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All about zero

Nokia has committed to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040

In 2023 Nokia looked to investigate how to accelerate its net zero commitment  and needed related actions. Nokia is now set to accelerate both its net zero target for Scopes 1, 2 and 3 and its interim 2030 Scope 1 and 2 targets.

At Mobile World Congress we announced:
 

  • Nokia commits to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the value chain (Scopes 1, 2 and 3) by 2040.
  • This puts Nokia ahead of the Paris Agreement goal to reach net zero by 2050.  
  • Nokia also aims to accelerate its existing interim 2030 target to reduce emissions across its own operations (Scopes 1 and 2), reaching an 83% reduction by 2030.
    • This includes complete decarbonization of Nokia’s car fleet and its facilities. 
    • Marine fleet reductions aligned with International Maritime Industry (IMO) decarbonization pathway.
  • To ensure its targets are aligned with climate science, Nokia has submitted its letter of commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).  

What were our previous emissions targets?

We were the first telecoms vendor to have our Science Based Target (SBT) validated by the SBTi in 2017 and were among the first 100 companies to do so. We recalibrated our targets in 2021 in line with a 1.5°C warming scenario, which means we are publicly committed to reduce our GHG emissions by 50% across our value chain (Scope 1, 2 and 3) by 2030 from a 2019 baseline. This near term 2030 target implied that Nokia would reach net zero by 2050. Subsequently, as part of the EU Commission Green Digital Coalition, we committed to reach net zero by 2040.  

With our new announcement we therefore not only reiterate our prior commitment to reach a 50% reduction in our value chain by 2030 from a 2019 baseline, but we are also now accelerating our 2030 scope 1 and 2 targets to reach 83% by 2030 instead of 50%. We also look to reach net zero across all Scopes 1,2 and 3 by 2040. 

How can we decouple emissions growth from digitalization?

Definitions

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What is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, on 12 December 2015.

It entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its overarching goal is to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

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What’s the difference between net zero and carbon neutral?

Net zero refers to a reduction of 90% in greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, with a maximum of up to 10% remaining hard-to-abate emissions being neutralized through carbon removals. To limit global warming to 1.5°C, greenhouse gas emissions must by halved by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. Neutralizing residual emissions must be done entirely through greenhouse gas (GHG) removals offsets, permanently removing and storing the carbon from the atmosphere.

Carbon neutral involves understanding a company’s GHG emissions and compensating for these by reducing emissions elsewhere, or by removing an equal amount of CO2 from the atmosphere which can be done through off-setting. A carbon neutral approach “does not prescribe a specific reduction trajectory. It's also less prescriptive regarding the reporting boundary, with the inclusion of wider value chain (Scope 3) emissions being encouraged but not mandatory”

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Why is there a need for net zero?

The 2016 Paris Agreement's “central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius”.

To support the global temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees, “more than 600 companies from across the world have committed to making changes in their business operations in line with the Science Based Target Initiative’s (SBTi’s) Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign”, and have set their Net Zero emission targets for a specific date.  

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How can our industry help?

At Nokia we believe the technology we provide enables both environmental and social benefits to individuals, industries and communities that far outweigh any negative impacts. These benefits represent the handprint of digitalization and connectivity. We work hard to maximize this handprint. At the same time, we know we must continually strive to minimize any potential negative impacts of technology. This is our footprint. We work to make our footprint on the world around us as small as possible. We collaborate throughout our value chain to continually minimize our footprint.

Our customers are doing the same. The GSMA’s Mobile Net Zero report shows 62 operators, representing 61% of the industry by revenue and 46% by connections, have committed to science-based targets intended to rapidly reduce their direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2030; an increase of 12 operators since 2022. A large proportion of operators have also committed to net zero targets by 2050 or earlier, accounting for 39% of mobile connections and 43% of global revenue. 

Building on our previous climate targets

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What are the different emission scopes?

The emissions a company creates in its own operations and across its value chain are:

 

  • Scope 1 emissions — GHG emissions that a company creates directly, for example through its facilities and fleet.
  • Scope 2 emissions — Indirect GHG emissions, mostly from purchased electricity.
  • Scope 3 emissions — All the GHG emissions that the organization is indirectly responsible for, across its value chain. For example, buying products from suppliers, through to the use of its products by its customers. 

Nokia's approach

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What is the Science Based Targets initiative?

The SBTi is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi5:
 

  • Defines and promotes best practice in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science.
  • Provides technical assistance and expert resources to companies who set science-based targets in line with the latest climate science.
  • Brings together a team of experts to provide companies with independent assessment and validation of targets.
  • The SBTi was the lead partner of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign - an urgent call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies, business and industry leaders, which mobilized companies to set net-zero science-based targets in line with a 1.5°C future.