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abstract

Our approach

Our approach to sustainability is built on our company’s purpose – to create technology that helps the world act together. Environmental, Social and Governance criteria (ESG) represent the sixth pillar of our corporate strategy, where we aim to make it a competitive advantage for Nokia and therefore our customers and partners. 

Sustainability is integral to our technology vision 2030, technology strategy as well as Nokia’s business group product and operational strategies.

All of these are underpinned by our unwavering focus on adherence to high standards of integrity and security that build trust and help create the capabilities needed for a more productive, responsible, sustainable and inclusive world. 

Our sustainability strategy

The five ESG focus areas 

Nokia’s sustainability strategy aims to ensure we maximize our impact in the ESG areas most significant to our company. It is implemented through our business groups and consists of five focus areas: Environment (climate and circularity), Industrial Digitalization, Security and Privacy, Bridging the Digital Divide, and Responsible Business. 

We strive to create value and, where possible, exceed stakeholder requirements and expectations while complying with increasing regulatory requirements and stakeholder expectations. Our current sustainability strategy focuses on where we believe we can have the greatest impact on ESG risks and opportunities.

Environment (climate & circularity)

In Environment, we emphasize two areas: climate and circularity. For climate, we look to be the leader in energy efficiency in silicon, software, and systems, providing the networks and operations skills to scale smart energy solutions. We also intend to accelerate our first mover ambition in energy efficiency in 5G-Advanced and 6G through early engagement in standardization and ecosystem development. For circularity, we focus on opportunities to promote hardware circularity and manage the sourcing and reuse of key source materials.

Our handprint and footprint

We believe the technology we provide enables environmental and social benefits to individuals, industries, communities and economies that can outweigh potential negative impacts. These benefits are the handprint of digitalization and connectivity. We have both a social and an environmental handprint. We maximize this handprint.  

We must, however, continually strive to minimize any potential negative impacts of technology.  This is our “footprint”. We have both an environmental and a social footprint. We collaborate throughout our value chain to continually minimize our footprint. 

These two aspects of our approach are underpinned by responsible and ethical business practices. We strive to be a trusted, ethical company that our employees, customers, suppliers, partners, governments and investors are proud to work for and with. As part of our responsible approach, we aim for:
 

  • Robust practices, procedures and policies that minimize risk
  • Management accountability for sustainability and responsibility throughout the organization
  • Trust, accountability and ethical behavior as foundations on which we operate
  • ISO-certified and audited management systems
  • A robust people strategy and mature processes to attract, retain and develop talent. 
Our ESG approach graphic

Enabling and engaging our organization and value chain

In 2023 we continued sustainability enablement across our global organization through the ESG Community of Interest, a collaborative innovation platform for knowledge building particularly targeting employees working with customers. During 2023 the community organized sessions on energy efficiency, bridging the digital divide, reporting, sustainable sourcing, circularity and ESG standards.

Governance and Materiality

Our governance model

Sustainability issues are reviewed regularly at all levels of the company. We will continue to strengthen our governance structures and the processes we have established to manage ethical business practices and corporate responsibility, reflecting the significant change in our mode of operation implemented in the company during 2023.

Read more about our governance model here

Materiality

As part of our strategy refresh and in line with good practice, we completed a materiality impact assessment in Spring 2022 with an external consultancy. The results of this assessment are based on desktop research, interviews and a survey conducted with internal and external stakeholder representatives (including employees, customers, investors, suppliers, partners, NGOs and academics), as well as insights from sustainability experts. The new materiality matrix was reviewed by the Group Leadership Team and the Board of Directors.

The diagram below shows the top right quadrant of our new materiality matrix. The magnified top right quadrant shows the topics that are all considered currently most relevant to our business and to stakeholders, the economy and the environment. The top 5 most material topics for Nokia are:
 

  • Climate impact through products 
  • Environmental impact through products and enabling transformation in other industries 
  • Ethical business practices and ethical use of new technologies 
  • Privacy and security 
  • Responsible sourcing

Sources of input for the materiality work included:

The materiality matrix was reviewed by the Group Leadership Team and the Board of Directors and consists of 14 grouped topics: 
 

  • Climate impact through products and enabling transformation in other industries 
  • Ethical business practices and ethical use of new technologies 
  • Privacy and security
  • Responsible sourcing
  • Health and safety of employees 
  • Circularity 
  • Impact innovation 
  • Digital inclusion 
  • Human rights 
  • Diversity and inclusion 
  • Employees’ skills 
  • Nokia’s own environmental impact 
  • Community participation 
  • Biodiversity

Climate, ethical business practices, and how Nokia’s products can enable change in other industries, cities and society continue to be among the most material topics. The most significant growth in importance can be seen in privacy and security, responsible sourcing and circularity.

In Q4 2023 we completed our double materiality assessment in preparation for the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) requirements and related standards. The results of that exercise will provide the basis for our sustainability efforts in 2024. 

