As global climate change continues to intensify, carbon neutrality is a common goal of many countries. According to a study by the UN, the rise in global temperatures should be kept below 1.5°C to avoid severely impacting climate change. The study suggests that we should in fact exceed the goal set by the Paris Agreement.
ICT Industry: At the Environmental Vanguard
Limiting the rise in global temperatures to just 1.5°C will rely on the joint efforts of global governments and all industry sectors. Transformation towards green economies is urgently required, and the ICT industry should act as a pioneer in this transformation.
According to Huawei’s Global Industry Vision, the carbon emissions per connection in the ICT industry will decrease by 80% by 2025.
This means that the energy saved and carbon emission reductions by ICT technology will far exceed the energy consumed and carbon emissions produced by the ICT industry. Huawei is committed to greatly reducing the environmental impact of ICT products by achieving technological innovations.
Product Lifecycle Assessment
Huawei’s products cover a wide range of scenarios in the ICT industry, including:
- Smart devices
- Wireless access
- Fixed access
- Data communications
- Optical transmission
- Intelligent computing
Our end-to-end portfolio serves more than 3 billion people across more than 170 countries and regions.
As such, we have developed a sustainability strategy that focuses on digital inclusion, security and trustworthiness, environmental protection, and a healthy ecosystem.
In terms of environmental protection, we are committed to minimizing environmental impact during production and operations and throughout our product and service lifecycles. We develop innovative products and solutions to help industries save energy and reduce emissions and work with our industry partners to build a low-carbon society.
Huawei has built in energy conservation and emissions reduction into its end-to-end product development processes. We use ISO and ETSI standards to conduct lifecycle assessments (LCA) and quantify the environmental impact of our products at different stages, including raw material acquisition, production, transportation, usage, and recycling.
We can thus improve product design to make our products more environmentally friendly. LCA has shown us that network products use more energy when they’re in use, while devices generate a much bigger environmental impact through raw materials. Therefore, we’re focusing on improving energy efficiency and material efficiency to make our products more environmentally friendly.
Network Transmission & Switching
For high-power equipment used for network transmission and switching in metro networks, backbone networks, and data centers, we focus on making progress in reducing energy use. We’ve improved chipset and component integration, heat dissipation techniques, and transmission rates. As a result:
- Our all-optical cross-connection (OXC) products consume 45% less energy than traditional ROADM equipment.
- Our routers use 0.3W per Gbit, 30% less than the industry average.
- Our data center switches consume less than 0.13W of energy per Gbit, 50% less than the last generation.
Wireless Access (5G)
For network edge equipment in wireless access scenarios, especially 5G, Huawei has innovated in fields like ultra-large scale antenna arrays, simplified sites, chipset design techniques and algorithms, filters, hardware materials, and heat dissipation techniques. This has:
- Reduced energy consumption of Huawei 5G equipment by 15%, so that energy consumption per bit of 5G is just 4% that of 4G.
- Decreased the weight of heat dissipation equipment in active antenna units by 25% through new manufacturing techniques.
- Decreased the weight of power and shield covers by 30% by using lightweight magnesium alloy.
As 5G technology improves and 5G network capacity increases, the energy consumption per bit will continue to decrease.
For network edge equipment in fixed access scenarios, Huawei focuses on advances in optical line terminals (OLT) and optical network terminals (ONT) to save energy. We have:
- Made our OLT products are 25% more energy efficient than the industry average due to our four-level energy saving control in chipsets, ports, boards, and the equipment as a whole, plus innovations like dynamic frequency modulation.
- Cut electricity use by 6,000 kWh per year for single frames fully configured with Huawei’s OLT products.
- Reduced energy consumption by 20% in ONT equipment with APM energy-saving technology, which automatically triggers sleep mode in products when appropriate.
Since 2013, we’ve been adopting bioplastics in multiple smartphone and smart watch models, which can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 62.6%.
- In 2018, our use of bioplastics reduced carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 612 tons.
- Our Kirin 980 chip is manufactured using 7 nm processors, which improves product performance and energy efficiency and extends battery life by 30% over its predecessor. We forecast that 40 million users will save 114,000 kWh of electricity per day thanks to these improvements.
To cut carbon emissions and the use of wood, we use lightweight packaging, recyclable metal pallets, high-strength paper boxes, and FSC-certified packaging for our consumer products. We make 60% of our packaging materials from recycled pulp, and the rest from well-managed, sustainable forests. In our consumer business, we’ve used 306 tons of FSC-certified packaging materials since 2018.
If we consider each ton of packaging material is made from about 5 m3 of timbers, then Huawei has helped support the sustainability of around 51,033 m2 of forests.
Huawei’s simplified and intelligent 5G Power solution applies solutions for solar access, efficient rectification, and intelligent voltage boosting.
In 2019, ITU awarded the solution the Global Industry Award for Sustainable Impact.
PowerStar reduces the power consumption of base stations by 10% to 15%. We expect PowerStar to help one operator in China use 26 million kWh less electricity in running its wireless networks each year.
Hybrid Power Solution
The digital, AI, and energy storage technologies in Huawei’s hybrid power solution achieve zero carbon emissions, unlike traditional D.Gs. One operator in Ethiopia has already seen annual fuel savings of 12 million liters. At the 21st AfricaCom awards, the solution won the Best Sustainable Power Solution award.
Photovoltaic Power Generation
By the end of 2018, global shipments of Huawei’s smart PV solutions had exceeded 90 GW, generating about 126 billion kWh of clean electricity each year and reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 60 million tons.
The Cauchari 300-MW PV power plant in Argentina has adopted Huawei’s smart PV solution to provide green power for local residents in Jujuy Province, which is expected to reduce carbon emissions by about 598,000 tons each year.
Huawei’s smart cooling solution iCooling@AI uses intelligent technologies to reduce the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of data centers by 8% to 15%. With this solution, the PUE of Huawei’s cloud data center in Langfang has decreased from 1.42 to less than 1.3, saving over 5 million kWh of electricity every year.
Software & Hardware
Advances in both software and hardware have enabled us to extend the lifecycles of mobile phones, improve resource utilization, and enhance consumer experience. Measures include regular EMUI upgrades and affordable battery replacements and repairs.
Huawei has built green, low-carbon campuses alongside measures such as energy management and using clean energy. We have built PV plants in our Dongguan factory, Hangzhou Research Center, Nanjing Research Center, and Xi’an Research Center. These plants have a combined capacity of 19.5 MW, generating over 16 million kWh of electricity in 2018.
Our carbon dioxide emissions per million CNY of sales revenue (US$140 k) were 2.89 tons in 2018, representing a 24.5% decrease compared with 2012.
Our management system is based on international standards that we follow to build green concepts into every aspect of our business. Our Corporate Sustainable Development Committee ensures effective execution and carries out assessments covering leadership, planning, organization and capabilities, process operations, and performance evaluation.
Environmental protection is much more than concepts. Concepts must be fully integrated as part of the concrete actions taken by every country, company, and individual. We must take such action to fulfill our commitments to keeping our planet green.
Huawei calls on all players across the ICT industry to join us in our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. Let’s continue developing innovative, green ICT technology and fully empower the green development of all industries. This is how we will create a better world for future generations – a fully connected, intelligent world.
Click the link to read the Huawei 2018 Sustainability Report.