The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Home / case studies / Case study: How Huawei is reducing the carbon emissions of its products and solutions

Case study: How Huawei is reducing the carbon emissions of its products and solutions

As a global information and communications technology (ICT) leader, providing ICT infrastructure, products and integrated solutions in more than 170 countries and regions around the globe, Huawei makes every effort to offer highly efficient and energy-saving green products and solutions  Tweet This!, to help customers reduce both their operating expenses and carbon emissions.

This case study is based on the 2016 Sustainability Report by Huawei 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.

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Abstract

Providing energy-efficient solutions for networks, sites and equipment, to enable customers to operate at lower costs and with higher energy efficiency, is a top priority for Huawei. In order to reduce the carbon emissions of its products and solutions Huawei took action to:

  • research innovative energy-saving technologies
  • increase the energy performance of networks
  • promote energy conservation and carbon reduction standards

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report Huawei identified a range of material issues, such as broadband inclusion for all, compensation and benefits for employees, product safety, actively responding to cyber security challenges, communications for all. Among these, reducing the carbon emissions of its products and solutions stands out as a key material issue for Huawei.

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 Huawei engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Customers/Consumers

 

·         Customer satisfaction surveys

·         Customer meetings

·         Huawei Fan Club (for consumers)

·         Participation in audits, surveys, and collaborative projects on sustainability (e.g., joint audits with the ICT industry’s Joint Audit Cooperation [JAC])

Employees ·         Meetings with employee representatives

·         Employee surveys (e.g., organizational climate survey)

·         Manager feedback process

Suppliers ·         Supplier meetings and audits

·         Supplier contracts and questionnaires

·         Supplier training sessions and conferences (e.g., the Huawei Global Supplier Sustainability Conference)

Governments

 

 

·         Government policy meetings

·         Inputs to government standards and consultations

·         Governmental and inter-governmental conferences

·         Participation in government projects (e.g., green projects of the Chinese government)

Industry/Standards

Associations

 

·         Industry forums and working groups (e.g., ITU, GeSI, EICC, and QuEST Forum)

·         Industry standards workshops

·         Publication of research reports (e.g., the ICT Sustainable Development Goals Benchmark Report )

NGOs and Communities ·         Participation in community projects

·         Attending conferences organized by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and inviting them to attend Huawei’s conferences

·         Meetings on specific issues of mutual concern

·         Responding to requests for information

Media and Opinion Leaders ·         Individual meetings and interviews

·         Specific events for the media and opinion leaders in key markets (e.g., the Huawei Global Analyst Summit)

·         Inviting the media and opinion leaders to attend Huawei’s events

·         Engagement through social media

Research Institutes/

Academia

 

·         Joint research projects and technology collaboration (e.g., cooperating with a research institute on the ICT Sustainable Development Goals Benchmark Report)

·         Participation in events

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To assess and prioritise material topics, identifying those of highest concern to its stakeholders, Huawei engaged with stakeholders through surveys, asking them to rank topics according to importance.

What actions were taken by Huawei to reduce the carbon emissions of its products and solutions?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report Huawei reports that it took the following actions for reducing the carbon emissions of its products and solutions:

  • Researching innovative energy-saving technologies
  • Huawei researches ground-breaking energy-saving technologies, to support future network developments. Accordingly, it actively collaborates with universities and research institutes and made progress in several 5G areas, including Massive MIMO, network architecture, air interface and all-digital radio frequency technology. These technologies decrease end-to-end network costs, while increasing spectrum utilization and energy efficiency.
  • Increasing the energy performance of networks
  • Huawei seeks to boost the energy performance of customers’ networks through network modernisation, providing energy conservation solutions. It helps customers redesign networks according to actual conditions such as traffic distribution, networking characteristics and the power consumption of equipment and infrastructure. In addition, by means of low-power chips, efficient cooling of power supply, improved software design and dynamic energy management technologies, Huawei increased, in 2016, the energy efficiency of core routers and wireless base stations by 18% and 20%, compared to 2015.
  • Promoting energy conservation and carbon reduction standards
  • Through open collaboration, Huawei drives the research and development of energy conservation and carbon reduction standards across the ICT industry. In 2016, Huawei was an active member of and major contributor to the energy conservation and carbon reduction standards teams of ITU (International Telecommunication Union), ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute), 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and CCSA (China Communications Standards Association), submitting various proposals. These proposals relate to base stations, radio access networks, routers, servers, NFV, and circular economy in the ICT sector.

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is:

Disclosure 302-5 Reductions in energy requirements of products and services

Disclosure 302-5 Reductions in energy requirements of products and services corresponds to:

 

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 Huawei, 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 Huawei: 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.

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