Nokia and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) provide a common framework and set of goals for all countries, all industries, all companies and all individuals to achieve a truly sustainable world. For us, goals 8, 9, 13, and 17 are the most material and provide the areas in which we can have the greatest positive impact.  Beyond these, we believe the technology we produce can positively contribute to all 17 UN SDGs.

The work we do actively contributes to all 17 SDGs. Some examples can be found below.


Technology. We believe technology will continue to play a key role in accelerating and achieving all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere. We provide technology that connects the unconnected bringing access to information, education, health care and greater economic opportunity. For example, in 2018, we delivered technology that improved network capacity and coverage in many emerging markets with new cooperation in countries such as Cameroon, Sudan, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, India, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Senegal, and the Philippines.


2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Connectivity, applications and sensors, AI , Machine Learning and other new technologies bring faster access to information and greater efficiency across industry and agriculture. For example, Internet of Things (IoT) enables farmers the potential to increase productivity and efficiency in a ‘smart’ way. In 2018, weather or crop monitoring, insect detection or soil analysis is made possible through one service, offered via Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING).


3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. 5G, artificial intelligence and new consumer devices are enabling the digitalization of healthcare. For example, as the complexity of IT systems in healthcare grows - robots, telemetry, remote surgery - a reliable, secure network management is essential. Our Software-Defined Networking (SDN) can provide the centralized management, policy-based automation and on-demand service delivery needed to support real-time healthcare which is more adaptive, aware and patient-centric.


4. Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The role of education is undeniable in enabling economic prosperity for individuals and countries. Our corporate community investment programs also emphasize the importance of education. In 2018, we finalised the 5 year program with Save the Children in Myanmar, enabling Early Childhood Care & Development with an emphasis on pre-schoolers and primary education.


5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Our ambition remains to have a gender balance that reflects the world around us, and a workplace where both men and women have an equal opportunity to succeed in every function and at every level. In 2018, we again implemented several initiatives to drive gender balance including hosting 1400 girls globally to experience a day of science in support of the Greenlight for Girls initiative.


6. Ensure access to water and sanitation for all. Although our operations are not heavily water-dependent, we realize that some parts of our supply chain may operate in areas of high water security risk. 2018 was the first year of active engagement with our suppliers on the efficient use of water. We have identified supplier categories where water may be a material risk and have begun to address these suppliers with a water assessment program.


7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Mission-critical communications networks are essential for power utilities. The digitalization of power utilities will bring sustainable power efficiency to enable both increased quality and cost savings to end consumers. For example in 2018, we announced the first private LTE deployment in Brazil for grid automation, allowing fast power restoration in the event of an outage and improving power delivery in Atibaia and parts of the state of Sao Paulo.


8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work. As a global company we have significant direct and indirect economic impact. Our direct economic impact includes for example our purchasing from suppliers, wages and benefits paid to our employees, income taxes paid to the public sector, and community investments. We contribute indirectly to the economy in many ways, but  the benefits of the technology we provide deliver our greatest indirect impact. According to the GSMA, in 2018, mobile technologies and services generated $3.9 trillion of economic value (4.6% of GDP) globally, a contribution that will reach $4.8 trillion (4.8% of GDP) by 2023.


9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. This remains the most material SDG for us in the area of improving people’s lives with our technology. It relates directly to the essence of our business. 6.1 billion subscriptions are connected to the radio networks we supply to our customers giving people everywhere access to greater information, services and economic opportunities. 


10. Reduce inequality within and among countries. The technology we provide connects the unconnected and helps to bridge the digital divide.  We advocate for more urgency on connecting the unconnected through top level engagements in key international fora: for example with the continued activity of our CEO at the UN Broadband Commission, we also hosted a UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation in our premises in Helsinki in March 2019. We also introduced our innovative Community Hosted Network solution to connect remote and rural sites.


11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. More than half of the earth’s population lives in cities. This will increase and we can already see pressure on the existing infrastructure in all major cities in the world. This is creating demand for the new solutions that help manage social, environmental, traffic, public order, safety and security challenges. 5G and IoT play a key role in enable smart city management, such as our projects in Bristol, Chattanooga, Dubai, and Singapore to name a just a few.


12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The earth's resources are not infinite. The Internet of Things, blockchain, and sensors are already being used to bring greater efficiency across industries, greater transparency in supply chains, and improved production and consumption patterns. Technology innovation is the key enabler to bring more efficient production and consumption patterns and enable less waste of critical resources. We work with major industries to digitalize their operations making resource efficiency a key outcome.


13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Our most material goal from an environmental perspective drives many significant activities across the company. Our estimates that mobile operators currently have over €72 billion Radio Access Network (RAN) global energy bill. Our AirScale radio base station solution (BTS) for mobile operators helps build zero emissions networks. In 2018, the customer base station sites we modernized used on average 43% less energy than those where our customers did not modernize.


14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resource. Our environmental activities continue to play a role in supporting this goal, and technology we design and deliver such as IoT, and environmental sensor solutions can contribute to more sustainable use of the oceans resources.


15. Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss. IoT, sensors, big data, environmental analytics and smart solutions are key to management of forests and biodiversity. We work in India on Madiwala Lake conservation project. On World Wetlands Day 2018 Nokia and WWF India launched the conservation and management plan for Madiwala Lake in Bangalore and urban wetlands.


16. Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. Ethical business practices are part of our dna. We continue to work hard to ensure and promote a responsible supply chain, human rights, freedom of expression, and drive the dialog on the positive use of technology in combating modern slavery. In 2018 we underwent our first internal Human Rights Impact Assessment by an external expert and will take learnings from that exercise.


17. Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. We collaborate with a broad range of stakeholders in order to drive sustainable development forward. These include customers, suppliers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), authorities, governments, industry peers, and other associations. For example in 2018 our CEO became a member of the Nordic CEOs for a sustainable future - to drive best practice and collaboration on accelerating the global goals.