Huawei builds greener supply chain

2014 sustainability report shows marked progress

Tags: Eco-friendlyHuawei Technologies CompanyUnited Arab Emirates
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Huawei builds greener supply chain 20 suppliers took part in Huawei’s energy conservation and emissions reduction programme last year, up from four in 2013.
By  David Ndichu Published  June 25, 2015

Huawei reduced its global carbon emissions in 2014 after membership in its green supplier program expanded five-fold last year, according to the company's 2014 Sustainability Report.

Released at a conference on the future of sustainable supply chains, the report sets out Huawei's philosophy and describes its achievements in bridging the digital divide, supporting stable and secure network operations, promoting environmental protection, and seeking win-win development.

"In 2014, Huawei made considerable progress in its sustainability strategy," said Alex Deng, Chairman of Huawei's Corporate Sustainable Development (CSD) Committee, speaking at an event that brought together 150 representatives from European institutions and industry. "We released the Global Connectivity Index, the industry's first comprehensive and quantitative evaluation of the connectivity levels of countries and industries. We also acted aggressively to reduce not only our own emissions, but those of our suppliers."

Twenty suppliers took part in Huawei's energy conservation and emissions reduction programme last year, up from four in 2013, helping to more than double the quantity of carbon dioxide emissions reduced, to 53,652 tonnes from 23,839 tonnes in 2013. Huawei also re-used or recycled more than 97% of its waste in 2014.

"Huawei has incorporated sustainability requirements into our supplier qualification and audit processes," Deng said. "We have also created a platform for suppliers to learn from and share experience with each other. By promoting cooperation on green initiatives between upstream and downstream industry players, we have contributed greatly to a greener supply chain. In addition, we have linked procurement quotas and business opportunities with suppliers' sustainability performance. Suppliers that perform well are given higher procurement quotas and more business opportunities, while the reverse is true for low-performing suppliers. Depending on the situation, Huawei may even terminate business relationships with suppliers that have an exceptionally poor performance."

He added, "Of course, terminating business relationships is only done as a last resort, since Huawei believes it is better to continue working with suppliers to drive sustainable improvement, rather than leaving the suppliers, which does not address the problem. This cooperative approach has effectively encouraged suppliers to proactively manage their sustainability performance and increase competitiveness in a green supply chain."

"The approach outlined in Huawei's latest sustainability report is in line with our view that businesses need to look beyond compliance," said Stefan Crets, Executive Director at CSR Europe, the co-organizer of the conference. "Companies must make sustainable supply chain management an innovation-based business strategy, working with suppliers throughout the value chain to develop broad collaboration, thereby enhancing end-to-end sustainability. We hope to foster collaboration and innovative action among businesses across global supply chains to maximise their contribution to the EU's Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth."

In addition to greening its supply chain, Huawei is moving forward to improve sustainability in various aspects of its business. As part of an initiative to promote the circular economy in the device sector, the company launched a Green Recycling Programme for used mobile phones. Also, the Huawei Honor 6 Plus became the world's first mobile phone to be issued with a Product Water Footprint Verification Statement, issued by TUV SUD, a testing and certification organization based in Europe, indicating the company's leadership position in eco-design.

Over the last decade Huawei has led an ambitious agenda of CSR and Sustainability programs within the Middle East across the ICT sector and beyond. The company's Sustainability strategy focuses on pillars such as bridging the digital divide, ensuring stable & secure network operations, promoting environmental sustainability, and seeking win-win development with its industry partners. Throughout the years, Huawei has advanced a number of local initiatives including its support for "Clean Up UAE" environmental campaign in 2014 and "Gift of Knowledge" CSR campaign with ARAMCO and STC in Saudi Arabia.

Huawei deployed a campus-wide Wi-Fi network for Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs which connected teachers and students with the centre's digital learning platforms. The program was subsidized as part of a mutual corporate responsibility program. Huawei was also honoured by the Arabia CSR Network for its strong contribution and support of the organization's annual Arabia CSR Forum & Awards Ceremony 2014.

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