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Nokia Releases 2011 Sustainability Report and New Company Strategy

Words by Samantha Neary
Leadership & Transparency

For a long time, whenever I heard the brand name Nokia, only thoughts of virtually indestructible analog cell phones with the Snake game (remember that? hours of entertainment.) came to mind. These days, however, Nokia stands for much much more, especially in terms of its sustainability and social responsibility initiatives. In fact, Nokia has been issuing sustainability reports since 2002, and 2011 marks no difference in that respect. This past year's report does, however, reflect several monumental changes in the technology company's strategy towards sustainability and social responsibility. The 2011 report reflects this new strategy within three central pillars:

  • A partnership with Microsoft to deliver industry-leading smartphones using the Windows phone operating system that meet Nokia's strict environmental requirements.

  • The goal to connect those with limited economic means to the benefits of mobile communications with the February launch of Asha, a range of devices offering consumers smartphone features like touch screen, QWERTY keyboards, and games at lower, more affordable price points.

  • A focus on "future disruptions" – technology, business, and process areas that Nokia has identified as having a profound influence on its industry.

Nokia plans to utilize these three pillars to further its established environmental and social goals and assist in the inspiration and attainment for new ones in the years to come.  In terms of achievements in sustainability for 2011, the company can claim a long list within four areas: environmentally leading mobile product range, takeback and recycling, green operations and facilities, and green supply chains and logistics. Key successes include:

  • Reduced the no-load consumption of chargers by over 80 percent and of best-in-class chargers by over 95 percent. The plan is to achieve 75 percent reduction by end of 2012 from the 2006 baseline.

  • Increased the number of take-back points to more than 6,000 in almost 100 countries and collected 661 tons of used mobile phones, batteries and accessories--a 60 percent increase compared to 2010. Nokia operates the world’s largest mobile phone and accessory recycling system.

  • Installed the company's first sources for generating renewable energy: fuel cells at the Sunnyvale facility in the U.S. and a biofuel station at the factory in Chennai, India. Altogether, the renewable electricity share was 193 GWh,which is equal to 40 percent and which reduced CO₂ emissions by 54,500 tons.

  • Decreased CO₂ emissions by 17 percent, compared with the 2006 level, reduced greenhouse gas emissions from offices and R&D premises by 15 percent per person, compared to 2006. Nokia’s CO₂ emissions from air travel have been reduced by 36 percent from 2008 base level, but are 2.8 percent more than in 2010.

  • Reduced waste amount by 23 percent from 2010.

  • Introduced a new code of conduct for direct hardware suppliers--98 percent currently meet all requirements. Suppliers not meeting expectations have been requested to take corrective actions. Furthermore, 91 percent of suppliers' sites were certified to ISO14001 and maintained a high level certification since 2008.

"Nokia undertook a monumental shift in 2011, embarking upon a new strategy that reflected the sea change in the mobile industry and our intent to both stay ahead of, and capitalize on, the challenges facing us," said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, "I’m proud to say that even in a year of such big change, Nokia’s commitment to sustainability remained firm."

To view the full report, click here.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Samantha Neary

Samantha is a graduate of Boston University with concentrations in English, Biology and Environmental Policy. After working in higher education textbook publishing for some time, she turned to the freelance writing world and now reports on corporate social responsibility, green technology and policy, and conservation for TriplePundit.

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