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IBM To Convene Business & Industry Leaders For HRH The Prince of Wales' Start Initiative

UK Business leaders to debate sustainability next steps at nine day Summit Sept 2010

LONDON, United Kingdom - 01 Jun 2010: Start, an initiative established by HRH The Prince of Wales to promote and celebrate sustainable living, today announced that IBM (NYSE: IBM) will be Start's exclusive partner to lead a nine day Summit in September 2010.  IBM will convene business and industry thought leaders to discuss the next steps that should be taken to enable economic, environmental and societal sustainability.

As the world becomes more complex and interconnected, a profound shift in management and governance towards far more collaborative approaches across industry is now needed.  The IBM Summit at Start will serve as a new starting point for businesses and policy makers to consider not only what they can do for sustainability but also what sustainability can do for the economy.

Whilst the IBM Summit forms the business-to-business engagement for Start, the other partners will focus on various events and initiatives taking place across the country throughout the year. The goal is to help people across the UK take clear, simple, positive and practical steps towards a more sustainable future. Start is also working closely with The Prince of Wales' Mayday Network, which was established in 2007 to encourage businesses to address climate change.

Opening on 8th September 2010, the IBM Summit at Start will take place at Lancaster House and will be a series of one day events running consecutively over nine days.  Each of the days at the Summit will focus on a different theme and bring together daily around 120 business and public sector leaders with subject matter experts to discuss the issues and opportunities for working together to build a sustainable and smarter planet.  The focus will be on dialogue and discussion across the influential audience with peer interaction being key to the success of the Summit.

Themes to be discussed include: The future of cities, energy, transport, skills, future business leaders, smarter supply chains, financing sustainability and the information revolution.  The final day of the Summit will bring together the key issues and ideas coming out of the prior 8 days of discussion and debate. The audience on that day will be challenged to review and refine these outputs, and identify new ways to collaborate to turn these outputs into recommendations for British business.

Speaking at the launch of Start in Manchester, February 2010, The Prince of Wales said that "Far too few talk about the potential for a sustainable future to be better and more rewarding—both for us and for Nature—than the lives we lead now. This potential needs to be communicated across the country and, indeed, across the world."

Sir Tom Shebbeare, who leads the Start initiative for The Prince of Wales, said: "Faced with the inevitability of climate change we all need to be thinking of simple, practical ways to live more sustainably. These need not be painful but we must all try to embrace them. With the help of some of Britain's most respected companies and charities we hope to demonstrate how we can all make a start - and have fun doing so."

Stephen Leonard, IBM CEO UK & Ireland, said: "As we begin the decade of smart, the business imperative for sustainability action is strong, whether from regulatory, stakeholder, or simply cost efficiency pressures.  IBM will convene the thought leaders and subject matter experts to discuss 'what' business can do and 'how' we can do it together."

He added, "Right across our client base and from conversations we have with industry peers we've learned that there is enormous hunger to learn how to make the planet smarter and more sustainable."

IBM's Summit at Start will run from Wednesday, September 8th to Thursday, September 16th, 2010.  For further information please visit: www.ibm.com/uk/start/

About Start

Start is a national initiative by The Prince's Charities to promote and celebrate sustainable living. It aims to demonstrate what a more energy efficient, cleaner and healthier future could look like.

During 2010, Start will grow into a vibrant and diverse programme, which will engage people right across the UK. The Start founding partners include: IBM, Addison Lee, Asda, B&Q, BT Group plc, EDF Energy, M&S, Virgin Money and Waitrose.

For more information go to: www.startuk.org

About IBM

For more information go to: www.ibm.com

Contact(s) information

Ken Saunders
UK External Relations
+44 207 021 8422
saundken@uk.ibm.com

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