Filed under: Sustainability in France | Tags: Eco-Labels, France, Government, Life Cycle Analyses, Poverty, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development
Jean-Francois Borloo has unveiled his new plan for boosting sustainable development in France. New goals are set to encourage green economy as well as backing the creation of an World Organisation for global governance on environmental issues.
By launching its new plan ‘La Strategie National du Développement Durable 2010-2013′ government Sarkozy wants to boost the national green economy and fair trade. The new plan is in line with the bills ‘Grenelle d’Environnement I and II‘ that have been presented previously in 2007 and 2010 (1,2).
First of all, the French government wants to make sustainable products more accessible and to more people. As one of the indicators for this, the sales of eco-labelled products should be doubled by 2012.
Secondly, the French government wants to encourage companies to ncrease their recycling practices, use renewable energy and develop responsible products by taking into consideration the complete life cycle of products : from design, production, distribution until disposal or recycling.
Among the goals (see all here) are :
- Reduction of Frances greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2020 compared to 1990 (similar to EU objectives)
- Increasing the part of French national energy consumption to 23% from renewable energy by 2020. Despite extensive oppositions from (fishing) communities in France a RFP will be launched for 600 offshore windmills representing 3000 MW and 10 to 15 billion euros (3)
- Realisation of at least 1000 ‘Agenda 21′ implementations within local communities,
- And a reduction of national poverty by 30% up till 2012.
Special dashboards have been developed to track the progress of a variety of indicators : R&D investments, working women participation within governmental institutions, green house gas emissions, renewable energies, energie consumption transport, life expectancy, pauvrity, working seniors, jobless youngsters, public donations and general social-economical factors like under and unemployment, income spread, demography and fertility rates.
Sarkozy is also supporting the development of a new World Environment Organisation. This new organisation should guarantee environmental governance on a global level. The next Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit 2012 is ought to be the good momentum (4).
If you want to read more about French sustainability developments I invite you to read my previous blogs on : Pacte Ecologique of Nicolas Hulot that urged for stronger governmental intervention ; Grenelle d’Environnement I focussing on Building Sector and Transport ; Why Eco-labels are developed to help consumers make a balanced choice, CSR reporting rules extended to large SMEs ; Grenelle 2 focussing on local application ; How to turn around media ‘saturation’ and Why targeted examples of individual benefits of responsible products and behaviour are needed.
Sources : 1. http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/RepIDDc.pdf ; 2. http://www.environnement-magazine.fr/presse/environnement/actualites/1910/developpement-durable/adoption-de-la-nouvelle-strategie-nationale-de-developpement-durable; 3. http://www.developpementdurable.com/economie/2010/08/A5356/la-france-courtise-enfin-leolien-offshore.html; 4. http://www.euractiv.com/en/sustainability/frances-new-green-bill-inspired-eu-texts-news-493692 ;
Filed under: Best Practices in Sweden | Tags: Ericsson, Global Compact, Life Cycle Analyses, Millennium Goals, Mobile Green Manifesto, Stockholm, TCO2
The Swedish telecoms equipment provider Ericsson has developed ambitious sustainability objectives. Recently it has been nominated by Greenpeace as one of the greenest IT providers. This article will present some of Ericsson’s Sustainability Best Practices, based on my interview with Matilda Gennvi Gustafsson, Ericssons Sustainability Director, and desk research. Among the practices that will be discussed are Ericsson’s eco-design practices, its new calculation concepts (TCO2) and innovative partnerships with other industry peers, universities and NGOs.
Ericsson is a world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment and related services to mobile and fixed network operators globally based in Stockholm, Sweden Ericssons mission statement is stated as follows on the corporate website : ‘Communication is changing the way we live and work. Ericsson plays a key role in this evolution, using innovation to empower people, business and society’ (1).
