setting
  • IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory (active program since 2005), contains five major habitats including grassland, streamside, and woodland

At both sites, one of the largest and most successful activities is bird box monitoring. These nest boxes attract many types of birds, including Western Bluebirds and American Kestrels, as well as Barn Owls, and IBM provides data from the project to the Audubon Society.

Another ongoing project involves pollinators (primarily honey bees). IBM partners with a local beekeeper who maintains “bee boxes” on the property. They purchase some of this honey from him to give employees as prizes and incentives for projects like Earth Day and a nature photo contest. The bees also help pollinate a butterfly garden, which maintains milkweed as habitat for Monarch butterflies.

It is a priority for IBM to get employees involved in these activities. “That’s the fun part,” says Michelle Mesler, IBM Environmental Engineer and US West Team Lead. “IBMers can participate in on-site planting or weeding activities, monitor the bluebird boxes during the nesting season, or get involved in habitat restoration projects (both on and off-site) with Save The Bay!”