Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic Ericsson – the first company to launch live commercial 5G networks on four continents – remained committed and on track in 2020 towards reaching its sustainability goals while also setting ambitious new targets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalization across the globe. And over the past year, digital technologies have demonstrated the potential to solve global challenges such as climate change and digital inclusion.
In its new Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report 2020 report, Ericsson illustrates how it creates value by focusing on three pillars of sustainability: responsible business, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion.
“In 2020, we focused on keeping our people safe and our customers’ networks running around the world,” says Heather Johnson, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for the Ericsson Group. “We had 85,000 employees pivot to working from home. Despite these and the other challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud of our progress towards meeting our ambitious sustainability goals as well as our work to conduct business responsibly.
bridge the digital divide and deliver solutions for climate action.”
Sustainability and corporate responsibility have long been at the core of Ericsson’s strategy and culture, with the purpose of driving business transformation and creating value for stakeholders. Ericsson’s work in this area is important for three main reasons: earning the trust of employees, customers and other key stakeholders; supporting the delivery of innovative and energy-efficient products and solutions; and improving the performance and efficiency of Ericsson’s own operations and value chain.
“The key to our successful business performance is linked to the achievement of our ambitious sustainability targets and programs,” said Ronnie Leten, Chair of the Board of Directors. “A strong focus on responsible business and sustainability delivers value to Ericsson, our customers and society.”
Highlights and performance 2020
In 2020 Ericsson built on its strong foundation of responsible business practices by sharpening its focus on reducing risks to health, safety and well-being. In 2020, Ericsson also set a new target of zero fatalities and lost workday incidents by 2025 to reinforce this commitment.
Within its own operations, Ericsson reported a 57 percent reduction in carbon emissions and remains on track to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Beyond its own operations, Ericsson remained a driving force for global climate action in 2020. The company showed how a network-level approach can help break the energy curve for mobile networks and how digital solutions can reduce carbon emissions by 15 percent by 2030 in sectors like transport and manufacturing.
The company also highlighted its full value chain approach to climate action efforts. This included founding the 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders initiative to help suppliers halve their emissions before 2030 as well as setting a target for high emitting and strategic suppliers to set their own 1.5°C aligned climate targets by 2025.
During 2020 Ericsson established a three-year partnership with UNICEF to help map school connectivity in 35 countries by the end of 2023. This sets the foundation for connecting every school to the internet by 2030 – a concrete step to closing the digital divide.
Ericsson’s Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report is part of the Company’s Annual Report and externally assured by an independent third party.
It is also produced in accordance with GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights Reporting Framework.
Get highlights from the 2020 Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report here.