The Swedish provider is serving customers in 175 countries worldwide, employing 82,500 people, serving 750 million subscribers worldwide and generating an annual turnover of 24,6 billion SEK in 2009 (2) (2,36 billion euro, conversion rate Dec 2009)
Ericsson has five distinct business areas (2) : Firstly, Ericsson is the worlds principal supplier of mobile network components. About 50% of the worlds commercial mobile broadband networks have chosen Ericsson as their supplier. In addition, Ericsson provides Multimedia Services that make it easy for people to activate and use services, such as telecommunication, TV and collaboration services. Thirdly, Ericsson Global Services is providing consultancy services, including network roll-out, systems integration and managed services. The joint-venture, ST Ericsson provides wireless platforms and semiconductors, which enables more than half of all mobile phones in the world. The last business area is serviced by the Sony Ericsson joint-venture that provides mobile phones and accessories to the consumer market.
Matilda Gennvi Gustafsson is Ericssons Sustainability Director since 2009. Mrs Gustafsson holds a degree in Industrial Management and Economics and has covered several roles within the Ericsson organisation, among them in R&D and as the Sustainability responsible at one of the Business Unit. In her role as Sustainability Director she reports to Vice President Sustainability & CR, Elaine Weidman. Elaine Weidman and her team are responsible for Ericssons Sustainability & CR strategy and the annual Sustainable & CR report The Sustainability team is part of the Technology, Portfolio management and Research Group headed by Ericssons Chief Technology Officer, Håkan Eriksson, who reports to Ericssons CEO, Hans Vestberg.
Matilda Gennvi Gustafsson Sustainability Director at Ericsson.
1. What are the key Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility areas of Ericsson ?
Ericsson has defined different key areas for Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility (4):
1 Enabling Communication for all : Ericsson wants to make telecommunication services more accessible and affordable for everyone, in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Among the initiatives that supports these goals is ‘Weather Info for all’. This project revolutionises weather monitoring in Africa. The project is on the fruit of a partnership with the World Meteorological Organization, the World Bank, mobile operator Zain, Orange and MTN and the Earth Institute. It aims roll out up to 5000 automatic weather observation stations throughout Africa, using Ericsson mobile networks (5).
2 Reducing Environmental Impact : Ericsson is using Life Cycle Analyses and Design for Environmental methodologies to study and reduce its environmental impact. The methodologies allow to analyse the complete life cycle, including activities at the telecom operator premises and the end-user context. Ericsson calculates its life-cycle GreenHouseGas emissions every year. In 2009 the company has managed to achieve the 10% incremental reduction it had aimed for and it on track with the CO2 emissions reduction goal of 40% by 2013 (baseline 2008) across the product life cycle.
Ericsson closely tracks it Total Life Cycle CO2 Footprint. In all domains Ericsson has realised a substantial decrease of CO2 emissions (6).
3 Enabling a low-carbon economy : Ericsson believes that the ICT sector can play an important role to reduce other sectors emissions by offering solutions that can facilitate other sector developments with carbon-low alternatives. One industry study, SMART 2020 (7) estimates that ICT has the potential to reduce overall CO2e emissions by around 15 per cent by 2020. It can do this across many areas of society through solutions such as virtual meetings, smart buildings, e- and m-health, smart grids, smart metering, e-and m-learning, smart consumption and dematerialization
Ericsson wants to support these developments with factual analyses and CO2 measurements, such as its recent study ‘Measuring Emissions Right – Accessing the Climate positive Effects of ICTs. The whitepaper describes a methodology, key findings and case studies of calculating carbon emissions of ICT services. Ericsson estimates that smart use of broadband-enabled services can reduce CO2 emissions by a factor of 10kg to 100kg; in other words : The use of a telecom service that emits 1kg of CO2 may enable a 10kg to 100kg reduction in CO2 emissions.
Elements to consider when assessing the CO2 emissions of an ICT service (Ericsson whitepaper ‘Measuring Emissions’ (8)).
