Ericsson, a Swedish ICT company with so much to teach

Ericsson's headquarters in Kista, Sweden

If you visit Ericsson's website (, you will immediately realize that it is first of all a company that provides communication technologies and services and secondly you will be able to grasp the importance that is given to Sustainability. In fact, you will find an entire section of the site dedicated to Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility.

In the Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report 2018 a quotation by Ronnie Leten, Chairman of Ericsson, precedes the introduction: «Ericsson’s leadership in sustainability for the past 25 years is a core asset that will continue to be in focus across the company and is becoming an ever more fundamental part of the business.»
Ericsson's philosophy is to create a positive impact on the environment and society. This is still a utopia but we can read it as the intention of the company not to cause too many damages. These ideas are shared by many companies but in reality there are only a few that really work hard to make this philosophy concrete. Ericsson is one of these valuable exceptions.

But how exactly does Ericsson put its philosophy into practice?
Here are some examples:
  • Ericsson has integrated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for how to measure the impacts of the company on society. Particular importance has been given to the achievement of SDG 9 and SDG 17, as you can see from the picture below.
  • Ericsson also uses a circular economy approach so that to reduce environmental impacts and emissions from their operations. We can summarize this approach using three words: design, use and re-use or recycle. Here is how it works: before the production process begins, products are designed for excellent energy performance and sustainable material choices are made so that to enable a high level of recycling. Then Ericsson develops innovative solutions to help customers improve energy performance in operation. Finally, the Ericsson Global Product Take-Back Program (available in almost 200 countries) ensures products at the end of life stage are recycled. Reading the data provided on the website, more than 98% of the material content is recycled. So here it must be said: chapeau!
  • Ericsson assesses annually its carbon footprint. The company aims for a 35% carbon footprint reduction from 2016 to 2022.
  • Ericsson is looking for and is developing solutions that enable operator networks to use as little energy as possible when managing data traffic (which is expected to increase in the near future). This is particularly important in order to meet the needs of the current and future 5G generations.
  • Ericsson's new Italian office is located in Milan, in Lorenteggio Business Village, and it is plastic-free. This is the first plastic-free building for the company but it won’t be the last as it will be used as a model for other Ericsson offices worldwide. Just remember that Lorenteggio Business Village is a complex hosting smart buildings that were developed according to sustainability criteria that have obtained the prestigious international certification Leed Silver (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Not bad at all.
Ericsson is therefore the perfect example of a company that, despite being intrinsically polluting because of its products, is able to make important decisions from an environmental and social point of view. This is neither trivial nor obvious. It is not trivial because when it comes to the future of our Planet and of our children nothing can be called banal. It is not obvious because if it was, all companies would produce in a sustainable way and we would not be here to talk about it.

Written by Francesca Ernani