Ericsson delivered on its sustainability targets and made a series of new commitments in 2021. The company put a particular focus on energy performance and strengthening its ambition to reach Net Zero across its value chain by 2040.
In 2021 Ericsson introduced a new vision to improve lives, redefine business and pioneer a sustainable future. Building on decades as a sustainability pioneer, the company has made a strong commitment to fulfilling this vision through its own efforts and through working across and beyond the ICT ecosystem.
This focus is reflected in Ericsson’s latest Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report, which highlights its 2021 performance across the areas of responsible business, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion.
“Our sustainability-driven solutions and partnerships create real impact for our customers and our stakeholders,” says Heather Johnson, Ericsson’s Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility. “But they also create value for society, whether by enabling the reduction of emissions across industries, creating more energy-efficient networks or helping to bridge the digital divide. We made significant progress towards our sustainability goals in 2021, and we are now setting even more ambitious targets for the future.”
Performance and highlights
Net Zero: In 2021 Ericsson set a long-term ambition to be Net Zero by 2040 across its value chain. To meet this ambition, Ericsson will work towards 1.5°C aligned climate targets set by the Paris Agreement.
The first major milestone is to achieve Net Zero emissions from the company’s own activities by 2030 – as well as reducing emissions by 50 percent in its portfolio and supply chain also by 2030.
Energy performance: To meet customer expectations and help the telecom industry reach Net Zero, Ericsson has developed innovative solutions that enable operator networks to use as little energy as possible while managing expected growth in data traffic, meeting the needs of both current and future 5G networks.
In 2021, Ericsson achieved 36% energy savings from delivered Ericsson Radio System radios versus the legacy portfolio, surpassing the company’s approved Science Based Target of 35 percent one year ahead of schedule.
During 2021, Ericsson also launched a series of ultra-light Massive MIMO radios that are 10 percent more energy efficient than the previous generation.
Digital inclusion: The digital divide continues to be a key challenge to global economic development with roughly 2.9 billion people still offline. With innovative technologies and services, Ericsson and its partners and customers are pioneering new ways to connect societies and improve lives. In 2021 Ericsson continued its partnership with UNICEF in support of the Giga initiative, helping to map schools and assessing their connectivity in 35 countries by the end of 2023.
Ericsson also made a commitment to positively impact one million children and youth by 2025 by providing access to digital learning and skill development programs as part of the World Economic Forum-aligned EDISON Alliance 1 Billion Lives Challenge.
Corporate responsibility: Ericsson continued its focus on health, safety and well-being in 2021, including a robust COVID-19 response that included a focus on employee mental health and access to vaccines in places where they were not easily accessible. In 2021 there was an increase in work-related fatalities compared to 2020, in contrast to the decreasing trend of recent years. The company has declared this unacceptable and is more committed than ever to Target Zero – a goal of zero fatalities and lost workday incidents.
Ericsson launched its revised Code of Business Ethics, which defines both the company’s ethical principles and its expectations of responsibility across the value chain. The company also added integrity as one of its four core values as well as publishing a report on the human rights impact of 5G.
Ericsson’s Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report is part of the Company’s Annual Report and externally assured by an independent third party. It is also produced in accordance with
GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights Reporting Framework.
Get highlights from the 2021 Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report here.