4 Conducting Business Responsibility : The Ericsson Group Management System (EGMS) includes policies, directives and guidelines for business processes and risk management applied globally.
5 Caring for the community: Ericsson targets projects that are aligned with its business goals for affordable, accessible communication for all and environmentally sustainable technologies. The Ericsson Group sets the underlying criteria for sponsorship activities, the innovation and decision-making take place at the local level as greatest impact can be achieved where local needs are understood. Ericsson Response is the global initiative that deploys employees and technologies to support the UN and other humanitarian organizations when a disaster occurs. Among the actions are the rapid deployment of communications solutions encompassing Ericsson technologies and skills to support and respond to the communication challenges of each disaster (9).
2. Are Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility (CR) drivers for Innovation for Ericsson ?
Sustainability and CR indeed drives innovation at Ericsson, says Matilda Gennvi Gustafsson. The fact that the Sustainability & CR department is part of the GF Technology & Portfolio Management shows that Sustainability is a central part of Ericsson research and innovation roadmap.
Partnerships. Ericsson is partnering with a variety of NGO’s and scientific partners. Ericsson is supporting the UN Global Compact, founding member of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, as well as member of ‘Solving The e-Waste Problem initiave (STEP) and the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development. In addition, Ericsson has also been one of the telecom vendors providing input to the GSMA report Mobile Green Manifesto that has set out its plan how mobile manufacturers want to reduce their greenhouse emissions (10) .
GSMA report Mobile Green Manifesto presents the mobile telecom industry plans to maintain CO2 emissions by 2020 mitigating the expected 70% increase of mobile (10).
Products that reduce carbon emissions. Ericsson continues to develop and sell to the network telecom operators a variety of services that could reduce green house emissions. The end user services developed by operators may replace individual travel and/or reduce energy consumption and therefore contribute to a reduction of carbon emissions. Examples are e-health distance services, virtual meeting services like web conferencing, distance learning and smart grid logistic and equipment and even includes managed services to network operators : Ericsson operates the network on behalf of its customer (11).
Calculation methods. Ericsson has developed a new TCO2 concept to calculate both the Total Cost of Ownership as well as carbon emissions of solutions. With this concept, network operators are better informed about the greenhouse gas emissions of their existing or new networks, which they need to report and manage. They are informed how to reduce power consumption on a node level and put more traffic through their network (12).
Scheme of the Ericsson TCO2 concept that combines financial and carbon footprint calculations (12).
[Note : Ericsson is combining financial and ecological in an inspiring way. If you are interested in other examples of combining TCO and ecological impact calculations, I invite you to read the examples of in waste treatment at the French Veolia Environnement as well as the Dutch Chemical Company Akzo Nobel who combines financial and ecological impact figures for large investments].
The 50/50% Joint Venture Sony Ericsson, operating independently of the Ericssons company, has been recently awarded in the Greenpece ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’ as one of the most Green ICT providers. Greenpeace comments (12) : ‘Sony Ericsson It is the best performer on the toxic chemicals criteria [….], first to score full marks on all chemicals criteria. It also does well on energy. All Sony Ericsson products are already free from PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), with the exception of [..] components [..] being phased out. Sony Ericsson has already met the challenge of the new criterion on chemicals by banning antimony, beryllium and phthalates from new models launched since January 2008. Moreover, Sony Ericsson is one of only two companies [….] that is proactively lobbying in the EU for the revision of the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics) Directive to adopt a 3 to 5 year timeline for further restrictions on organo-chlorine and bromine substances’.
Sony Ericsson has been awarded as one of the most Green ICT providers by Greenpeace ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’ (13).
3. How does the economical crisis effect the Sustainability Objectives of Ericsson ?
Matilda Gustafsson explains that the Sustainability objectives remain unchanged. However with the increasing focus on cost control, energy efficiency has become even more important since that drives operational cost.
