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Views on climate

Explore more about climate action

The many aspects of the road to zero

There is no single road to achieving the 2030 goals or further on to a zero carbon world. We can all take actions on a personal level but also on a business, community, city and country level. During COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, we are bound to hear about commitments, promises and targets, yet they must be followed up by actions. Decarbonization is needed across the board and digitalization will play a critical role.

Below, we explore different aspects of climate action, from what comes after commitment, how we engage with our supply chains, the evolution of the energy industry, and exploring innovation in our value chain. Explore more through the links on the right.

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Roadmap to carbon reduction

Roadmap to carbon reduction

From commitment to impact

Right now, corporations everywhere are making commitments to deliver carbon emission reductions, dedicating themselves to pursuing ambitious goals – and Nokia is among them. But any company can have a vision and commitment to change; the big question is how to get there in practice? Which bits of an operation need to come under the spotlight most urgently? What skillsets do the teams managing change need? What data sets do we need to understand climate impacts and which actions should we take first? Getting all this right is our obsession here at Nokia, building defined roadmaps to help us rapidly travel from commitment to impact.

This is a time for action

As the upcoming COP26 UN Climate Change conference draws near, the time for talk is over. Individuals, governments, corporations and whole societies now need to actively change how we live, work and operate. COP26 is about ‘Uniting the world to tackle climate change’ and we see immense value in uniting internally at Nokia, within our different business groups as well as across our value chain, from our suppliers to our customers. Speaking the same language around decarbonization, understanding common terms, setting jointly-agreed boundaries and using shared frameworks to create valuable datasets are all key.

Nokia has a long-term climate target, for our whole business, divided into Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. To deliver against this target, we are creating one overall decarbonization roadmap for our business, made up of lots of mini roadmaps. This holistic approach looks at carbon reduction and increasing power efficiency in everything from product creation and R&D laboratory testing to software innovations that help our products to use power more efficiently. It looks at how we are setting and pursuing targets for suppliers to minimize our true operational carbon footprint and how we can structure benefits for our employees to make things like driving a hybrid electric car the more attractive choice. No single direction holds the answer. We need to take action in all these different areas, bringing these mini roadmaps together to help us deliver against our big decarbonization goal. 

COVID-19 and the impact of the pandemic

Nokia, like many companies, has significantly decreased employee commute journeys and business travel during 2020/ 2021. We have also seen the importance of connectivity, with our networks helping to keep the world going. Clearly, continuing to support virtual meetings and remote working where possible will be instrumental in creating the greener and healthier world we desperately need. Online meetings, remote factory inspections and e-purchasing can all become the norm, simply moving dialog with customers into virtual spaces and, in many cases, improving that dialog as more colleagues from both sides are able to enter the conversation remotely. 

But the most important take out the pandemic may have given us is that when the world really wants to change something fast, it can. In March 2020, cities emptied out overnight and the world went online, showing that we can all pivot at speed when we try. It’s this kind of rapid change that we now need to see with regard to climate topics across the corporate world.

Making 5G work for the world

5G is another big environmental focus at Nokia and a key roadmap for us. The hyperconnectivity that 5G enables in pursuit of a wider digitalization agenda positively impacts so many businesses and changes people’s lives. However, the ramp up in production it enables means more data going through our networks, which in turn leads to a greater power draw. We’re actively working to separate growth in data from growth in power consumption.

Incremental vs disruptive change: It’s all vital 

Success will be about leveraging the Nokia environmental efficiency principles across our whole business, carefully knitting together innovations in hardware, software and the infrastructure. Ultimately the biggest impact we can have on climate is making sure that every part of the network is designed in a smarter way. Incremental changes such as making more efficient chipsets, shorter cables and smarter cooling are key. New software can also put systems on standby during the night when there’s less network traffic, transforming carbon loads. At the same time, we are working with our own researchers, universities and affiliated research institutes to look at more innovative low carbon ideas, putting all our brains together to solve the climate challenge.

What can we do better?

The GSMA in its recent ‘The Enablement Effect’ report reveals that the positive impact of digitalization on low carbon development is calculated to be 10 times greater than its negative impact. It goes further to say that “By 2025, estimates based on projections of smartphone users and increases in number of IoT connections could result in a further doubling of the avoided emissions enabled by mobile technologies.”*  But that doesn’t let us at Nokia off the hook. We still have to keep the pressure and focus up. One area where we have urgent work to do is around measurement: understanding the carbon impact of various activities, getting useful, comparable data and being transparent about disclosure. You can rest assured that Nokia will be working on all this and more as COP 26 unfolds.

