The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


IDENTIFY - MEASURE - MANAGE - CHANGE

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How Ericsson reduces the carbon footprint of its activities

Case study: How Ericsson reduces the carbon footprint of its activities

As a global ICT (information and communications technology) leader, with customers in 180 countries around the globe, Ericsson seeks to contribute to the global transition towards a low-carbon economy by reducing the environmental impact of its activities  Tweet This!, with a special focus on its carbon footprint.

This case study is based on the 2016 Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report by Ericsson published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

Layout 1

Abstract

Working continuously to track, effectively manage and reduce its environmental footprint is a top priority for Ericsson. In order to reduce the carbon footprint of its activities Ericsson took action to:

  • reduce energy usage in facilities
  • shift from air to surface product transport
  • reduce business travel and vehicle fleet impact

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report Ericsson identified a range of material issues, such as anti-corruption, the right to privacy, product energy performance, responsible sourcing (including materials sourcing), occupational health and safety. Among these, reducing the carbon footprint of its activities stands out as a key material issue for Ericsson.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Ericsson engages with:   

Stakeholder Group
Customers
Shareholders
Employees
Suppliers
Governments
Civil society
Non-govern­mental organisations (NGOs)
Industry partners
Media
Academia
Gen­eral public

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics, Ericsson conducted a survey among a representative sample of active employees and, also, sought feedback from customers and investors through surveys and dialogue.

What actions were taken by Ericsson to reduce the carbon footprint of its activities?

In its 2016 Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report Ericsson reports that it took the following actions for reducing the carbon footprint of its activities:

  • Reducing energy usage in facilities
  • Ericsson achieves more efficient use of its buildings through better workplace functionality (e.g. teamwork workspaces), a shift to more energy-efficient buildings and by driving building requirements. In addition, Ericsson prioritises the use of renewable energy in its facilities (offices, production sites, data centers and test labs). More than 80% of the electricity purchased in Europe comes from green sources and, at year-end 2016, the use of green certified electricity by Ericsson’s facilities increased by 2.5 per cent compared to 2015. Moreover, in 2016 Ericsson announced an agreement with a district heating company in Stockholm, to deliver recycled waste heat from its Global ICT Center in Rosersberg and one verification center in Kista. This agreement is expected to reduce Ericsson’s CO2 emissions by 7,200 tonnes per year.
  • Shifting from air to surface product transport
  • In 2016, Ericsson continued to shift from air to surface transport, to reduce its CO2e emissions. Although product volumes transported were comparable to 2015, Ericsson achieved a reduction of 26 ktonnes CO2e in absolute terms, and is below 1 tonne CO2e per tonne of goods transported.
  • Reducing business travel and vehicle fleet impact
  • In 2016, Ericsson’s business travel emissions dropped by around 4 per cent per employee compared to 2015 not least as a result of virtual meetings, which have become a standard way of how Ericsson works, as a substitute to travel. As regards fleet vehicles, Ericsson aims to reduce CO2e per kilometer in its vehicle fleet by using vehicles more efficiently, implementing telematics and trialing alternative fuels.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization

2) Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption

3) Disclosure 305-4 GHG emissions intensity

4) Disclosure 305-5 Reduction of GHG emissions

 

Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization corresponds to:

Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption corresponds to:

Disclosure 305-4 GHG emissions intensity corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Business theme: GHG emissions
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Business theme: Ocean acidification
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Business theme: Forest degradation

Disclosure 305-5 Reduction of GHG emissions corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Business theme: GHG emissions
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Business theme: Ocean acidification
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Business theme: Forest degradation

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified and IEMA approved Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI-Standards Certified and IEMA approved Course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Ericsson, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Ericsson: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

X