Addressing ESG: Carriers Discuss Different Approaches at the Huawei Better World Summit

Summary Bullets:

D. Kehoe

• The telecom industry has ambitious targets to lower carbon footprint. Environment and social governance (ESG) is becoming inextricably linked to overall corporate strategy and will be reported in financial results.

• Strategies differ by operator, but metrics like network carbon intensity (NCI) will help carriers to better understand, report, and improve energy consumption.

The Internet played a significant role in improving social cohesion and mental health during the pandemic. It has helped keep schools and hospitals open, and allowed for the high-street stores to move online. However, there is also an equally tall task of maintaining the health, welfare, and sustainability of the planet. The shift from offline to online has dramatically increased traffic on carrier networks and operating models for virtually all businesses. While the network is bringing many positive societal gains, spikes in network traffic upwards of 40-60% in 2020 alone is also increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs). With dramatic traffic increases, so does the need to reduce energy costs. Recently Huawei hosted the Better World Summit in Dubai to bring operators from the industry to discuss their sustainability goals. ESG is becoming as important to corporate strategy financial performance. The two are becoming inextricably linked.

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