* https://www.gsma.com/betterfuture/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/GSMA_Enablement_Effect.pdf

Decarbonizing supply chains together

Decarbonizing supply chains together

Empowering suppliers on climate

Supply chains are famously challenging to monitor and really get to know in detail. So when Nokia committed to reset its emission reduction targets in 2019, with the goal of helping to limit average global climate temperature rises to 1.5°C, we knew that our supply chain would need tackling head on. 

As a business, we have been working hard for several years to turn our wider operations and products to low carbon and that has included engaging the suppliers that deliver the materials and services so essential to the Nokia business. You’ll find these accounted for in what we call our ‘Scope 3 emissions’.

We have now set ambitious targets for our component suppliers to cut their emissions by 50% by 2030. That rises to 100% for final assembly suppliers from a 2019 baseline and means they have the same target as Nokia’s own factories. We’re also working with transportation suppliers to help us to bring our logistics emissions down by 73% by 2030. Those are some pretty big numbers and rightly so, when you look at the scale of the challenges facing our world.

Of course, climate science is a relatively new field and Nokia is on a learning curve too, working out how best to engage stakeholders around key topics to rapidly transform our business. That’s why we have set up an annual process of supplier engagement that embraces awareness raising and good practice sharing, climate data collection and reporting, performance evaluation and, recognizing and rewarding great results. To get inside how we’re working together to deliver change, we can walk you through each of these areas of activity in turn:

COP26 Compass award

Honored to win COP26 Compass award for capacity building. The awards are run by DEFRA UK (Department for Environment , Food and Rural Affairs UK ) and the Responsible Business Alliance.

  • Awareness raising and good practice sharing.
    Every year, we host the Nokia Supplier Climate Webinar where we share our expectations, 2030 targets and good practices coming from different stakeholders within Nokia such as R&D, Logistics, Travel and Fleet and Real Estate. This is a great example of how our environmental experts from different Business Units are connecting, consolidating and sharing their insights and learning. The aim is to cultivate good practices across our supplier networks and find inspiring new angles for our suppliers to work on each year. And we too can learn from our suppliers.
  • Climate data collection and reporting.
    We send out an annual climate assessment questionnaire via CDP to nearly 600 suppliers, supported by practical guidance and sessions on how to measure CO2 and how to fill out the required information. In case you’re unfamiliar with CDP (formerly known as Carbon Disclosure Project), this global not-for-profit organization helps cities and companies like ours disclose their environmental impact, with the aim of making environmental reporting and risk management a business norm for us all. Following these assessment rounds, results are communicated with suppliers and tailored advice is shared with the next steps, based on their performance. When it comes to our final assembly suppliers, data collection and monitoring take place on a much more stringent monthly basis. Performance and reduction projects track and benchmark impact within our own factories.
  • Integrating results into performance evaluation.
    Supplier performance results are embedded into our Supplier Performance Evaluation process. Our suppliers receive scores for sustainability/carbon reduction alongside those for quality, business delivery, relationship, and innovation performance.
  • Rewarding and recognizing best examples 
    Recognizing great practice is as important as penalizing the bad so we have embedded sustainability and carbon reduction into our Nokia Procurement Diamond Awards which are hosted by our top leadership team, including our CEO.

Diamond Awards

The winner of 2021 Diamond Awards Sustainability Category Wus Printed Circuits has contributed significantly to CO2 emission reductions of PCB manufacturing having cut the emissions of PCBs by half over the past 5 years.

This has been achieved through green energy generation, production process improvements, increasing energy recovery and investment in energy saving facilities. This helps Nokia to address one of the most energy intense parts in its supply chain and cut our supplier born Scope 3 emissions.

Transparency matters — we still have work to do

It’s a tough operating environment out there and Nokia is clear that no change will happen without our teams tirelessly and proactively engaging with our valued supply chain partners: educating, inspiring, modelling and rewarding the changes that we want to achieve, together.

We engaged with over 600 suppliers last year. 430 of those, representing 61% of our total procurement spend, responded to the request to disclose their climate performance information via CDP. Of that number, 340 disclosed their carbon emissions and 262 also provided emission reduction targets. These carbon reduction initiatives achieved a total saving of 33 million metric tons of CO2e.  Beyond that, 204 of our suppliers are already engaging with their own suppliers on climate topics, driving change further and deeper into the supply chains that we depend on.

Nokia is proud to have created an ecosystem where our climate ambitions are carefully aligned with those of our suppliers. This allows us to share and replicate world-class best practices with a much broader reach than would be possible if we focused on our own operations alone. Clearly, by driving change among hundreds of suppliers and in turn into their sub-suppliers, the impact of our activities is multiplied. 

