Tech-Powered Sustainability for a Future of Possibilities


    Dec 18, 2020

    The combined forces of technology and sustainability are opening doors to a future of possibilities. Digital inclusion, environmental protection and trustworthiness in the digital world are three key areas that present the biggest opportunities for propelling this future and benefiting global society.

    At Reuters MOMENTUM Virtual Forum, I had the opportunity to share various ways technology can promote more sustainable living.

    Although modern society has reached new and unbelievable heights, there are still billions of people who lack access to fast and reliable connectivity. Today, more than 40% of the population is not connected to the Internet – representing a huge digital divide and shining a spotlight on the need for digital inclusion. Bridging this digital divide will help improve education, provide better healthcare, and drive sustainable development of communities. So, how do we do this? Huawei provides network services for more than three billion people and, looking ahead, we will continue building connections and promoting digital inclusion as part of our TECH4ALL initiative.

    Next is environmental protection, and the major role technology plays in this by controlling energy consumption. The telecommunications industry has committed to reducing its carbon footprint with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. At Huawei, we have a well-established mechanism to improve the sustainability of our entire supply chain, and our goal is to use innovative products and solutions to help industries reduce energy usage and contribute to building a circular economy.

    To be forthcoming in these efforts, we have closely evaluated our own energy usage. In 2019, in an effort to digitalize our campus management, we reduced energy consumption by over 15% in just one year. Huawei is also driving wider adoption of our smart PV solution worldwide and helping countries transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. For example, the 300 MW PV plant in Argentina will generate 660 million kWh of electricity annually, enough to power 160,000 households.

    Before & after photos of the desert landscape that now houses the 300 MW PV plant in Jujuy, Argentina

    Learn more about what else we’re doing in the following four domains on our Tech for a Better Planet minisite.

    When it comes to technology-driven environmental protection efforts, 5G and AI will work hand-in-hand to tackle climate change and create long-term sustainability. With 5G and its base stations designed to be energy-efficient, it will be far easier to manage networks of smart sensors that monitor environmental conditions to support green initiatives. Moreover, 5G’s high speeds and low latency will enable the creation and deployment of technologies that decrease energy consumption and also make way for smart cities that will deliver sustainability benefits for years to come. With AI, organizations can analyze vast amounts of data to determine patterns that can be used to guide sustainability practices.

    For example, within our TECH4ALL initiative, Huawei has been working with Rainforest Connection to protect tropical rainforests using refurbished, solar-powered Huawei phones as monitoring devices to collect environmental sounds. The audio is transmitted to a secure back-end platform where AI accurately analyzes the data and recognizes sounds related to illegal logging. By the end of this year, Huawei and the Rainforest Connection’s (RFCx) partnership expects to safeguard 6,000 square kilometers of rainforest and four billion trees, boosting carbon dioxide absorption by 30 million tons.

    Installing a Guardian in the California rainforest with Rainforest Connection Founder & CEO Topher White

    ast but not least, building a secure and trusted digital space is critical to sustainability efforts. After all, technology can only be effective if it is also secure, and it’s important that users feel safe when they are entrusting their personal information to technology services. There are many stakeholders involved in securing the cyber space, all of whom play a part in ensuring the integrity of data and data transmission. Huawei invests heavily in building the end-to-end security assurance in our products and solutions. Another part of this is transparency. While Huawei regularly audits suppliers’ sustainability performance and offers training, we are also evaluated by our customers and other international organizations on our own sustainability efforts. In 2019, Huawei received a score of “A” from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an international non-profit operating the world’s largest environmental reporting system.

    As global citizens, it is of the highest importance to preserve our world for not only ourselves, but generations hereafter. Huawei is committed to sustainable socioeconomic development and strives to build a better connected world for everyone. Harnessing advanced technology to establish digital inclusion, protect the environment and build a secure and trustworthy digital world will enable society to achieve sustainable living for a healthier and harmonious future.

    Further Reading:

    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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