Ericsson: ICT a Catalyst for More Sustainable Development

Telecom infrastructure major, Ericsson announced that its annual Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility report titled “Technology for Good” highlighted its efforts to apply innovation to market based solutions that empower society to help create a more sustainable world.
“As a catalyst for more sustainable development, we have only begun to tap the possibilities of the Networked Society,” said Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson.
Ericsson continues to be a global advocate for the transformational power of ICT solutions to solve global energy, environmental and social challenges.
“The Networked Society brings many opportunities and challenges. Wherever and however we work, we want to ensure that we are a force for good, and that our technology contributes to making the world a better place,” said Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, vice president for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson.
Ericsson’s report highlighted the following initiatives.
Low-carbon economy
To achieve a low-carbon economy, Ericsson’s aim is to continue delivering solutions that will result not in incremental but rather transformative change: where video conferencing substitutes business air travel, intelligent utility grids reinvent how we access and use energy, and cities are designed to be low-carbon.
The ambition of the Stockholm Royal Seaport project is to reach CO2 emissions per inhabitant of 1.5 tonnes per year by 2020, compared to current average emissions of 5.6 tonnes in Sweden and 19.7 tonnes in the United States. Broadband will be a key enabler to reaching this goal.
Reducing networks’ environmental impact
As data traffic grows, the ICT industry needs to increase network energy efficiency to reduce its contribution to global CO2 emissions. Absolute energy consumption is expected to increase over the next ten years, primarily due to adding approximately three times the number of subscribers and about a thousand fold increase in data growth.
In Sweden, for example, the company has seen a 90-fold decrease in energy consumption per amount of data (in kWh/GB) over just four years (2006-2010). Reducing our own environmental impact and that of our products is an important part of Ericsson’s sustainability focus.  Ericsson is on track with the Group target to reduce its carbon footprint by 40 percent over five years (2009-2013).
Launch of Ericsson AIR, an antenna integrated radio unit that has been shown to reduce power consumption by 42 percent.
Its Network Energy Optimization (NEO) service helps operators to maximize subscriber traffic while at the same time reducing energy consumption.
Communication for All
The report also reflects Ericsson’s focus on enabling communications for all, including the 4 billion people living at the base of the pyramid.  The company will continue its efforts to use technology to help meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
To this end, Hans Vestberg joined the Broadband Commission for Digital Development which delivered recommendations to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to accelerate the attainment of the MDGs by 2015 in the report “A 2010 Leadership Imperative: The Future Built on Broadband.” Ericsson is now leading the Climate Change Working Group of the Broadband Commission.