Sustainability reporting

Nokia’s People and Planet sustainability report is published annually. The scope of the 2023 sustainability report covers the Nokia Group. In our reporting, we are committed to expanding our transparency and our coverage. Our report is prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards. As part of our reporting, we also recognize other sustainability-reporting frameworks, such as SASB Standards and the UN Global Compact. Our selected key sustainability indicators have been assured by Nokia’s independent auditor, Deloitte.

We have published annual corporate responsibility reports since 1999 and the reports are available in digital format from as far back as 2003 at our report archive

Download the People & Planet 2023 report here. Our index on key ESG frameworks can be found on pages 110-126. 

You can also watch this video about some key achievements and actions in 2023.

Nokia

Our priorities and targets

We set short-, medium- and long-term sustainability targets and report progress on all of them annually in our sustainability report. The status of these targets at the end of 2023 is shown in the following table.

In 2023, we had 31 targets. Our targets for 2024 and beyond are presented after the 2023 achievements. 

Environmental 100% renewable electricity in our own facilities 65% reduction of scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, including 85% reduction of our facilities' GHG emissions Industry verticals adopting private wireless customers (number of customers, in line with business plan) Social Harness Nokia technology, capabilities and funds to improve the lives of 1 500 000 through social digitalization projects, digital skills building, and connecting the unconnected or underserved TRIFR and LTIFR as industry benchmark Governance 98% free status of the smelters. Extended due diligence additional minerals 80% of suppliers receive a satisfactory sustainability score from supplier performance evaluation 2025 2040 Environmental 85% renewable electricity in our own facilities 75% reduction of our facilities' GHG emissions Environmental 50% reduction of our total GHG emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) Final assembly suppliers reach zero emissions 50% reduction of suppliers' GHG emissions 73% reduction of logistics' GHG emissions 95% manufacturing, installation and product takeback Increase recycled content in mechanical part source materials: Cast aluminum used in mechanical parts: to 90% Wrought aluminum, steel and copper alloys, as well as polycarbonate plastics used in mechanical parts: to 50% Environmental Commitment to SBT to reach net zero emissions across value chain Social Provide broadband based digital services with 2 billion more subscriptions Nokias Fiber-to-the-Home technology will connect 140 million new subscribers by 2030, helping break down the digital divide 100% of suppliers delivering high risk activity to meet or exceed “H&S preferred supplier” status Increase the share of women to a minimum of 25% of total employees 2024 2030 Governance Maintain at least 85% favorability of employee/line manager engagement on the importance of ethics and compliance Governance Ethical Business Training (EBT) completed by 95% of employees Social A minimum of 28% female hires in global external recruits 96% of projects to be compliant with HRPIA standards Zero critical or fatal incidents for employees, suppliers and third-parties Reduction in Total Recordable Incident Frequency Rate (TRIFR) and Lost Time Incident Frequency Rate (LTIFR) for Nokia employees Cohort of 60 senior leaders 1 conduct safety tours to sites to increase monitoring visibility 1 4 levels of Nokia management structure

Ratings and recognitions

We take part in a number of ESG-focused ratings, indices and benchmarks. While all such initiatives have a slightly different focus, generally they are used by stakeholders such as customers, investors and civil society to assess a company’s performance in a broad range of sustainability related topics. 

Logo: World's most ethical companies 2024 - Ethisphere

In March 2024 we were once again named by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies®. Nokia is one of three companies in the telecommunications sector and the only Finnish company to be recognized in 2024.

CDP

In February 2024 we were ranked as A- and Leadership status by CDP for our work on and disclosure of climate change data. In March 2024, we received a score of A from CDP Supplier Engagement Rating (SER). It evaluates companies’ work with suppliers to reduce emissions and lower environmental risks in the supply chain.

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In January 2024 Nokia received an ESG Risk Rating of 11.2 and was assessed by Sustainalytics to be at low risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors 

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In October 2023, Nokia was rated ‘Prime’ by ISS ESG Corporate Rating. 

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In August 2023, we received a rating of AAA (on a scale of AAA-CCC) in the MSCI ESG Ratings assessment. 

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In June 2023, FTSE Russell (the trading name of FTSE International Limited and Frank Russell Company) confirmed that Nokia has been independently assessed according to the FTSE4Good criteria, and has satisfied the requirements to become a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series.

ecovadis

In March 2023 we were again awarded a Platinum EcoVadis Medal. This places our company among the top 1 percent of companies assessed by EcoVadis, with especially high scores for environment and sustainable procurement. 

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In March 2023 we were recognized as the leading European hardware company in the World Benchmarking Alliance’s Digital Inclusion Benchmark, where we were placed 24th out of the 200 companies assessed. The benchmark measures how the world’s most influential technology companies are helping to advance a more inclusive digital society. 