4. What are outlooks for Ericsson ?
Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility will continue to play a key role within the company, according to Mrs Gennvi Gustafsson. Being part of the central innovation department of Ericsson, the GF Technology & Portfolio Management, Mrs Gennvi Gustafsson and her colleagues are cooperating with all departments on sustainability & CR challenges and improving processes and products that respond to these challenges.
The fact that Ericsson is rooted in Swedish culture and is supplying customers on a worldwide scale since more than 130 years, helps Ericsson to be one of the greenest ICT companies, states Matilda Gennvi Gustafsson. Sweden is one of the countries in the world where the citizens, city officials, executives and media are the most aware about the planets sustainability challenges.
An illustration of Swedish front leading Sustainability role is the city of Stockholm, where Ericsson resides: Stockholm has been recently nominated as the first European Green City 2010 (14).
- Stockholm has an extensive integrated City administrative system that guarantees that environmental aspects being considered in budgets, operational planning, reporting and monitoring.
- Taxis are driving on biogas, waste is recycled or used for district heating, sea and waste water are used to heat or cool buildings, transport on bike is encouraged, all buses run on biogas, to name just a few initiatives.
- The City has cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent per inhabitant since 1990
- Lastly it wants to be fossil fuel free by 2050.
Stockholm, European Green City 2010.
Filed under: Directions for Sustainable Innovation | Tags: CEOs, Co-creation, Critical Business Success Factors, Customer Driven Sustainable Innovation, Design For Environment, Implementation, Life Cycle Analyses, Sustainable Development
Today’s CEOs are determined to create sustainable business. ‘Social Responsiblity’ remains a driver. The new ‘Leitmotif’ however is truly commercial : higher business performance through lower costs, stronger customer relationships and increased revenues.
Accenture and the United Nation Global Compact have recently published the results of their global study based on 750 surveys and 50 in-depth interviews with CEOs of large companies (1, 2).
‘A New Era’ has arrived, according to Accenture and Global Compact : Sustainability is now considered to be business critical from now and onwards. Among the key conclusions of the study are :
No less than 93% of the interviewed CEOs believe that Sustainability will be critical to future success of their business. 72% say actions on sustainability issues are important to strengthening their brand, customer trust and company reputation.
Economical downturn has raised the importance of sustainability, according to 80% of the CEOs.
CEOs urge now to actively engage and create sustainable solutions after the ‘defense’ mode due to the economical crisis.
Customers are considered to be the most important stakeholders when it comes to Sustainability, according to 58%. CEOs observe an increasing demand for products and services that address sustainability concerns. And there is no time to waste !
Employees are the second important stakeholders (45%). Hence the importance of internal training on Sustainability issues.
Implementation of Sustainability Strategies. 88% of the CEOs state that sustainability should be implemented through the value chain. Oly (54%) admit that this has been properly done in their own entreprise.
Among the recommendations of Accenture and Global Compact are :
- Customer research on requirements for sustainable products is essential to make the right choices in new product development.
- More and accurate information should be provided to customers, leveraging new technologies such as social media where appropriate.
- Sustainability principles should be built into innovation agendas from design and throughout the lifecycle of product development.
The recommendations match well the findings of The Green Take following interviews with Sustainability Directors in Europe in 2009 and 2010, of which highlights have been published on this blog. To name three of them :
- Sustainability is seen as a business opportunity and a way to survive the (next) economical crisis.
- Customers are considered to be the most important stakeholders to drive Sustainable Development. They request sustainable product alternatives that help them to to manage or reduce their environmental footprint and perform in a socially responsible way.
- Customer Driven Innovation, Life cycle analyses, Design for Environment and Co-creation will be key for successful sustainable innovation.
Source : 1. Nieuwsbrief Duurzaam Ondernemen, http://firstname.lastname@example.org&password=9999&publish=Y, 2. A new era, an Accenture and Global Compact survey, https://microsite.accenture.com/sustainability/research_and_insights/Pages/A-New-Era-of-Sustainability.aspx