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IBM teams up with Net Zero Atlantic to enable clean energy transition for Indigenous communities

Nov 10, 2022
  • Net Zero Atlantic is one of five organizations worldwide selected as part of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator clean energy cohort
  • IBM to provide resources to support the creation of a tool that will help enable Indigenous communities to advocate for energy system change that will benefit their land, economies, and health  
  • IBM will donate $30M worth of services by 2023 through the IBM Sustainability Accelerator program globally

TORONTO and HALIFAX, NS, Nov. 10, 2022 /CNW/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today at COP27 the new members of its global pro bono social impact program, the IBM Sustainability AcceleratorNet Zero Atlantic, a non-profit based in Halifax, Nova Scotia is one of the five organizations selected by IBM from more than 100 global submissions to be part of the clean energy cohort of the program. As part of this cohort, IBM will work with Net Zero Atlantic to create an interactive digital tool that will help enable Indigenous communities in Atlantic Canada to understand how transitioning to carbon-neutral energy system could impact their local economies and environments.

"Through the IBM Sustainability Accelerator initiative, we are combining access to technology and subject matter experts to tackle environmental issues impacting Canadians more quickly, while also improving the quality of life for communities most affected by climate change," said Jean-François Barsoum, Senior Innovation Executive: Research, Innovation, Environment and Smart Cities, IBM Canada. "The transition to clean energy in Canada is critical, and as a technology company, we can play a key role in enabling organisations to turn sustainability ambition into action. We are incredibly proud Net Zero Atlantic has been chosen to be a part of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator program and we're excited to accelerate the impact this organization is making for Canada's future." 

"Through this project, we aim to provide Indigenous communities in Atlantic Canada with additional evidence and authority to support their advocacy around clean energy policy and infrastructure buildout," said Kathleen Mifflin, Project Manager, Net Zero Atlantic. "By collaborating with Indigenous partners and with support from the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, we will help remove barriers that prevent a diversity of voices from actively participating in energy system planning and development. This kind of initiative is essential to ensuring our region's energy system transition is equitable and inclusive."

According to the International Energy Agency, energy is critical to Canada's economy; it makes up 10% of the nation's gross domestic product and is a major source of capital investments, and trade flows, and a key generator of middle-class jobs, including for Indigenous peoples. Improving the rate of energy technology innovation will be critical to enable the deep decarbonisation across sectors required to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Canada is committed to reducing its emissions by 40 to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving a 100% net-zero emitting electricity system by 2035 and net-zero emissions across all sectors by 2050.

Net Zero Atlantic is collaborating with IBM to create an interactive digital tool that will geospatially display environmental and socioeconomic impacts of possible energy system futures for Nova Scotia. The goal is for Indigenous communities in Nova Scotia to leverage this interactive digital tool to inform their input into energy and development planning. The tool aims to be easy to use, locally relevant and time efficient. It will produce easy-to-understand visual results using IBM technology such as the IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite and IBM Cloud.

The IBM Sustainability Accelerator program applies IBM technologies, such as hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence, and an ecosystem of experts to enhance and scale projects focused on populations vulnerable to environmental threats, including climate change.

All new members including United Nations Development Programme, Sustainable Energy for All, Miyakojima City Government, and Environment Without Borders Foundation will focus on accelerating clean energy projects. The selection process considered the applicant's commitment to support communities who are especially vulnerable to environmental threats, its ability to increase access to affordable clean energy services, its strategic focus and transparency on measurement and reporting, among others.

About Net Zero Atlantic : Net Zero Atlantic seeks to advance the goal of a sustainable and inclusive transition to a carbon-neutral future in Atlantic Canada. Our team produces credible and objective data to inform sound policies and decisions related to critical topics including hydrogen, offshore wind, geothermal energy, and energy system modeling.

Learn more about Net Zero Atlantic at

About IBM Sustainability Accelerator: Launched in February 2022, the IBM Sustainability Accelerator is a social impact program that addresses multiple environmental threats around the world each year. The accelerator selects 5 projects to scale solutions that benefit communities that face challenges such as climate change, pollution, extreme weather and more. The program currently has two active cohorts; the first one is focused on sustainable agriculture and the second on clean energy.

For more information, visit

Media contacts:
IBM Canada
Ruhee Dhar,  External Relations Lead

Net Zero Atlantic
Stacey Pineau, Communications Advisor  


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