Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a powerful tool to accelerate the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new report by technology firm, Ericsson indicates.
The Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility 2015 report notes that ICT is a critical tool toward the realisation of all 17 SDGs because ICT is a cross-cutting enabler of development.
Commenting on the report, Hans Vestberg, the Ericsson president and chief executive, said the SDGs lay out a clear path to a more sustainable world, noting that ICT was a powerful lever to make that happen. Vestberg said in a statement last week that the firm would ensure people benefit from the opportunities afforded by the ‘networked society’.
Ericsson is behind the networked society initiative aiming to ensure people across the globe, business, and society “fulfill their potential and create a more sustainable future”. Ericsson is listed on Stockholm and the New York stock exchanges.
The annual Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility published on Wednesday, focuses on the company’s performance in three areas: responsible business, energy, environment and climate change, and communication for all.
Energy, environment and climate change
According to Ericsson research, ICT solutions could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15 per cent by 2030, more than the current carbon footprint of the EU and US combined.
It noted that they were able to offset twice the amount of carbon oxide from their carbon footprint last year with ICT solutions, such as smart grids and intelligent transport.
Its hardware platforms, like the Ericsson radio system, as well as new software and rural coverage solutions, were designed to help customers optimise energy performance, according to the report. The tech firm said it exceeded its goal to reduce carbon emissions per employee by 30 per cent – two years ahead of schedule, which was 42 per cent reduction compared with the 2011 baseline.
Meanwhile, Fredrik Jejdling, the Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa chief, said the firm works with stakeholders to create a positive impact in society, noting that their sustainable business practices and corporate responsibility initiatives in the region were bearing fruit.
“We seek to connect the unconnected to improve their livelihoods, and help cities become more sustainable, and hence create value for the continent,” he said.
Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, the vice-president for sustainability and corporate responsibility, said Ericsson, said the firm will continue to support public-private partnership, and advocate for technology to help improve people’s lives.
In a related development, Nine of these countries in sub-Saharan Africa benefited from the firm’s global education initiative, including, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Cape Verde.
It also unveiled mobile financial services in Ghana, Cameroon, Benin and the Ivory Coast