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Ericsson Sustainability Report: Direct Carbon Intensity Drops 6%

Direct emissions from telecommunications firm Ericsson’s in-house activities totaled around 0.84 Mtonnes during 2011. This corresponds to a six percent reduction in direct emissions intensity from Ericsson’s activities year-on-year, according to the company’s 2011 sustainability report.

Last year, the CO2 emissions associated with the lifetime operation of Ericsson products in operation totaled approximately 24 Mtonnes. This represents a 3 percent reduction in the company’s overall carbon intensity compared to 2010 levels, according to the report.

The company is targeting a 40 percent reduction in CO2 intensity, both from its own activities and from its products in operation, by 2013, when compared to a 2008 baseline. Ericsson is “well on track” to meet these targets, the report says

Since 2007, the carbon intensity of three of Ericsson’s activities, namely transportation, facilities and travel, have all fallen. However, from 2010 to 2011, the intensity of the company’s transportation and facilities rose. The carbon intensity of the company’s travel stayed fairly static year-on-year.

In 2010, carbon emissions from Ericsson’s facilities stood at just over two metric tons of CO2e for every metric ton of product it produced. In 2011 this figure rose to around 2.5 metric tons of CO2e for every metric ton of product it produced. Over that period transportation intensity rose from just under two metric tons of CO2e, to two metric tons of CO2e, per metric ton of product it produced.

Despite this rise Ericsson maintains that it is making progress on intensity of these activities. It is trying to shift its transportation from air travel to ground transportation. Last year saw the company reach its target of delivering 70 percent of its product (by weight) using surface transportation, despite an increase in volume. In 2008, just 40 percent of the company’s product, measured by weight, was delivered by surface transport. In 2012, the company wants to increase this figure to 75 percent (see graph below).

In its facilities Ericsson says it focuses on reducing energy consumption per-head; reducing energy consumption in data centers and test labs; and increasing its purchase of green energy “when practical.”

Ericsson’s absolute electricity usage jumped from 650 GWh in 2010 to 830 GWh in 2011. This was mainly due to an increase in total square footage of building space under the company’s control, the report says.

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