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Huawei has accelerated its focus on sustainability as a founder member of the BT Better Future Supplier Forum
Network products from Huawei help a third of the world communicate. And with Alex Deng at the Huawei sustainability helm, care of the planet is already a high priority. But he was keen to go much further, faster. An invitation to be an inaugural member of the BT Better Future Supplier Forum (BFSF) showed him the way ahead.
Since then, Better Future Supplier Forum teamwork has inspired Huawei to set up its own sustainability taskforce, cut its carbon footprint by 23,000 tonnes and, in the process, attain a BT Silver Status Sustainability Award. Now Alex can envision Huawei as an industry green game-changer.
The BT BFSF is a win-win partnership for the two companies. It’s helped make significant progress in ensuring sustainable growth is embedded in product development, production, and implementation at Huawei. True sustainable growth can only be achieved with a rigorous approach and close collaboration.”
- Alex Deng, Chief Sustainability Officer Huawei
Tackling climate change through teamwork
Huawei products and solutions already serve more than a third of the world’s population. They’re at work in more than 140 countries, in the hands of organisations – BT among them – that build and run national and international carrier networks to provide business and consumer communications services and underpin IP-based applications like cloud computing.
Always customer-centric in its approach, Huawei has long recognised that sustainability is a purchasing decision priority. It’s therefore at the heart of everything Huawei designs, manufactures and sells – and a key focus across every one of its business operations worldwide. So, when BT invited Huawei to join the BT Better Future Supplier Forum (BFSF), Huawei jumped at the chance to become a founder member.
Niall Dunne, BT Chief Sustainability Officer, comments: “The new Better Future Supplier Forum demonstrates how collaboration across the supply chain can have a positive impact on our shared environment. By encouraging scrutiny of not only our own operations, but also those of our partners and suppliers, we’re able to offer more sustainable products and services that help ensure we make a net positive contribution for everyone’s benefit.”
Step-by-step towards sustainable success
Like BT, Huawei was keen to transform not only the sustainability of its own organisation, but also of its complete supply chain. The step-by-step structured BFSF approach starts with the application of best practice analysis tools and techniques. These helped Huawei identify both its areas of strength and of opportunity.
The first step in this process was to benchmark the company against ten key sustainability measures, ranging from eco-friendly product design and environmental management, to greenhouse gas emissions strategies, and corporate social responsibility policy.
Based on this assessment, Huawei decided to create its own sustainability action team to work side-by-side with BT people. Together they identified areas where changes could make the biggest impact in cutting carbon emissions. One of these was to harness the power of Huawei R&D resources and focus them towards sustainable product development projects, specifically for BT.
In the first year of BFSF membership for Huawei, it has already achieved some impressive results that deliver both sustainability and bottom-line business benefits. These include more than 23,000 tonnes of carbon savings from changes implemented in manufacturing, packaging, and logistics.
The company has also followed the BT lead by spreading the word to its own suppliers, putting sustainability high on the agenda of its annual supplier conference, attended by around 360 senior employees from 174 companies. Using a series of case studies to illustrate different aspects, Huawei executives explained why sustainability was vital to both its future and their own.
Since then, Huawei has gone a stage further to deepen its sustainability collaboration with BT. Huawei employees from both the UK and China now regularly engage with BT counterparts, their brief being to brainstorm ideas that could become green game-changers for the world’s ICT industry.
In recognition of Huawei’s sustainability advances, both in its own operations and its wider supply chain, BT presented the company with one of the first-ever BFSF Silver Status Awards.
Victor Zhang, CEO of Huawei, comments: “We’re very proud to have been involved in the first year of the BT BFSF and are delighted to have won this award. Sustainability, efficiency, and the reduction of carbon emissions are vital standards by which we measure ourselves, so to be recognised by such an important customer as BT is a powerful endorsement of our efforts.”
About the BT Better Future Supplier Forum
For BT the BFSF is an essential ingredient in a long term strategy to lead in sustainability by encouraging and helping suppliers do the same. It’s all part of the company’s Net Good vision to help society live within the constraints of our planet’s resources through our people and products and associated goal to help customers reduce carbon emissions by at least three times the end-to-end carbon impact of our business by 2020.
BT believes that a product or service can only be truly sustainable if the complete supply chain is too – from one end to the other. So the Better Future Supplier Forum gives suppliers an environment in which they can collaborate with BT to identify, collect, share, and implement best practice on sustainability at every point in the lifecycle of a product. That runs from the sourcing of raw materials through the manufacturing process, to the delivery of the finished product to the customer, and maximum recyclability at its end of life.