Ericsson Sustainability and CR Report: ICT can accelerate sustainable development goals – Sunday, 19 June 2016
Ericsson has published its 23rd annual Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report, which details the company’s performance in 2015 in three areas: responsible business; energy, environment and climate change; and communication for all.
The report also highlights how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can enable all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and even has the potential to accelerate their achievement.
“The SDGs lay out a clear path to a more sustainable world, and ICT is a powerful lever to make that happen. We intend to build on our momentum from 2015 so everyone can benefit from the opportunities afforded by the Networked Society,” Hans Vestberg, president and CEO, Ericsson, said.
Conducting business with integrity and transparency is at the heart of Ericsson’s commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility. The report shows that 99 percent of active Ericsson employees have acknowledged the company’s Code of Business Ethics. In 2015, the Ericsson Compliance Line – which enables secure reporting of suspected violations – was reinforced to support industry anti-corruption best practices.
Demonstrating its commitment to respecting human rights, Ericsson reported according to the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights framework for the second year in a row, and continues to be the only ICT company to do so.
According to Ericsson research, ICT solutions can help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 15 percent by 2030, more than the current carbon footprint of the EU and US combined. In 2015, Ericsson met the target to offset twice the amount of CO2 from its own carbon footprint with solutions such as smart grids and intelligent transport. For customers, hardware platforms like the Ericsson Radio System, new software and rural coverage solutions are all designed to help customers optimize energy performance. In 2015, Ericsson exceeded its goal to reduce CO2 emissions per employee by 30 percent – two years ahead of schedule. This amounted to a 42 percent reduction compared with the 2011 baseline.
By the end of 2015, an estimated 20 million people had been directly impacted by Ericsson’s Technology for Good™ initiatives. Connect To Learn, a global education initiative by the Earth Institute of Columbia University, Millennium Promise and Ericsson, has now been launched in 22 countries, where it is benefiting over 76,000 students. In 2015, Connect To Learn was deployed in Myanmar, India, Tunisia and Sri Lanka. “We are proud to say that in Southeast Asia and Oceania, our Technology for Good initiatives such as Connect to Learn have helped to bring quality education and internet access to more than 100,000 people,” Sam Saba, head of Ericsson Southeast and Oceania, shares.
“Another initiative in Malaysia involved connecting mangrove saplings with sensors to allow the local community to better ensure their growth and development. Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from flooding and storm surges, so this is another example of how ICT can be utilized to help protect lives, and, in this example, enhance biodiversity.”
The employee volunteer program Ericsson Response marked its 15th anniversary during the year. Ericsson Response has so far supported 40 relief efforts in 30 countries, and was deployed in locations including Iraq, Nepal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Vanuatu in 2015.
“By embedding sustainability and corporate responsibility into our business, we have a strong platform for progress and positive impacts. We will continue to work in public-private partnership and advocate Technology for Good to drive change for the better,” Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, vice president, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, said.