Nokia celebrated its 150th birthday in 2015. Who knows what the next 150 years will bring? Nobody of course, but we can be sure that if Nokia is to remain in business decades into the future, we and the entire telco industry must become more sustainable.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, with communications services demand rising a thousand-fold in the next few years, unless the cost per bit is reduced drastically, nobody will be able to afford the advanced services on offer. Secondly, ICT today is estimated to use about 2% of the world’s energy. In 2016, the world’s communications service providers (CSPs) paid a staggering 66 billion euros for the energy to run their radio access networks. Unless energy efficiency improves drastically, ICT will ultimately be using more energy than the world could produce. Clearly, that’s unsustainable for the industry and for the planet.
The telecom industry must reduce its energy use, which by definition leads to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To that end, Nokia is one of the first telco vendors to commit to long-term energy and GHG reduction targets under the independent Science-Based Targets initiative. Set up by various non-governmental organizations, the scheme encourages and independently verifies companies’ long-term targets to help the world move to a low-carbon economy. This is in line with the all-important 2015 Paris climate deal in which 200 countries committed to reaching net zero emissions in the second half of the century.
Under the initiative, Nokia has said it will reduce its own energy use in its offices, factories, vehicles and other facilities by 41% by 2030. We have also set an ambitious but realistic goal to reduce the GHGs emitted by the use of our products by 75% against 2014 levels. Again, our target date is 2030. This second goal will have the greater impact, accounting for 50 times more GHGs than our own energy use.
There are two components to this target’s success – making our products more energy efficient and the take-up of greener and renewable energy by CSPs.
Our Zero Emission network solution and AirScale Radio Access portfolio to modernize networks are already making a substantial contribution to the 75% reduction. However, more needs to be done and we have many initiatives to tell you about as they come to fruition in the future. A good example of the kind of developments we are working on is advanced hardware and software to increase base station power efficiency.
We also see a growing number of CSPs turning to greener electricity supplies and embracing more energy efficient infrastructure. We encourage this wholeheartedly because not only will such measures help to reduce CSPs’ operational costs, but they also show their brands as being environmentally conscious. We believe that by focusing on sustainability, Nokia can help create great benefits for our customers, our industry and for the planet.
Here’s looking forward to our 300-year anniversary as a successful, sustainable business!
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