The Pillars & Projects Driving Sustainability at Huawei

ByAfke Schaart

October 28, 2021

Afke Schaart

Committed to Sustainability

Since we were founded in 1987, Huawei has incorporated social responsibility and sustainable development into its business, establishing a sustainable management system based on international standards. As an active member of international organizations such as the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Broadband Commission, and CSR Europe, Huawei continues to share best practices with our partners in the industry.

Since the adoption of the SDGs in 2015 we’ve been committed to play our part in fulfilling these goals. At the WEF Forum in Davos in January 2017, Huawei signed the leadership contract 2030 Vision to catalyze further collaboration and unlock barriers to breakthrough technology innovations for global goals.

We have initiated flagship sustainability projects around the world and are proud that our sustainable development activities have received recognition from the industry, including the:

  • United Nations Global Compact Best Practice Award
  • ITU Sustainability Award
  • GSMA GLOMO Award for outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs.

4 Sustainability Pillars

Taking responsibility to build trust:  Cybersecurity and privacy protection are our top priorities, and we continue to invest and remain transparent in both areas. We have worked to improve our software engineering capabilities and practices, build resilient networks, develop trustworthy and high-quality products, and support stable network operations and trust from our customer.

Contributing to a clean, efficient, low-carbon, and circular economy: We are committed to minimizing our environmental impact in manufacturing, products, and services. Huawei’s innovative products and solutions help industries reduce their energy consumption and emissions, and contribute to the circular economy. We actively work with all our industry partners to shrink our carbon footprint.

Collaborating for the common good: We operate with integrity and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and continue to enhance sustainability risk management. We work to ensure that our employees can develop and realize their personal potential. We conduct due diligence on our global supply chain. We actively contribute to the communities we operate in. We also work with all industry partners to build a healthy and harmonious business ecosystem.

TECH4ALL in Focus

For us it is important that we leave no one behind in the digital world. For that we have launched a dedicated program called TECH4ALL which focuses on digital inclusion initiatives all over the world. We aim to make technology more inclusive by investing in technology, applications, and skills and by focusing on four high-impact domains.

The four domains of TECH4ALL

Why is it so important to us? 7.5 billion people live on this planet, but only half the world has access to digital technology. Half of the world is still trying to catch up. Huawei is committed to helping close this digital divide by finding new ways to connect the unconnected, to empower them. The pandemic accelerated the use of digital technologies making it even more important that no one is left behind.

In terms of technology, we hope that through innovation, technology will be affordable and available to everyone. In terms of applications, we will enable the developer community to develop more applications to meet the needs of different people from different industries, different regions and countries. In terms of digital skills, we will work with governments, local communities and other industries to improve the digital skills of the whole society. We hope that through this joint effort, everybody, young old an all parts of our planet will benefit from the good of digital technology.

Projects in Europe

We have launched biodiversity projects in Italy, Ireland, Austria, the UK, Greece and Norway. For digital inclusion, we have DigiTruck, SmartBus, and StorySign, all of which cover several countries.

Italy: Protecting Oasis Sties

We are working together with WWF and forest rangers to fight illegal hunting in the 12 nationals parks in Italy using AI and Cloud. We also record the sounds of species living in the forests to help researchers understand species’ habits and better protect biodiversity. To monitor three national parks and prevent illegal hunting in Italy in real time, WWF and forest police will cooperate to improve response times and protect native species by fighting illegal activities.

An updated species lists will also be drafted to help governments and researches to understand species habits and protect biodiversity.

Ireland: Smart Whale Sounds

Using technology to protect whales, dolphins, and porpoises off Ireland’s south coast

The South Coast of Ireland is one of the world’s most important foraging, resting, and reproductive habitats for one-third of the world’s whales and dolphins that live there. It is also one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, with large ports as Dublin and Liverpool nearby. In the past decade, marine traffic in the region has exploded tenfold, leaving whales in Irish water facing increasing deadly ship strikes and severe noise pollution. Noise pollution disrupts the lives of whales and dolphins in the sea and is affecting their communication and navigation patterns. It’s also making it more difficult to find mates and reproduce.  Since March 2021, Huawei have worked with Ocean Research & Conservation Ireland to apply autonomous underwater microphones to record whale calls and apply AI to identify and analyze them.

The resulting data will help scientists determine how whales move, their behaviors, seasonal trends, and how noise pollution is changing their patterns. This will help optimize marine spatial planning, including the development of marine protected areas, giving whales and dolphins a safer and friendlier home. In the longer term, the technology could be used to develop an early warning system to instruct ships to reduce speed and avoid ship strikes.

France: DigiTruck

Huawei has partnered with Close the Gap and Simplon, a local French training institute, to provide training in digital skills for unemployed teenagers and for senior citizens. These skills are delivered through the mobile classroom DigiTruck. Equipped with Internet access and smart devices such as computers, smartphones, and VR headsets, DigiTruck is fully solar-powered and can reach the remotest areas – geography and location present no barrier.

On July 5, 2021, DigiTruck France was launched, aiming to train more than 6,000 people in 15 cities.

Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal: Netiquette with SmartBus

SmartBus is a fully accessible, mobile, Wi-Fi equipped interactive classroom. SmartBus aims to help 11-15 year olds better understand the challenges of the online world and become smarter digital citizens.

From September 2019, SmartBuses have visited over 120 schools in four countries including Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.


StorySign is a free mobile app that uses with Huawei mobile AI technology to translate popular children’s books into sign language, helping deaf children 3 to 6 years old to read.

Huawei has cooperated with 15 deaf associations and Penguin Random House and launched StorySign app in December 2018. By now, it has supported 15 sign languages for 71 books, and more that 50,000 families have benefited from it.

We believe that we play a leading role in sustainability – both for the environment and for digital inclusion. However, everyone must get involved – governments, businesses, investors, cities, regions, and even ourselves as individuals can help build a more inclusive and sustainable world.

Read more about Huawei TECH4ALL projects.

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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Afke Schaart

Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs, Huawei Afke is responsible for global engagement with international organizations in domains such as sustainability, digital inclusion, and business ethics.

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