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Companies can profit from putting climate change at the heart of their business strategy

Oct 31, 2023

[London, 31 October 2023] Companies that fail to embed climate change in their core business strategy risk damaging their reputation – but they also lose the opportunity to launch potentially profitable new lines of business.

Research conducted by GSMA Intelligence with support from Huawei found that 80% of consumers surveyed across 16 countries now view climate change as the world’s No. 1 challenge.

Moreover, it found that 60% of respondents consider climate or sustainability when buying a product, while 45% say they are willing to pay a premium for products and services that have been certified carbon-neutral.

“There is a latent ‘green premium’ available for telecom operators if sustainability criteria can be embedded into product design and marketing,” said Tim Hatt, head of research and consulting at GSMA Intelligence. “Consumers want to align with green brands and will pay for assured credentials on the products they buy, and there is a first-mover advantage still out there for companies to meet this demand.”

The inclination toward such “green purchasing” appeared to be greatest in countries that are most exposed to extreme weather conditions induced by climate change. The highest correlations are seen in fast-growing emerging economies with direct exposure to global warming and extreme weather events. Consumers in such countries indicated an above-average willingness to change their behavior in response to climate change.


In Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, for example, about 60% of survey respondents said they would accept a lower salary in order to work for an organization that had set a target to reduce its carbon emissions. That compares with about half of respondents, on average, in other countries surveyed.

In the Philippines, about 80% of respondents said that climate action and environmental sustainability were “extremely important” or “very important” in their choice of employer.

Saudi consumers indicated they would pay a premium for certain services that was well above the average. For example, about 56% said they were willing to pay more to ride in a carbon-neutral taxi, vs. 40% of consumers in other countries. They were also willing to pay more for hotels, train tickets, broadband internet, groceries, computers, clothing, and smartphones.

In Brazil, close to 90% of survey respondents named climate change as the most pressing global challenge requiring current action. And nearly 70% said they considered climate and environmental sustainability “always” or “most of the time” when choosing a product or service.

“For operators, selling 5G and other technologies to enterprise verticals offers both productivity gains and higher power efficiency,” said Tim Hatt of GSMA Intelligence. “The latter has historically been underappreciated but is now center stage; any company on a 2050 net-zero timeline will have to cut CO2 emissions by 50% in each successive decade.

“Sustainable investing is here to stay, and the direction is to incorporate more climate-related KPIs as a core part of company ratings, reflecting demand from consumers, asset managers, and regulators.”

All three GSMA Intelligence white papers are available here.

The issue of making a SustainableTransition to cleaner energy is the subject of the latest edition of Transform, Huawei’s thought leadership magazine.

Published every two months, Transform is an online and print magazine that runs video interviews, newsmaker profiles, and feature articles that examine the relationship between technology, business, and society. A PDF of the magazine can be downloaded from the website, and a hard-copy edition is available in some geographic locations and upon request.

Each edition is about one topic. Recent examples include cyber security, healthcare, and sustainability.

For more information about Transform, please contact Transform Editor Winter Wright (, or Editor-in-Chief Gavin Allen (

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