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Earth Hour – showing our commitment to climate action

It’s that time of year again – on Saturday, March 25th between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. in every time zone around the world, we are all invited to support Earth Hour by turning off our lights to raise awareness about climate action. A variety of activities are scheduled at Ericsson headquarters and at many of our facilities around the world, including the launch of an innovative, IoT-based smart lighting solution in Rome.

While we at Ericsson recognize that a one-hour-long annual event is not enough in and of itself to make the difference needed to reach the Paris climate agreement, we believe that Earth Hour has an impact in raising awareness about the choices that each of us can make every day to be more climate smart at work and in our private lives. For example, I know that for my daughters and their friends, Earth Hour definitely increases their curiosity about climate action.

For Ericsson, participating in Earth Hour provides us with an excellent opportunity to raise awareness both internally and externally about the urgency of the climate topic, highlight what Ericsson is doing to support SDG 13 Climate Action, and launch new climate-smart services.

Reducing CO2e emissions
As part of our Earth Hour activities this year we are highlighting our CO2e emissions target. Our goal is a 30% reduction in CO2e emissions by 2020, which we will achieve by reduc­ing energy usage in our facilities (offices, pro­duction sites, data centers and test labs), shifting product transport from air to surface, reducing the impact of business travel, and improving fleet vehicle management.

The overall Ericsson climate strategy to develop and deliver solutions to support climate action also involves improving the energy performance of our products and solu­tions. We know that our customers need to balance their investments across all technologies to make the most efficient use of available radio spectrum, while delivering more consistent network performance and high-quality user experi­ence everywhere. That’s why we’re committed to helping operators expand their networks in the most energy-efficient way, which enables carbon emission reductions throughout the life cycle of our products.

The third part of our climate strategy is about how ICT, and Ericsson, can play a transformative role in help­ing other sectors of the economy decou­ple growth from resource use and contrib­ute to the reduction of societal carbon emis­sions as well as the protection of air, water and other environmental resources.

Launch of smart lighting solution in Rome
One exciting part of our Earth Hour activity plan this year is the launch of a smart lighting service in the parking area at Ericsson Campus in Rome. This service has been developed as part of our IoT digital transformation offering, leveraging on the expertise of our IoT business lab in Rome, whose purpose is to co-create and validate projects with customers, startups and universities, as well as supporting internal innovation with employees.

While the scale of this first smart lighting project is modest, it clearly demonstrates the concrete benefits of IoT digital transformation, making use of our internal business operations as a testbed. The project is the result of the integration of multi-services through our horizontal IoT accelerator platform. By connecting the light poles in our parking area, the solution enables real-time monitoring and detection of faulty lamps, as well as automatic dimming based on predefined rules or real-time sensor data. Energy savings in the range of 30-45% are expected.

The “smart lights” will also become part of a smart city infrastructure thanks to the integration of the service into the Ericsson IoT Accelerator in Rome, which enables multi-industry cross-correlation of a wide variety of use cases (utilities, transport and so on) and multiple classes of devices. In the case of our parking lot, this means that events detected by smart cars can trigger actions on smart lights – just one small example of how IoT services for smart cities can improve quality of life and make our cities more environmentally sustainable.

Continuous commitment to climate action
I encourage you to join us in participating actively in Earth Hour this Saturday evening. Why not use that candlelit sixty minutes to consider what more you can do this year to reduce your climate impact in your daily life and work? I hope the experience will inspire you to discuss and engage with your colleagues, business associates, friends and family in the weeks and months ahead. We all have a role to play, both in terms of taking personal action and in spreading the message.

For more information about Ericsson’s climate strategy, goals and performance to date, check out pages 35, 41 and 62-63 in our recently released Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility Report 2016.

Written by Matilda Gennvi-Gustafsson

Matilda's early career was in the area of environmental and production management in the food industry. Since joining Ericsson in 1997 she has focused on sustainability, business and change management. From 2009-17 she served as a sustainability director at group level focusing on strategy, climate action and how ICT can accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). As of 2018 she works within the Internet of Things (IoT) unit, integrating business and doing good.