But this is just the start and we can and must do even better. The path ahead is long and the challenges uncertain – but we intend to keep our activities focused and impact-led and to keep our stakeholders updated on our journey to a healthier, more sustainable world. We’re determined to do our bit with our customers and ecosystem partners.

sustainability

2021 Diamond Awards Sustainability

The winner of 2021 Diamond Awards Sustainability Category Wus Printed Circuits has contributed significantly to CO2 emission reductions of PCB manufacturing having cut the…

innovation

2021 Diamond Awards Innovation

The Winner of 2021 Diamond Awards Innovation category was Nefab who have developed innovative solutions around packaging

Evolving the energy industry

Evolving the energy industry

How the energy industry is evolving to meet the world’s challenges.

Until very recently, the energy industry had remained essentially unchanged for decades. The heavy regulation of power utilities in particular has stifled innovation with the first and last priority being to simply keep the lights on.

But things are evolving – and fast. Accelerate ahead to 2021 and innovation in the energy sector is taking off at incredible rates. In fact, all sorts of utilities from water to electricity and gas are learning to be more agile in the race to Net Zero emissions, integrating more low carbon technologies and flexible processes while keeping reliability and resilience high. Beyond that, power production itself has changed. Power today is increasingly likely to be generated by many de-centralized, lower capacity sources, moving away from that traditional centralized generation>transmission>distribution> delivery approach.

The renewable revolution

Renewable energy is obviously top of mind in the drive to meet 2050’s tough carbon reduction KPIs and energy companies are juggling the many challenges. For example, natural weather patterns create huge variations in how much solar and wind power can be produced at any given time, with these intermittent levels creating havoc for system operators who have to keep frequency ranges within a certain level for the grid to function properly.

The number and geographical distribution of assets deployed in the new renewables world is different too. The sheer volume of assets now connected to the grid requiring monitoring, maintenance, control, and dispatch is dramatically increasing, and new types of assets are constantly being added to the mix: batteries, quick response hydrogen generators and other storage technologies are helping to balance the equation between supply and demand.

At the heart of it all is connectivity and communication, helping operations to function together in a systematic way to keep the lights on – and that’s where Nokia comes in.  

While communication has been critical to energy companies for decades, its role is changing. In this new world, gathering data to create intelligent and timely insights, leading to faster interventions is key. So, even though communications have managed grid assets for a long time, now it is the conduit for managing more assets, at a larger scale, further into the grid with lower latency (delay), more bandwidth and iron-clad security.

Platform convergence makes sense

The distinction between communication and energy control technologies is blurring, with capabilities and features being combined onto one platform to save space and lower energy consumption. These technologies are now working together to accomplish the levels and pervasiveness needed to manage grid assets, down to the smart meters in our homes. The data collected by these systems is also used to trend performance, predict outages and maintenance cycles, and help balance supply and demand in real time. Networks are also being privatized because they are so mission critical. A single communication outage can destroy a grid’s ability to function and impact the reliability and resiliency KPIs set by regulators.

windmill

Advantages from the edge

In the meantime, edge computing is quietly coming center stage, reducing latency and the traffic quantities traversing networks by keeping decisions local and data strictly relevant. For example, distribution automation gear like fault interrupters or sectionalizers can both make decisions and enact them locally, then send the results to the front-end processor. A microgrid consisting of multiple generation elements can make a local decision on which is the best generation source to use, or when to charge or discharge batteries.  It can then send the decision or trend data at the best time. A microgrid can also function in ‘island’ mode when connectivity is not available, with the behavior of those assets determined locally. In a similar manner, a low voltage substation in a neighbourhood could act independently by controlling demand of EV chargers in order to keep balance in that small territory. Scheduling when or how quickly EVs charge and when they all require communications using edge computing can meet latency requirements.

The industry has a lot to do to achieve Net Zero by 2050. It’s going to take everyone working together because energy (whether oil, gas or electricity) is foundational to life as we know it.  

Every industry — across agriculture, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, hospitality, education and more — needs power.  Replacing fossil fuel baseloads with other greener generation like nuclear, green hydrogen and hydro (tidal, run-of-the-river and even pumped storage), as well as creating innovative new technologies to capture excess solar and wind for later use, are all high on the R&D agenda. New policies, regulations and social behaviors are also expected to be developed. 

It will take cross industry collaboration to reach the ambitious targets that we have all set ourselves and Nokia is proud to be at the heart of it all, creating the technologies that help the world act together to deliver a healthier, greener future for our planet. 

Joining forces on sustainable airfreight

Airport

Our maiden CO2-neutral airfreight flights take off

A flight carrying ten tons of Nokia Mobile Networks 5G products from China to Europe in October 2021 marked an important step in Nokia’s drive for sustainability.

This was our first airfreight shipment to be transported using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) following the signing of a deal with DB Schenker (DBS), one of our key logistics providers, for weekly Lufthansa flights.

Nokia aims to halve company emissions by 2030 – and CO2 emissions from airfreight journeys are one key contributor to our carbon footprint. 

