Ericsson and SDGs: Partnership for the future
It's been 8 years since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and at this half-way point to 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development the world's progress is off track.
Without making concrete progress across these global challenges the impact in 2030 would mean:
- some 84 million children will be out of school and 300 million children or young people who do manage to attend school will leave unable to read and write.
- 575 million people (nearly 7% of the world's population) will still be living in extreme poverty.
- renewables will remain a mere fraction of our energy supplies while it could take another 25 years to halt deforestation.
This month, however, world leaders will gather in New York City to redouble their efforts. During the United Nations General Assembly, an SDG Summit will be held by the UN, with the aim to redouble efforts supporting the 2030 Agenda. But all sectors of society have an important role to play and companies, industry ecosystems, and public-private partnerships can catalyze action and progress.
With this as a background, it is clear that Ericsson's technology leadership and commitment to innovation has never been more crucial. This year stands as a pivotal moment to accelerate action in the realms of climate, digital inclusion, and financial inclusion – areas where our technology and partnerships are making a tangible difference.
SDG 13: Climate action
Climate change remains one of the most pressing challenges of our time, demanding immediate and sustained action. Ericsson understands that technology can be a powerful force for good in combating climate change, and we do that in our own operations, with our customers and suppliers, and across industry partnerships and community engagement.
Internally, we have committed to achieving Net Zero emissions across our value chain by 2040, 10 years ahead of the IPCC goal of 2050. We do this by reducing our emissions, continuously improving the energy performance of our portfolio and by engaging our supply chain to set and meet their own Net Zero targets.
Some recent success stories include our work with customer EE in the UK to reduce energy consumption by up to 40% Ericsson and EE deliver a more sustainable 5G network.
We also recently launched a sustainable 5G site showcasing our complete energy-smart network solution in Plano, Texas. Anchoring Ericsson's commitment to environmental responsibility, this 5G site has the potential to be fully operated by solar energy, complemented by integrated lithium-ion batteries, for up to a 24-hour period. Sourcing power from renewable energy sources is the most impactful decarbonization strategy for mobile networks, doing so in an intelligent and cost-effective way has been a challenge, which this energy-smart site addresses.
Our advancements in energy-efficient technologies not only reduce our carbon footprint but also inspire other industries to follow suit. Through collaborations with partners and industry peers, we aim to establish new benchmarks for responsible business practices, showing that sustainable connectivity is not just an attractive option, but an absolute essential.
SDG 9 and 4: Digital Inclusion
The digital divide remains a persistent obstacle to global progress, leaving marginalized communities behind in an increasingly digital world. Around half of all households in the world – over 1 billion – do not have a fixed broadband connection. Ericsson is committed to turning this challenge into an opportunity through innovative technology and strategic partnerships. By working closely with governments, international organizations, and local stakeholders, we are creating sustainable ecosystems that empower individuals with access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.
One solution is with Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), a telecommunications technology that delivers high-speed internet using wireless signals, eliminating the need for physical cables. FWA can provide internet connectivity to underserved areas, bridging the digital divide, and offering a flexible solution for rapid and cost-effective deployment in both urban and rural settings.
Beyond its portfolio, Ericsson is working on the ground to ensure that meaningful connectivity is available and usable by everyone. We were the first private sector partner of UNICEF and ITU's Giga initiative to make a multimillion-dollar commitment. And over the past two years we have supported Giga in helping to connect more than 5,700 schools and over 2 million children and youth to the internet. Our aim is to take the learnings of the last decade and help Giga scale positive impact on learners and their communities by connecting every school across the globe to the internet by 2030.
Through Ericsson's flagship program Connect To Learn, 400,000 children and young adults in 36 countries have been provided with access to digital learning and skills development programs. Connect to Learn program epitomizes a transformative endeavour aimed at democratizing education on a global scale. By forging strategic collaborations with educational institutions and non-profit organizations in marginalized regions, Connect to Learn orchestrates the provisioning of essential digital infrastructure, thereby affording students unprecedented access to a wealth of educational resources and virtual learning environments.
SDG 1 and 8: Financial Inclusion
In an era where financial services are increasingly digitized, ensuring that everyone has access to these services is critical for equitable development. Ericsson is actively contributing to financial inclusion by enabling secure and accessible mobile financial solutions.
Nearly one quarter of the world's adult population lacks access to formal banking and financial services according to World Bank Findex. However, a majority of unbanked people own a mobile phone that can help them access formal financial services.
That's the idea behind Ericsson Wallet Platform, a fintech platform that enables telecom operators and financial service providers to offer fast, secure, personalized, and easy-to-use mobile financial services to their customers. The platform drives financial inclusion and wellbeing by enabling all consumers, banked or unbanked, to transfer, pay, save, grow, receive, and borrow money.
For over a decade, Ericsson Wallet Platform has been a leader in mobile money and digital wallets, enabling mobile financial services in 24 countries. It supports over 300 million mobile wallets and processes more than 2.6 billion transactions worth over USD 36 billion every month.
By reducing barriers to entry and embracing innovative approaches, we are leveling the playing field and enabling economic growth for underserved communities. Our initiatives are not just about expanding access to financial systems; they are about transforming lives and driving inclusive prosperity.
Journey to the future
As we reflect on the significance of the SDGs in the year 2023, Ericsson remains unwavering in our commitment leveraging our technology to scale global partnerships. Climate action, digital inclusion, and financial inclusion are not abstract ideals but actionable pathways to a better world. By harnessing technology's transformative potential, we continue to pioneer solutions that align with the UN's 2030 Agenda. Our journey is not solitary; it is a collective effort that spans industries, sectors, and geographies. Together with our partners, stakeholders, and visionaries, we are turning the SDGs into a reality, one innovative stride at a time. In 2023, and beyond, we reaffirm our dedication to driving positive impact and making the world a better place for all.
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