Chairwoman of the Board and Executive Vice President
Information and communications technology (ICT) has played a significant role in stimulating economic growth and social progress. Now we must further leverage its potential to promote global prosperity, inclusiveness, and sustainability. Huawei is a staunch supporter of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we firmly believe that ICT will play a critical role in helping the UN implement its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at scale and with quality.
Increasing connectivity to achieve sustainable development
In essence, ICT is an accelerator. It gives more people access to networks, increases overall connectivity, and raises efficiency. It also enables the widespread use of the technologies and solutions that are necessary to achieving the SDGs. For example, in Kenya, more than 200,000 residents now use Huawei's digital clinics and telemedicine platform, which has helped dramatically reduce medical costs. Another example is WTTx, a broadband access solution that uses wireless technology to provide fiber-like experience to households. Both in densely populated urban areas and also in vast, remote rural areas, WTTx has lowered the costs of last-mile broadband access by 75% compared to fixed networks. Now more people can integrate more closely with the outside world. ICT has created new opportunities for building a sustainable future.
Building a robust ecosystem to promote positive, expeditious change
Ultra-broadband has provided the foundation for emerging technologies like data centers, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT), which are all becoming engines of economic growth. We are gradually approaching ubiquitous connectivity, and smart devices have become an important part of our daily lives. Smart applications based on big data are emerging, including smart transportation, smart manufacturing, and smart healthcare, and all industries face the need to go digital. This will change both production and business models. It will also dramatically change the way we work and live; it will boost efficiency and value creation, and effectively reduce resource consumption.
As an enabler and driver of an intelligent world, Huawei has invested heavily in developing future-proof technologies, solutions, and business models. We work closely with all stakeholders to cultivate an ICT ecosystem that promotes positive, expeditious change. As our world evolves into an intelligent world, the only way we can ensure a sustainable future is by actively embracing change.
Responsive and responsible leadership
At the World Economic Forum in January 2017, I signed The Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership on behalf of Huawei. We will ensure that our company's strategic goals are aligned with the long-term goals of society as a whole. We are committed to sustainable value creation, and will not sacrifice long-term economic prosperity and social welfare for our own short-term interests. Huawei will hold true to the convictions outlined in the compact and adhere to sustainable development practices. We will launch favorable policies and initiatives to achieve sustainable growth and contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
Building a sustainable, better connected world
To reach the targets set out in the SDGs by 2030, we must fully unleash the potential of ICT. Every organization along the value chain needs to deploy ICT infrastructure more extensively around the globe, especially broadband networks. We also need to create a favorable policy environment to promote the efficient application of ICT. This will drive greater economic, social, and environmental prosperity, helping ensure widespread sustainable development.
Huawei continues to maintain strategic focus, patiently applying ourselves to breakthroughs in key domains. It is our responsibility to support the UN in its pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, and it's one that we take seriously. Through open collaboration with our partners, we aim to connect all people and all things, and build a sustainable, better connected world together.
Chairman of the CSD Committee
Short-term thinking has become widespread amongst enterprise investors and executives, especially with the increase in global uncertainties and downward economic trends of the past few years. Strong determination and commitment to sustainable development on the part of executives can significantly reduce operational risks and drive healthy business development.
At Huawei, our corporate strategy aims to achieve long-term and sustainable value creation. We also regularly review our sustainability strategy so it can be better aligned with our corporate strategy. Our sustainability strategy is comprised of four strategic objectives: Bridging the Digital Divide, Supporting Network Stability and Security and Protecting Privacy, Promoting Environmental Protection, and Building a Healthy Ecosystem. By realizing these strategic objectives, we have contributed to progress in the economy, environment, and society, and will continue to do so in the future.
Huawei has been fortunate enough to play the role of building and enabling a Better Connected World. In this role, we help to bridge the global digital divide. Our products and solutions now connect approximately 3 billion people in more than 170 countries and regions, including many underdeveloped and remote regions with harsh geographic environments. For example, in Nepal, Huawei and a local carrier deployed a network connecting the entire route up to the South Base Camp of Mount Everest. Thanks to our efforts, the base camp – once a "blind spot" with no signal coverage – was linked to the rest of the world. In Myanmar, our networks have connected 13 million people (about one-fifth of the country's population) for the first time. We achieved this by overcoming many challenges during network deployment, such as a complicated geographical landscape and patchy transportation infrastructure.
