The Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability

ByDaniel Castle

April 30, 2019

Daniel Castle

In the global economy, people from all parts of the world are touched by the operations of large companies such as Huawei.  All such companies, including Huawei, do their part to fulfill a “social contract” to ensure the world is better for their existence.

This obligation to be a net benefactor of the world is often called “Sustainability” – and sometimes explained as paying attention to “the triple bottom line.”

The Triple Bottom Line is summarized as “People, Profit and Planet.”  These three simple words actually fold-out into a widely complex landscape of trade-offs.  Each company must determine – and act upon – how they are uniquely capable of creating the greatest net benefit.

For many years, Huawei has embraced the UN’s Global Compact, which guides the operations of committed organizations and includes ten principles under the four dimensions of Human Rights, Labor, Environment, and Anti-Corruption.

These ten principles are translated into 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which Huawei uses to develop targets and guide the operations of the company.

While there is a great deal of background and guidance behind each of these Goals, they are described briefly as:

(1) No poverty; (2) zero hunger; (3) good health and well-being; (4) quality education; (5) gender equality; (6) clean water and sanitation; (7) affordable and clean energy; (8) decent work and economic growth; (9) industry, innovation and infrastructure; (10) reduced inequalities; (11) sustainable cities and communities; (12) responsible consumption and production; (13) climate action; (14) life below water; (15) life on land; (16) peace and justice with strong institutions; and (17) partnerships for the Goals.

The nature of Huawei’s business gives the company greater impact upon certain Goals.  As a manufacturer, Goals 8 and 12 are clearly important.  However, the functions of Huawei’s products and solutions have a great impact in many more areas, including Goals 4, 9 and 11.

Huawei has developed four main focus points to help move forward in all areas of Sustainable Development.  These are:

  • Bridging the Digital Divide
  • Supporting Network Stability and Security and Protecting Privacy
  • Promoting Environmental Protection
  • Building a Healthy Industry Ecosystem

Last year, Huawei partnered in the production of a report which compares the impact of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals across 49 different countries. 

How’s Canada Doing?

Surprisingly, while Canada was include in the top one-third of the countries examined, it scored lower than 15 other countries, including most of Western Europe as well as Canada’s neighbor to the south.

This shows that there are still opportunities for Canada to leverage the types of technology which Huawei delivers to be better stewards of our People, Profit, and Planet social obligation.

While Huawei has the potential to touch all areas of the nation through their mandate to ensure ubiquitous broadband for all, there is particular value for Canadians in Huawei’s Smart City solutions, which are designed to greatly improve operations and life-styles in Canada’s urban centers.

Amongst the many capabilities in the Smart City ecosystem is the ability to monitor traffic and make real-time changes to traffic control devices (stop-lights) to optimize the flow of traffic.  Less stop-and-go traffic and fewer red lights have been shown to greatly improve fuel-efficiency and lower emissions in cities where it is deployed.  And while these results are GREAT for the environment – they are also great for your personal ease of mind.  You get to your destination quicker and you arrive far less frustrated than you used to be with traffic.

Of course eventually technologies such as autonomous automobiles (made feasible by Huawei’s Internet-of-Things, or IoT, offerings) will improve things even further.  But for now and the close-in future Huawei’s role in both building and revitalizing various aspects of Canada’s infrastructure will continue to make life for Canadians a little easier – and a lot more interesting – while serving the overall goals of protecting our Planet, taking care of our People, and helping the economy and our citizens to Profit from the march of innovation.

Click the link for more information on Huawei’s Smart City solutions.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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