Huawei’s shin­ing road to cor­po­rate re­spon­si­bil­ity

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS | CSR - By LIN WENJIE in Hong Kong cher­rylin@chi­nadai­

Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity has be­come a busi­ness im­per­a­tive for the world’s ma­jor com­pa­nies, as con­sumers are in­creas­ingly con­cerned about the im­pact these firms have on such so­cial is­sues as worker con­di­tions, in­come in­equal­ity, and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity.

Chi­nese telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Huawei Tech­nolo­gies has also caught up with the trend.

The Shen­zhen-based com­pany said it had op­ti­mized its ef­forts in sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in the past year, with fruit­ful achieve­ments in bridg­ing the dig­i­tal di­vide, sup­port­ing stable and se­cure net­work op­er­a­tions, and pro­mot­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion around the world.

Ac­cord­ing to the sus­tain­abil­ity re­port re­leased by the com­pany on Aug 11, Huawei built at least 500 base sta­tions in Sri Lanka a year back, en­abling in­ter­net con­nec­tions to nu­mer­ous house­holds, and de­ployed 50 per­cent of the wire­less base sta­tions and over 70 per­cent of the LTE net­works in Africa to pro­vide bet­ter dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity on the con­ti­nent.

In ad­di­tion, the com­pany also sup­ported ed­u­ca­tion in Ethiopia and Bangladesh, by pro­vid­ing net­work ac­cess for 50,000 Ethiopian stu­dents to learn ef­fi­ciently, and giv­ing tech­nol­ogy train­ing to 240,000 women in Bangladesh, aim­ing to bridge the dig­i­tal di­vide in these less de­vel­oped coun­tries. How­ever, the­com­pany didn’t dis­close the cap­i­tal in­vest­ment for its sus­tain­abil­ity de­vel­op­ment in the re­port.

Along with these ef­forts, Huawei also ex­panded its “Seeds for the Fu­ture” pro­gram, sup­port­ing tech­nol­ogy

Huawei Tech­nolo­gies’ in­vest­ment in the “Seeds for the Fu­ture” pro­gram

train­ing for more than 15,000 work­ers in the in­dus­try across 67 coun­tries around the world.

The pro­gram’s ex­pan­sion comes as the com­pany said it be­lieved that both de­vel­op­ing and de­vel­oped coun­tries are fac­ing a large short­age in skilled tech­nol­ogy work­ers. For ex­am­ple, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has an­tic­i­pated a short­age of up to 800,000 skilled tech­nol­ogy work­ers by 2020.

“We in­vested ap­prox­i­mately $100 mil­lion in the seed pro­gram, but that’s worth­while,” said Kevin Tao Jing-wen, chair­man of Huawei’s Cor­po­rate Sus­tain­abil­ity De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee.

“It is the com­pany’s so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity to meet so­ci­etal needs. We’ve co­op­er­ated with lo­cal schools to nur­ture abil­ity, not just to hunt for tal­ent in the mar­ket­place,” he said.

“Many of the stu­dents came back to work in Huawei and some of them be­came the CEO of one of our na­tional units. As the say­ing goes, the most valu­able in­vest­ment is an in­vest­ment in tal­ent,” he said.

The com­pany spent over $1.4 bil­lion in em­ployee ben­e­fits in 2015, up over 25 per­cent com­pared with a year ear­lier. And the em­ployee lo­cal­iza­tion ra­tio out­side China reached 72 per­cent.

With its vi­sion to pro­mote en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, Huawei said it also in­creased the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of its core routers and wire­less base sta­tions by 25 per­cent and 20 per­cent re­spec­tively last year, saving 44.3 mil­lion kilo­watthour of elec­tric­ity.

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