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Earth Hour: Participate and take climate action all year round

It’s been a year since the last Earth Hour and now the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is encouraging everyone to share their stories about how to address climate action using the hashtag #connect2earth. So far, I’ve read several amazing personal examples that illustrate what each and every one of us can do. But we mustn’t forget that companies also have a big role to play in fighting climate change. I’m pleased to report that we are making good progress at Ericsson – for example, we reduced CO2e by 14% in 2017 vs. 2016, and by close to 50% over last six years.

Earth Hour
Earth Hour started as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then it has grown to become one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment, inspiring millions of people to take action for our planet and for nature. No other recurrent global campaign involves as many people as Earth Hour.

Ericsson’s participation in Earth Hour differs from facility to facility, with local employees taking the lead in planning the activities. We encourage employees to switch off all the lights they don’t need and to remember to turn off PC monitors and other electronic devices at the office before they leave for the weekend. We also suggest that they try to minimize the use of electrical appliances in their homes, and propose that they take the opportunity to enjoy a candlelit dinner! At many of our locations we also turn off the lights in our company signs during Earth Hour.

Our climate action strategy
Ericsson’s climate action strategy includes our strong support for both the Paris Climate Agreement of 2016 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where Climate Action is SDG 13. We also have climate targets approved by the Science Based Target Initiative. Since ICT is a carbon-lean sector that accounts for less than 2% of global CO2 emissions, we advocate for ICT-based solutions as a viable means for cities and countries to reduce their carbon footprints.

Leveraging ICT to fight climate change
According to Ericsson Mobility Report, information and communications technology (ICT) solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT) could help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% by 2030 (see pages 20-21 in the report for details). The main areas where ICT can support are transportation, travel, buildings, electricity grids, services, manufacturing, agriculture and land use.

Our portfolio offers mobile operators the possibility to create a range of IoT solutions based on our flexible radio and core networks, network services, industry solutions like Connected Urban Transport (CUT) and our IoT platform known as the Ericsson IoT Accelerator. This platform is our end-to-end solution for connectivity management, device and data management, and the secure integration and automation of devices and data.

Smart sustainable cities
CUT is an intelligent transport system (ITS) that can add value to a community in a variety of ways, including improved public safety, lower operational costs and reduced emissions. The City of Dallas is the first to launch a regionally specified CUT system that enables agencies to interwork within the municipality and between municipalities. By creating an overlay, any person or system connected through CUT can cooperate using real-time data generated in the streets.

Time to reflect
This Saturday evening during Earth Hour my family and I will take time to reflect on what we’ve done to fight climate change during the year that has passed, and what more we can do in the year ahead. It has become a tradition for us to do this – almost like making New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you’ll be inspired to do something similar with your family or friends?

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To learn more about Ericsson’s sustainability work, check out our Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report 2017 at: www.ericsson.com/sustainability-report

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.