Connectivity itself cannot bridge the digital divide – there is also a critical need to create an enabling and inclusive environment and to boost ICT adoption. Participation in digital transformations will fall short if there is a lack of ICT skills. By the end of 2016, the Huawei Authorized Information Network Academy (HAINA) had trained over 20,000 students from 32 countries, with over 8,000 of these students gaining formal certification. Our flagship CSR program Seeds for the Future has benefited more than 25,000 students from 96 countries and regions. Our ICT technologies and solutions are popular across a range of sectors – Safe City, finance, transportation, and healthcare in particular – and are enabling efficiency and agile innovation in those areas. In 2016, our Kenyan smart healthcare project was completed. Its telemedicine and digital clinic solution has been deployed at over 40 medical facilities in Kenya and benefits more than 200,000 residents in remote areas like Lamu Island.
It is essential that the networks built by Huawei always remain stable and secure. Whenever a disaster occurs (such as an earthquake or tsunami), we are ready to take on the challenge and keep networks stable. In 2016, we delivered robust network support services during nearly 200 key events and natural disasters worldwide, including the G20 Summit held in Hangzhou and the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Ecuador. Supporting network stability is the ultimate social responsibility of all network equipment providers, and this is true for Huawei as well. We adopt an open and transparent approach to cyber security. Our commitment to cyber security will never be outweighed by our commercial interests. We have built an end-to-end global cyber security assurance system. In addition to ensuring our own cyber security, we also emphasize cyber security for our partners, helping to improve expertise in cyber security management across the supply chain. All six of our supply centers worldwide were ISO 28000 certified in 2016.
Huawei is committed to investing more than 10% of its annual revenue in R&D. Our R&D investment in 2016 totaled US$11 billion, and this enabled us to develop innovative green products and build green communications infrastructure. In 2016, we improved the energy efficiency of our core routers and wireless base stations by 18% and 20%, respectively. We applied multiple technologies, such as Symbol Power Saving and Carrier Intelligent Shutdown, to reduce the energy usage of our base stations. These technologies, now widely used in carrier networks, have reduced the energy usage of our remote radio units by more than 20% during non-peak hours.
Also in 2016, eight Huawei smartphones, including the P9, Honor 8, and Mate 9, passed the UL110 Platinum green certification. Huawei's leading green ICT technology and extensive experience in this field are crucial to our competitiveness in sustainability. Huawei proactively contributes to projects aimed at mitigating and responding to climate change. Our goal is to reduce our carbon emissions per unit of sales revenue by 30% by 2020. To that end, we have launched multiple energy conservation and emissions reduction programs. For example, in 2016, we upgraded our energy systems to save 45.7 million kWh of electricity, equivalent to a CO2 emissions reduction of approximately 42,000 tons. We have built solar power stations with a total capacity of 19.3 million kWh. In 2016, these solar power stations generated more than 17 million kWh of electricity, achieving a reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to over 15,000 tons.
Huawei is a responsible corporate citizen and operates with integrity and in compliance with the law. Adherence to business ethics, international conventions, and national laws and regulations is key to our global operations. In an increasingly complicated business environment, we leverage the certainty of legal compliance to tackle the uncertainty of international politics, to bridge discontinuity in the macro environment. The contributions we make to the countries where we operate are not just in the form of direct tax payments, job opportunities, and positive influence on local industry. More importantly, we provide innovative ICT solutions to enable digital engines and drive digital transformation, economic growth, and improvements to quality of life and well-being. We do everything we can to support and give back to local communities, bringing direct benefits to local people. In 2016, we ran approximately 200 community support programs in 70 countries and regions, through which we made significant contributions to local society.
As our 2016 sustainability maturity assessment indicates, Huawei has taken sustainability management to the next level. We achieved this by continuously optimizing our organizational structure, policies, and processes. But we aren't done yet. Moving forward, we will continue to view sustainability as one of our strategic priorities and invest in sustainability over the long term.
In 2017, we will focus on innovation in sustainable development and also on risk control, aiming to build competitiveness in sustainability. We will integrate sustainability further into our business operations to create greater value for business. In external communications, we will remain fact-based and objective as we seek to earn the trust of our stakeholders. Our goal is to build a robust ecosystem for Huawei to sustain its long-term development.