Nokia aims to halve carbon emissions by 2030

(Image credit: Pixabay)

Nokia is to halve the emissions produced by its own operations and its products by 2030 as part of more ambitious climate targets.

The Finnish telecoms equipment manufacturer first committed to ‘Science Based Targets (SBTs)’, goals that are authenticated and validated by an independent body, back in 2017 and had delivered 90% of these by 2019.

However, these original SBTs were set in line with a 2°C global warming scenario whereas the new SBTs assume a 1.5° limit and are based on 2019 data.

Nokia carbon footprint

Nokia plans to achieve its targets through more efficient product design, hardware and software upgrades, and by reducing the carbon footprint of its logistics, assembly, and supply chain operations.

“We have led the way in reducing emissions from our own operations and helping our customers to do the same by continuously innovating to make our products more energy efficient in recent years,” said Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark.

“But climate change is a race against time. These tougher, new, scientifically-calibrated climate targets mean we will go further and faster to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure sustainability is at the heart of our product design and the smart solutions we enable.”

Products in use represent the largest share of the firm’s carbon footprint so a large part of the new targets involve measures to enhance their efficiency.

Nokia has already designed chipsets that cut energy use by two thirds and deployed AI that can power down parts of the radio network during periods of low demand. The company was also the first vendor to deliver a 5G base station with liquid cooling that reduces cooling system consumption by up to 90% and CO2 emissions by 80%.

These measures are especially important in the 5G era because operators will have to densify their networks with greater numbers of base stations and micro infrastructure like small cells. However, this densification will increase power consumption.

Nokia has delivered zero-emission products to more than 150 customers and noted that in 2019, base stations that had been modernised consumed 46 per cent less energy than sites that hadn’t been upgraded.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.