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In March 2023 we were certified as a ‘Nasdaq ESG Transparency Partner’ for our engagement in market transparency and in raising environmental standards. 

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Bloomberg has given Nokia a strong score in its Gender Equality Index (GEI) – the fifth time in a row that we are included in this index. In the 2023 Bloomberg GEI, Nokia achieved a Bloomberg GEI overall score of 83.03 percent – our highest score so far and considerably higher than the tech industry’s average score of 72.36 percent. 

Other awards and recognitions 

In addition to customer recognitions, we have won several prestigious awards (iF Design Awards and Red Dot Design Award) for our sustainable packaging design, demonstrating peer recognition.

We are a member of RE100, which gives us a framework to report our renewable energy related activities transparently. Nokia was selected as the winner of the Best Newcomer category in the 2022 RE100 Leadership Awards.

In 2022 we also received the Bharti Foundation's Silver Award for Social Initiative (India), and the first ever Vodafone Group planet award at the Arch Summit in Luxembourg for our work on climate challenges.

RE100 Leadership Awards 2022

Engaging with stakeholders

We work with a range of stakeholders and look for where we can increase collaboration and respond to requirements in building sustainable solutions. Collaboration is key to moving the needle on many sustainability topics – from protecting the environment to bridging the digital divide and improving security. 

Supporting our customers’ sustainability goals

We work with our customers, both communication service providers and enterprises, on sustainability topics ranging from energy and materials efficiency to supply chain transparency, human rights and community involvement. We emphasized this collaboration in 2023 by establishing two more ESG Customer Advisory Councils covering Asia and India, and the Middle East and Africa regions, complementing the existing council for Europe. 

We also engage with the broader ecosystem, for example on climate issues. In December 2023 at COP28 in Dubai, at the launch event commemorating the inauguration of the Finland Pavilion, we presented the importance of digital solutions in accelerating the response to climate change and their role in supporting hard-to-abate industries. To further underline the critical role of digital solutions in decarbonization, Nokia brought together representatives of the ICT sector together with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to outline commitments to decarbonizing digital and accelerating the green transition.  

The following table summarizes how we engage with key stakeholders. 

Nokia and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets remain a key framework for our sustainability work and for many of our customers and partners. Goals 8, 9 and 13 are the most relevant to our business, but we believe that digitalization and enhanced connectivity will continue to play an important role in accelerating and achieving all 17 SDGs. 

Climate change remains the most significant sustainability challenge for our business and for the planet. Through the technology we provide, we help customers, other industries, economies and individuals decarbonize through the digitalization of industrial processes and society, so they become more predictive and productive, with reduced emissions.  

To minimize our own footprint, we focus on both climate and circularity, where we aim for leadership in the energy efficiency of our products and circular practices. In early 2024, we again received a score of A- from CDP for our work and disclosures on carbon emissions.

8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work. 

We connect the unconnected through a broad product portfolio that enables greater digital inclusion across countries globally. We deliver broadband to urban and rural communities through fixed and wireless networks and to businesses and educational institutions through private wireless and campus networks. 

In 2023  we deployed our Rural Connect solution in the Middle East and Africa to connect the unconnected in remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Service providers can use Rural Connect to bring mobile connectivity to remote areas with a cost-optimized radio site solution with high energy efficiency. 

Nokia is collaborating with UNICEF to bridge the digital divide by helping to improve digital education and training in schools in select parts of Senegal, West Africa and launched its new UNICEF program in Vietnam

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9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Nokia products and solutions bring improved efficiencies, productivity and digitalization to industries, providing platforms for innovation and decarbonization. 

For example, in 2023 Nokia partnered with IT provider DXC Technology to launch a managed secure private wireless network and digitalization platform solution that helps industrial enterprises digitally transform their operations. 

We are also working with US energy provider Xcel Energy to help modernize grid operations. The project will include Nokia private wireless network technology, helping support secure, reliable data connectivity and new levels of automation as well as a growing mix of renewable power sources. 

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13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. 

We focus on constantly improving the energy and material efficiency of our products across our portfolio. This helps our customers – both communication service providers and enterprises – minimize their environmental footprints. 

In 2023 we announced a new update to our optics portfolio with PSE-6s, the sixth-generation super-coherent photonic service engine, which can reduce network power consumption in optical transport by up to 40% per bit compared to the PSE-V. 

Nokia has also joined with Orange under the UNIDO-run (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)  Switch to Circular Economy Value Chains initiative. The project aims to support corporates to accelerate their circularity efforts, including with their partners in developing countries. Nokia works closely with Orange to further develop circular approaches in network equipment, including setting up a new refurbishment and repair center in Egypt, which will extend the lifetime of Nokia products.  

In 2023 we also delivered Habrok massive MIMO radios which offer improved energy efficiency in wireless access networks compared to previous generations. 

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