In its Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility report 2012, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) summarizes the performance and achievements of its global sustainability initiatives, which use connectivity to make a positive socio-economic and environmental impact throughout the value chain.
Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg says: "Many of the world's major challenges - such as urbanization, climate change, and poverty - could benefit from solutions offered by mobile broadband. Sustainability is a competitive differentiator and is high on our agenda, as well as that of our customers. Throughout the value chain and wherever we do business, we are creating value for ourselves and for our stakeholders by striving to be sustainable and responsible in all that we do."
Ericsson has long been engaged in the global conversation on sustainability and continues its leadership in several bodies to further dialogue on the role of Information and Communications Technology and sustainable development. Vestberg is personally involved in the Broadband Commission for Digital Development where he led the working group on climate change, and recently agreed to chair the Commission's task group on the post-2015 agenda and future Sustainable Development Goals. He is also a member of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a multi-stakeholder initiative launched in 2012 by the UN Secretary-General.
Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, says: "Our aim is to make mobile communications more affordable and accessible, as well as work to demonstrate the positive role of technology, where it can shape low-carbon economies, increase access to education, and support other humanitarian issues such as refugees, peace and conflict resolution, and disaster response."
In 2009, Ericsson set a five-year target to reduce its carbon footprint intensity by 40%. That goal has been reached within four years, largely thanks to systematic improvements across the portfolio and by improving product energy efficiency, and focusing on Ericsson's own internal operations.
Weidman-Grunewald continues: "Achieving the target a year ahead of schedule shows that we embrace the responsibility we hold as the industry leader, to continually raise the bar in our performance and offerings."
Corresponding improvements in 2012 include reduction in absolute emissions with regard to business travel, down 16%; product transport, down 12%.
The Ericsson Mobility Report estimates that by 2017, 85% of the world's population will have 3G coverage. To address the growing demand for cost-effective and energy-efficient build out of coverage, Ericsson offers solutions including: Psi coverage, which reduces power consumption by up to 40%; AIR, Antenna-Integrated Radio, a family of products that reduces energy consumption also by 40%; and Managed Rural Coverage, which bundles a managed service with a cost-efficient solar-powered 2G, 3G, or LTE mini-site solution, designed to connect people in areas without voice and data communication.
The report describes in detail Ericsson's Technology for Good projects and the milestones achieved in 2012. Connect To Learn, the global education initiative, has now been launched at 33 schools ranging from Brazil to Ghana. More than 185,000 refugees are now registered on the Refugees United mobile platform to help re-connect missing family.
Ericsson is the technology partner to the PeaceEarth Foundation, which launched its Youth Peacemaker Network in Uganda and South Sudan.
The report covers Ericsson's strengthened focus on ways of conducting business responsibly. The Code of Business Ethics, summarizing the key group policies and directives governing relationships in the company and with stakeholders, was updated in 2012 to reflect the new UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, and Ericsson's commitment to respect human rights throughout its operations. To support implementation of the principles, the company launched a two-year business learning program on human rights. Ericsson has also joined the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI).
Ericsson's first environmental report was published in 1993. Read the full 2012 report at www.ericsson.com/sustainability.