Digital Inclusion: Driving Equal Access for All
LONDON, July 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Huawei has released its 2018 Sustainability Report announcing updates to the four key strategic areas of its sustainability strategy: digital inclusion, security and trustworthiness, environmental protection, and a healthy and harmonious ecosystem.
Huawei, which is striving to ensure equal access for all by bridging divides and bringing communities together, has been working hard over the past year to help achieve the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is building a sustainable and more inclusive ecosystem with its industry partners, while delivering on its own strategies. These developments are outlined further in the report, which is now in its 11th year of publication.
Key UK highlights of the report include:
- Details of an expanded digital inclusion strategy to ensure digital technology benefits every person, home, and organisation. This strategy builds on connectivity, to pay more attention to applications and skills.
- In the UK alone, official statistics show that five million people have never used the internet; meaning they are cut off from accessing vital services, help and information online. By launching its TECH4ALL initiative, Huawei looks to close this gap and bring digital technology to more people.
- For example, working together with the European Union of the Deaf and the British Deaf Association, Huawei has developed an app called StorySign so that deaf children can access stories. StorySign now supports translation of English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, and Irish.
- During 2011 to 2018, over 250 UK STEM undergraduates from universities across the UK have taken part in the 'Seeds for the Future' programme. Last year, Huawei was pleased to have achieved gender parity among the students selected and sent to China.
- In the UK, Huawei is also progressing its ICT Academy including a £25 million joint research and collaboration group with BT at the University of Cambridge, a longstanding research partner, as well as co-operation with 35 universities and research institutes.
Liang Hua, Chairman of Huawei, said, "Huawei has been creating value for its customers through innovation. We are doing everything we can to bridge the digital divide and meet the world's needs for connectivity." Liang continued, "We want to make digital services more affordable and equally accessible to all, and to do our part in contributing to social and economic development."
Liang explained that environmental protection is also a key component of Huawei's sustainable development initiatives. Liang added, "Energy efficiency has become a major consideration for future communications networks. We have to use less energy to transmit more data, and reduce the overall energy consumption of power systems. ICT technologies can help."
Speaking at the launch of the report in London, Huawei Senior Vice President, Victor Zhang also explained how Huawei has made many innovations in the course of its 5G research, product development, and engineering. This has been made possible by the new Huawei chipsets, system software, professional services, and advanced hardware and heat dissipation technologies. These innovative technologies have made Huawei's 5G more energy-efficient. With the right solutions, Huawei's 5G will be a green technology.
Victor Zhang added, "We want to bring the benefits of digital technology to every person, home, and organization. To this end, we have launched a global digital inclusion initiative called TECH4ALL. For example, our RuralStar solution has connected 40 million rural residents as of the end of 2018."
Zhang added, "We currently provide communications services to over three billion people around the world, and we are committed to supporting secure network operations worldwide. We honor this commitment no matter what. For example," he said, "In 2018, after a magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit Indonesia, Huawei was the first and the only vendor to the scene."
Zhang also announced Huawei's new sustainability strategies, which include two major changes. First, Huawei has expanded its strategy of bridging the digital divide into a digital inclusion strategy. Building on connectivity, the company is now also paying more attention to applications and skills. Second, its strategy of supporting stable and secure network operations and protecting user privacy has been upgraded into the "security and trustworthiness" strategy.
Huawei incorporates sustainability in everything it does – in its innovation, value creation, and value sharing with its partners – so that it can deliver greater business value and social value. Looking forward, Huawei will work even harder and do its part in building a better, sustainable future.
Appendix 1: The 2018 Sustainability Report can be found at:
Appendix 2: Summary of the 2018 Sustainability Report
Digital inclusion: Technology should not be for the few, but for the many. However, there is still a long way to go to make this a reality. According to GSMA, 66% of the world's households remain unconnected, and nearly four billion people around the world have no Internet access. On top of that, more than two billion people around the world lack reliable mobile broadband service. Huawei feels that it has a responsibility towards unconnected communities. Therefore, Huawei has launched its global digital inclusion initiative, TECH4ALL.
Security and trustworthiness: A fully connected, intelligent world is built upon security and trustworthiness. Huawei has made cyber security and privacy protection its top priorities. Within the next five years, Huawei will be investing US$2 billion in enhancing its software engineering capabilities, to better respond to the cyber security and privacy challenges that are affecting the entire industry.
Environmental protection: Huawei supports building a clean, efficient, low-carbon, and circular economy. Huawei is committed to minimizing its environmental impacts during its production and operations and throughout its product and service lifecycles. Huawei uses it innovative products and solutions to help industries conserve energy and reduce emissions, and contribute to a circular economy. The company makes ongoing efforts to work with all industry partners to build a low-carbon society. In 2018, Huawei used about 932 million kWh of electricity from clean energy sources, representing an emissions reduction of about 450,000 tons.
Healthy and harmonious ecosystem: Huawei steps up to its responsibilities as a corporate citizen, and works hand in hand with customers, employees, local communities, and industry partners to create a healthy and harmonious ecosystem. In 2018, Huawei organized 177 community support programs worldwide, to support local sustainable growth.
Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.
Huawei's end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.
At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. We have more than 188,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.
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