Nokia and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) provide a common framework and set of goals for all countries, all industries, all companies and all individuals to achieve a truly sustainable world. For us, goals 8, 9, and 13 are the most material and provide the areas in which we can have the greatest positive impact.
Beyond these, the work we do actively contributes to all 17 SDGs. Some examples can be found below. We believe technology will continue to play a key role in accelerating and achieving all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
We provide technology that connects the unconnected bringing access to information, education, healthcare and greater economic opportunity. In 2020, we delivered technology that improved network capacity, connectivity and coverage in many emerging and other markets with new cooperation announced in countries and territories such as Azerbaijan, Colombia, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Togo.
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Connectivity, IoT applications and sensors, AI, Machine Learning and other new technologies bring faster access to information and greater efficiency across industry and agriculture. For example, we have joined hands with Vi CSR, the CSR arm of Vodafone Idea Limited, to enhance farming practices of 50 000 farmers by establishing smart and sustainable agricultural practices in India. The smart agriculture-as-a-service solution, which utilizes Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) solution, will provide data to help farmers improve soy and cotton crop yields, as well as reduce their impact on the environment.
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.
The digitalization and connectivity of healthcare is already beginning to yield benefits. We help healthcare organizations use intelligent infrastructure and digital technologies to reduce costs and support better, more targeted patient care. Our solutions enable the automation of manual processes, to share medical information more easily, and provide connectivity to support health monitoring, automated workflows and innovative new treatments. High-resolution video consultations, assistance robots and smart wearables enabled by 5G all help to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of treatments.
4. Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
The role of education is undeniable in enabling economic prosperity for individuals and countries. Our corporate community investment programs also emphasize the importance of education. In 2020 we continued our work to bring internet connectivity and quality digital education materials to children in Kenya with UNICEF.
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Our ambition remains to have a gender balance that reflects the world around us, and a workplace where both men and women have an equal opportunity to succeed in every function and at every level. To ensure that the unexplained pay gap which was first closed in 2019 stays closed, we consistently address decisions, practices, and processes which might cause the unexplained pay gap to reopen. For example, we have put measures in place that aim to avoid inheriting the former pay gap of new hires, and we ensure objectivity through the use of graduate offer matrices globally.
6. Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.
Our own operations are not heavily water-dependent, we realize that some parts of our supply chain may operate in areas of high water-security risk. We earlier identified supplier categories where water may be a material risk and have begun to address these suppliers with a water assessment program. In 2020, 275 (237 in 2019) of our manufacturing suppliers representing over 52 percent of total spend, completed the CDP water assessment.
7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Mission-critical communications networks are essential for power utilities. The digitalization of power utilities will bring sustainable power efficiency to enable both increased quality and potential cost savings to end consumers. We work with a range of energy companies and utilities to help them evolve, digitalize and drive efficiency and sustainability in their operations.
8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work.
As a global company we have significant direct and indirect economic impact. Our direct economic impact includes for example our purchasing from suppliers, wages and benefits paid to our employees, income taxes paid to the public sector, and community investments. We contribute indirectly to the economy in many ways, but the benefits of the technology we provide deliver our greatest indirect impact. Our own research has found that 5G-enabled industries have the potential to add USD 8 trillion to global GDP by 2030, as COVID-19 accelerates medium and long-term digital investment and value creation.
9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
This remains the most material SDG for us in the area of improving people’s lives with our technology. It relates directly to the core of our business. The networks we supply to our customers served 6.6 billion subscriptions by the end of 2020, providing access to people everywhere, connecting them to more information, more public services and greater economic opportunities.
10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
The technology we provide connects the unconnected and helps to bridge the digital divide. We advocate for more urgency on connecting the unconnected through top level engagements in key international fora: for example, we have worked with WEF in the response group to COVID-19, resulting in for example a publication discussing 5G as the enabler of inclusive long-term opportunities. Download the publication here. Also, in the beginning of 2021, our CEO Pekka Lundmark joined the EDISON Alliance, in association with WEF, with the mission to foster affordable and accessible digital opportunities for everyone by 2025.
11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
According to 2020 figures 56% of the world’s population live in cities. While cities grow, there will be increasing pressure on city infrastructure, services and quality of life. Technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and data analytics software are set to drive the development of smart cities that can manage and cope with the growing needs of city living. For example, we are working with the city of Leuven, Belgium, where we are providing 5G-ready private wireless for Leuven Digital City Pole project. The project’s aim is to transform Leuven digital city poles into IoT intelligent urban infrastructure, improving quality of life, enhancing safety and aiding business development.
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
The earth's resources are not infinite. Artificial Intelligence, The Internet of Things, blockchain, and sensors are already being used to bring greater efficiency across industries, greater transparency in supply chains, and improved production, circularity and consumption patterns. A circular approach to business brings more efficient, less wasteful, consumption patterns, while also reducing the use of virgin natural resources. We offer Asset Recovery service to our customers, enabling recycling, reuse and refurbishment of old telecoms equipment, both our own and other manufacturers’.
13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Perhaps the most significant sustainability challenge in our business and on the planet requires that we put in place the processes, procedures and concrete actions to do our part and through the technology we provide help customers, other industries, individuals and society do their part. We have set ambitious targets in line with the 1.5°C warming scenario, and we are committed to reduce our emissions by 50 percent by year 2030. Also, in 2020 we delivered zero-emission products to more than 150 customers globally.
14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resource.
5G, sensors and analytics will play an increasing role in supporting conservation and sustainability of our seas by providing immediate up-to-date information on the environment status on both land and at sea. For example, we worked with other companies and organizations in Finland to demonstrate how 5G and drones can be used to detect blue-green algae in the Baltic Sea.
15. Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.
Managing and nurturing forests and lands and protecting the earth’s biodiversity can be improved by applying technology that provides immediate and constant access to data, analysis, and the tools to quickly react to that data. Protection of our environments also depends on individuals playing their part in their communities. In 2020 we continued our work in India where we have large operations and collaborate with WWF to contribute to rejuvenation, restoration and further conservation of wetlands around the city of Bengaluru.
16. Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.
Ethical business practices are part of our company culture. Our Code of Conduct provides the framework for how we act and do business internally and externally. We work hard to promote and enable a responsible supply chain, respect for human rights and freedom of expression, as well as ensuring an inclusive workplace. We aim to be transparent and active by working with key industry stakeholders including, among others, through our continued membership in the Global Network Initiative (GNI). The GNI is a unique multi-stakeholder group involving leading ICT companies, investors, academics and civil society groups, and of which we are a Board member.
17. Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
We work with a range of stakeholders to drive sustainable development forward while creating shared value for all. These include customers, suppliers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), authorities, governments, other industries and associations.