What a difference a year makes
The mobile industry has converged in Barcelona this week for the annual Mobile World Congress – it’s an event that brings all partners in the mobile eco-system. One year ago, we introduced the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) – the 17 global goals that are setting the agenda for 2030 – to our stand at MWC. We were an active part of launching the goals at the end of 2015, and are using them as a framework for measuring our impact on society. This year, the entire mobile industry has come out in support of the goals, and in fact we are the first sector to fully embrace the SDGs.
What a difference a year makes. The theme of this year’s Mobile World Congress is the SDGs and they were everywhere and we are glad to see how the industry has embraced them. Today we launched our Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility Report detailing our progress toward connecting business and sustainability. Using Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for the company’s impact on society, the report summarizes Ericsson’s achievements in three areas: responsible business; energy, environment and climate change; and internet for all.
Energy is a global challenge that touches many of the SDGs. Ericsson’s commitments to deliver superior energy performance include a strong focus on 5G, a goal to dramatically reduce the use of diesel, and a commitment to ensure the Ericsson Radio System platform remains the most power-efficient on the market.
One concrete example of our focus in this area is Pure Solar, a project completed with Telenor in Myanmar, involved the deployment of the world’s first 500 watt solar-powered site. Within just one year of operation, the solar-powered site proved to be more economical than the diesel alternative. Pure Solar won the prestigious GSMA Glomo Green Award here at Mobile World Congress.
Internet access for all will underpin achievement of all of the SDGs. When it comes to bringing an additional 4 billion people online, we know that mobile broadband will be instrumental. The fastest and most effective way to do this is by enabling cost-efficient upgrades from 2G to 3G and to 4G, and we are focused on delivering solutions to our customers that address the affordability and accessibility barriers.
In 2016, Ericsson launched a new suite of mobile broadband solutions for which total cost of ownership has been reduced by up to 40%. This makes investments in mobile broadband viable in markets where average revenue per user is low, helping to grow the reach of 3G and 4G and making the internet available to more people.
Ericsson’s Technology for Good initiatives now positively impact 89 million people. Connect To Learn, the global education initiative with a focus on secondary education for girls, crosses many SDGs – Access to education, Reducing inequalities, and Ending poverty. The initiative has been launched in 23 countries and benefits more than 80,000 students.
Respecting human rights is an essential component to reaching the SDGs. For the third year in a row, Ericsson reported according to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights reporting framework – and remains the only ICT company to do so. In 2016, we made our first Statement on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking for the Ericsson Group.
Our industry is the only one that can help to achieve every one of the goals. Therefore we have been on a mission to catalyze our industry partners, including GSMA and our operator customers to join us.