Leadership Series: Spotlight on Nokia
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Leadership Series: Spotlight on Nokia

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Digital Declaration Leadership Series: Spotlight on Nokia

The Digital Declaration report ‘Navigating the era of responsible business leadership in today’s world’ showcases how the Digital Declaration signatories are turning their aspirations into concrete actions and how technology can foster an inclusive, trusted and innovative digital society for all.

This series of interviews highlights individual leaders sharing their insights and perspectives around trust, inclusion, and innovation in the digital age.


In conversation with Pekka Lundmark, President & CEO, Nokia

When you took the helm at Nokia you were quick to reconfirm the company’s commitment to the Digital Declaration principles. How important are ethics and sustainability in your vision for Nokia?

I don’t think they are merely important. I think they are fundamental to what Nokia does and how we do it.

First, sustainability. Climate change is real. Droughts, deforestation, and extreme weather events are our reality. The day I joined Nokia as President and CEO I told our teams we have a responsibility to address those issues by creating technology that makes the world safer, more efficient, and more productive. It’s a privilege that our products and services can make a positive impact across the value chains of so many industries.

Second, ethics. Trust in business has never been so important, particularly when you work with technology and data. As connectivity becomes ubiquitous, we in the telecommunications sector need to make sure everything we do is ethical and secure, with our products used in responsible ways. Our customers and our communities are counting on us to do the right thing.

And third, of course, there’s the crossover – because doing business ethically is the only way to create sustainable value and adhering to principles of sustainability is impossible without making ethical choices. So, the two values overlap a great deal.

Ultimately, sustainable, and ethical solutions are both a business opportunity and at the heart of our decision-making process. This is aligned with the Digital Declaration principles. With that in mind, I recommitted Nokia to following the words and the spirit of GSMA's Digital Declaration.

You have recently adopted a new “purpose” statement for Nokia. Why?

Covid-19 made connectivity a lifeline. By allowing people to work, shop, socialise and get health check-ups from home, our networks, and those of our customers kept the world online.

With that in mind, it started to feel like our previous purpose statement, 'We create the technology to connect the world’, didn't quite cut it anymore. Connecting the world is important, but so is what those connections achieve, what they solve, and the impact they have on commerce, communities, and public services. Smart agriculture in which not a drop of water is wasted. Digital healthcare allows vulnerable people to receive treatment at home. Connected factories in which employee accidents are eliminated. And so on.

Hence our new purpose: we create technology that helps the world act together.

This active connectivity presents a unique opportunity for a company like Nokia to address some of the world's most pressing global challenges. For us and indeed for many of our customers and partners, those challenges include responding to climate change through more efficient use and reuse of the world's resources, restoring productivity growth, and providing more inclusive access to work, healthcare, markets, and education.

How will you assess your progress against your sustainability commitments?

Great question. We have a triple-lock on our commitments.

First, as the old management quote goes, “what gets measured gets done”. We have set quantifiable targets on our key sustainability areas of climate, integrity, and culture, among other priorities. One example is our pledge to reduce emissions by 50 per cent across both our operations and products in use – so-called scope 3 emissions – by 2030. This is a big deal.

Second, we are transparent about our progress. We report transparently on our performance against our targets as well as Nokia’s approach, achievements, challenges, and opportunities in sustainability.

Third, we have a robust governance structure. Issues of sustainability and ethics are reviewed regularly at all levels of the company, especially at C-level. We have built strong processes to manage this, for example, our Code of Conduct provides clear guidance for all employees. The Code is supported by policies and management systems related to responsibility issues. Our key corporate responsibility policies are updated regularly and can be found online.

Learn more: https://www.nokia.com/about-us/sustainability/