Technology with a Human Touch: Building a Better, Intelligent World
The digital economy is an engine of global economic growth in today's world. New digital technologies, such as 5G, cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence, are reshaping the way we work and live. We believe that all innovations and inventions share the same mission: to make the world a better place. It is this belief that drives us to continue advancing our four sustainability strategies: Digital Inclusion, Security and Trustworthiness, Environmental Protection, and a Healthy and Harmonious Ecosystem. Together with our partners, we are building a better, intelligent world.
Technology for a more inclusive society
The beauty of technology lies in its potential to benefit all and ensure no one is left behind in the digital world. That is why Huawei launched the TECH4ALL initiative, through which we work with partners to drive digital inclusion in four key areas: education, environment, health, and development.
By the end of 2021, we have used digital technology to roll out our education programs, including DigiTruck and DigiSchool, in more than 400 schools, driving equality and quality in education. Over the past year, we have helped 32 protected areas in 25 countries protect biodiversity more efficiently. We have also developed numerous products and services that offer accessibility features for vulnerable groups such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and the elderly. Each month, more than 4.4 million visually impaired people and 800,000 hearing impaired people use the accessibility features on Huawei devices to benefit from an increasingly digital world.
As part of our commitment to bridging the digital divide in remote areas, we have deployed our RuralStar series solutions in more than 70 countries, connecting 60 million people worldwide. We also use ICT to enable industries to go digital, make production safer and more efficient, and create better working environments for employees. For example, 5G-powered smart factories allow steelworkers to work in air-conditioned rooms, smart coal mines enable miners to wear suits at work, and smart ports protect crane operators from serious neck issues.
Technology for more secure, reliable communications
Digital technology can enrich communications and life and promote economic development. However, its growing adoption also brings challenges to cyber security and privacy protection, both of which remain a top priority at Huawei. We strive to develop secure and trustworthy products, solutions, and services that will allow every individual to enjoy a better life in the digital world.
Over the past three decades, we have helped connect more than three billion people around the world, while maintaining a proven track record in security. In 2021, Huawei opened its largest global Cyber Security and Privacy Protection Transparency Center in Dongguan, China. The center is designed to demonstrate solutions and share experience, facilitate communication and innovation, and support security testing and verification. It is open to our global stakeholders, in a bid to jointly create a reliable digital environment.
Various non-market factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts, and natural disasters, are putting unprecedented pressure on the timely delivery and stable operations of communications networks. However, Huawei has stayed committed to what we do best. We believe that it is our responsibility to support stable network operations and ensure uninterrupted communications. Over the past year, we provided timely support for more than 180 major events and emergencies worldwide.
To address challenges throughout our supply chain, we have established backup supply networks at multiple points along multiple paths at multiple levels. We will stick to our strategy of maintaining a globalized, diversified supply chain, and work closely with our suppliers and partners to create a secure, reliable, competitive, and healthy value chain.
Technology for a greener, cleaner environment
As green development continues to gain momentum across the globe, decarbonization and digitalization are becoming imperative. ICT will be key to both processes. Huawei's environmental efforts are driven by the company's green pledge of "Tech for a Better Planet", which focuses on three areas: reducing carbon emissions, promoting renewable energy, and contributing to a circular economy. Our goal is to use innovative technology to protect our planet.
In 2021, Huawei held its Supplier Carbon Emissions Reduction Conference to clarify its strategies and requirements on supply chain emissions reduction. With the support of Huawei, 98% of our top 100 suppliers and energy-intensive suppliers set carbon emissions reduction targets. In the same year, we used over 300 million kWh of electricity from renewable energy sources in our own operations, up 42.3% over 2020.
Huawei's digital power company focuses on five key domains: clean power generation, energy digitalization, transportation electrification, green ICT power infrastructure, and integrated smart energy. In total, our digital power solutions helped customers generate 482.9 billion kWh of green power and save 14.2 billion kWh of electricity. These efforts resulted in a total carbon offset of 230 million tons.
Huawei is also working to build a business model that integrates circular economy practices and a closed-loop value chain. This reduces our impact on the environment and our demand for natural resources. For example, the packaging of Huawei's P50 series smartphones uses 89% less plastic than the P40 series, with plastic accounting for less than 1% of the packaging. In addition, Huawei has joined the Digital with Purpose Movement launched by the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), pledging to combat climate change and report on our progress.
Technology for a better, more harmonious world
We believe that responsible companies should not solely pursue business value, as such a model is simply not sustainable. Social value should be a key consideration whenever companies conduct business activities. As companies contribute social value, they will likely encounter new business opportunities. This will help create a virtuous cycle and drive progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
At Huawei, it is a company policy to care for our employees and always put their safety first. We fully support our employees working in difficult situations, including those in locations hit hard by the pandemic or suffering from conflict, and use digital technology to improve their working environments. In 2021, we invested more than CNY15 billion into employee benefits, reaching a record high.
Huawei emphasizes a culture of integrity and invests heavily to make it a reality. As such, every Huawei employee is required to adhere to the company's Business Conduct Guidelines (BCGs). We also prioritize supplier management and make sustainability a key part of our procurement strategy. In 2021, we assessed the sustainability performance of more than 1,600 major suppliers.
In terms of social responsibilities, Huawei is an active and productive member of every community in which it operates. We use digital technology to make a lasting, positive impact and give back to local communities. In March 2021, Huawei launched the HUAWEI Women Developers program, aiming to help women developers pursue innovation and contribute to an inclusive and diverse world. In July, Huawei announced the Seeds for the Future 2.0 program, in which we plan to invest US$150 million over the next five years to cultivate digital talent. The program is expected to benefit over three million more people around the world. In August, Huawei announced that it would invest US$100 million into the Spark Program in the Asia-Pacific region over the next three years, with the purpose of building a sustainable startup ecosystem in the region. This program is intended to help more startups seize the opportunities posed by digital transformation, achieve business success, and develop more innovative products and solutions for the world.
Technology has the power to change the world and make dreams that once seemed out of reach possible. As a tech company, we believe that technology is a force for good. We will continue to provide products and services with a human touch, push boundaries and keep innovating, and ultimately, bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.
Board Member and Chairman of the CSD Committee