As well as the CO2-neutral flight, DBS ensured the shipment was as eco-friendly as possible, all the way from the Shanghai factory to our hub at Tilburg in the Netherlands, by using biofuelled trucks at either end. 

Kim Aaltonen, Nokia’s VP of Logistics & Trade Management, said: “Our initial collaboration with DB Schenker to enable carbon-neutral air transport from Asia to Europe is a key step on our path to reduce transportation carbon emissions.”

Our logistics team uses airfreight as sparingly as possible – but sometimes, especially in the face of global issues such as potential component shortages and urgent customer demand, air transport is the only option for on-time delivery.

Until now, most planes have run on kerosene, a fossil fuel that produces CO2 emissions. However, companies including Finland-based Neste are now producing SAF, which has similar properties but is carbon-neutral.

Our sustainable solution has been tested and approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). When it is burned, the amount of CO2 released is the same as that removed from the atmosphere during the plants’ original growth. 

We hope our SAF-fuelled flights mark the start of innovative sustainability solutions for air transport. We also believe our commitment to SAF will help to inspire others by driving market demand and accelerating the production of more carbon-neutral solutions.

Our initial collaboration with DB Schenker to enable carbon-neutral air transport from Asia to Europe is a big step on our path to reduce transportation carbon emissions.
Kim Aaltonen
VP, Mobile Networks, Logistics & Trade Management at Nokia

What’s in SAF?

Our sustainable aviation fuel includes:

  • Used cooking oil
  • Animal and fish waste 
  • Residue from vegetable oil processing
     

 

Children and the impact of climate change

children protest

© UNICEF/UN0540772/Mawa

Based on an interview with Gautam Narasimhan, Senior Adviser for Climate, Energy and Environment, UNICEF

A view from UNICEF

On November 20th we celebrated World Children’s Day - the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As we celebrate, it is important to recognize that recent record heat waves, wildfires and flooding are creating deeply challenging environments for children. In fact, according to UNICEF one billion children are at “extremely high risk” of the impacts of climate change. In a recently released report, UNICEF have created the Children’s Climate Risk Index, ranking countries based on how vulnerable children are to environmental stresses and extreme weather events. According to UNICEF, the “climate crisis is creating a child’s rights crisis. It is creating a water crisis, a health crisis, an education crisis, a protection crisis and a participation crisis.”

How does the Children’s Climate Risk Index work?

Children’s lack of access to essential services, such as in health, nutrition, education and social protection, makes them particularly susceptible to climate change. Using high-resolution geographical data, the report examines how many children live in areas that experience multiple, overlapping climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses. It also examines child vulnerability, examining 57 variables together to measure risk across countries before ranking each country.  

“The children most vulnerable to climate change live in countries that have contributed the least to global emissions.  For them, among the best investments we can make to reduce their risk is in ensuring that the basic social services they need, such as education, healthcare and water, are resilient to the already present and worsening impacts. Connecting the unconnected is critical in improving access to education, healthcare and other social services.” Gautam Narasimhan, Senior Adviser for Climate, Energy and Environment, UNICEF

Why are children more vulnerable to climate and environmental shocks than adults? 

  • They are physically more vulnerable, and less able to withstand and survive shocks such as floods, droughts, severe weather and heatwaves.
  • They are physiologically more vulnerable. Toxic substances, such as lead and other forms of pollution, affect children more than adults, even at lower doses of exposure.
  • They are more at risk of death compared with adults from diseases that are likely to be exacerbated by climate change, such as malaria and dengue.
  • They have their whole life ahead of them – any deprivation as a result of climate and environmental degradation at a young age can result in a lifetime of lost opportunity.
flood

© UNICEF/UN0540660/Chol

What is Nokia doing in this area?

Education can play an important role in building the knowledge and skills that will contribute to improved sustainability practices and a reduction in emissions at the individual, institutional and communal levels.  As an example, earlier this week, Nokia announced a partnership with UNICEF and Orange Foundation to empower marginalized young people, particularly girls, in Morocco with digital, entrepreneurial and environmental skills. This project is part of UNICEF’s flagship UPSHIFT program, and is an extension of Nokia’s existing relationship with UNICEF in countries across the world.

Next steps

By the end of the program, we expect that at least 1,400 young people in Morocco, of which at least 60% will be girls, will have received training in transferable skills such as working with others, self-esteem, creativity and communication. They will also be supported in digital skills development and in raising their awareness of climate change challenges. At least 500 young people will benefit from the social innovation curriculum, while roughly 250 young people will be assisted in developing projects to launch youth-led ventures. 

Skills-based learning can empower children, adolescents and teachers to participate in climate mitigation, adaptation and climate-resilience activities in schools, to encourage children to become part of the solution to climate change. At Nokia, we create technology that helps the world act together. We are proud to play our part along with our partners in making that a reality.