We’re in this together – connecting the next billion sustainably
I have just read again all 180 pages of our 2016 People & Planet report, covering our sustainability activities for last year. I am happy to say it is a truly in-depth view of how we work, our achievements and challenges, and future aspirations and targets on our journey to a more sustainable world. It covers our activities on ethical, environmental, and socio-economic dimensions. It is evidence of the sea change in the significance of sustainability in building a successful business.
Conducting business in a responsible, sustainable way is no longer a nice-to-have for companies, but is a must-have for both compliance and business reasons. In 2016, we redesigned our sustainability approach, in line with the new corporate strategy to rebalance for growth. We evaluated more than 40 of the most material sustainability topics based on key factors including global macro trends, our strategy, stakeholder requirements, key global challenges, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We then processed the input to create a view of the issues that are most material to our business and on which we can have the greatest impact.
We interviewed our own sustainability experts, customers, investors, as well as UN and NGO representatives. The results of the materiality assessment helped us to identify the key topics and focus areas and set the long-term targets for the most material areas. Whether we are improving people’s lives with technology, protecting the environment, conducting our business with integrity, or ensuring we respect and nurture our own people, we will continue to work even harder to achieve our sustainability goals and help others achieve theirs.
I’d like to take two examples from our report which I think are quite unique to Nokia. First, we are the only telecommunications network provider that has committed to science based targets when it comes to fighting climate change. We feel that this is our obligation, and we want to track our performance diligently. Second, we have published six real cases of our human rights due diligence. This exceptional transparency was our choice, as we want our audiences to understand the difficult decisions we sometimes face, and where no clear legislation exists. We hope this is the beginning of a constructive dialogue.
At Nokia, we create the technology to connect the world, and aim to do so in a responsible way. But we also know we cannot do this alone. We work together with our customers, suppliers, the industry, other industries, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and institutions to help realize the full potential of the use of technology to achieve a better, more sustainable tomorrow.
A common approach is essential. The United Nations SDGs have already proven to be a great catalyst and inspiration for many countries, companies, and citizens in mobilizing thoughts and actions to solve many of the pressing problems we are facing as humankind. At Nokia, we have aligned our most material sustainability topics with the SDGs, giving us a clear framework and a way to measure our impact in achieving those goals.
I am also happy about our public commitment to support the UN SDGs as part of Finland’s national agenda to create a truly sustainable society by 2050. As part of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development Commitment2050 program, we have committed to helping our customers to connect the next billion by the end of 2022. With our technology expertise, and by connecting things as well as people, we are well positioned to support efforts to address many of the global challenges listed on the UN Sustainable Development agenda.
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