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NTT Group’s updated Global Sustainability Charter recognizes the urgent need to collaborate, innovate and move toward a highly connected society that embraces diverse cultures.
A growing number of businesses are championing collaboration and sustainability as the best response to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis, with “extreme weather” and “climate action failure” among the top five short-term risks to the world, according to The Global Risks Report 2022, published by The World Economic Forum in January.
One such organization is the global technology and business solutions provider NTT. It believes that investing in research and development and accelerating technological innovation by collaborating with experts worldwide can help nurture a better, more harmonious future for all. This selfless approach aims to create a “community of communities,” moving away from isolated individuals and groups and building a highly connected society that embraces diverse cultures.
As such, NTT embraces a notion of “self as we,” moving toward a better us as selfless individuals, elevated and supported by an awareness—and improvement—of relationships with broader society, which includes technology. By forging positive, mutually enhancing connections with nature, things and communities through technology, NTT will help maximize society’s wellbeing and help build a more sustainable future.
NTT has recently published an updated global Sustainability Charter that spells out how it will achieve these goals. The charter strengthens the NTT Group’s sustainability strategy by giving its green innovation initiatives a social focus and purpose—along with a new management style and robust human rights policies. The aim is to expand the impact of NTT’s businesses and services, optimizing society’s wellbeing, and promoting growth and prosperity in harmony with nature while simultaneously resolving social issues.
The group’s ultimate aim is to move toward a sustainable society. In the past two years, the global pandemic has dramatically changed people’s lives, at a time when the world faces several other threats, such as large-scale natural disasters, significant environmental change, infodemic outbreaks, economic disparities and other challenges. The thinking is that leaders and decision-makers need to take a broader, more holistic view beyond the realms of science alone.
The Sustainability Charter follows NTT’s Green Innovation Toward 2040 initiative, launched in September 2021. By 2030, the group aims to cut greenhouse emissions by 80 percent, compared to 2013 levels, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.
The charter is built on three pillars. The first is a commitment to living in harmony with nature by reducing the environmental impact of NTT’s activities while promoting economic development. The company believes a sustainable approach to innovation and improved knowledge sharing will help support humanity when faced with unexpected or unprecedented challenges in the coming years. Achieving a state closer to nature will be an important factor in this future.
“NTT embraces a notion of ‘self as we,’ moving toward a better us as selfless individuals, elevated and supported by an improvement of relationships with broader society.”
Second, the company commits to resolving social challenges unique to each country where it has a presence to improve prosperity for all. These challenges range from an aging population in advanced economies to universal access to education and healthcare in the developing world. The third is a commitment to social wellbeing by promoting human rights, diversity and inclusion, and respecting a country’s laws, culture, and religions.
NTT’s Sustainability Charter outlines nine challenges that affect 30 business activities. For example, powering data centers and mobile networks with renewable energy will cut 45 percent of group emissions by 2040, but the remaining 55 percent—an estimated 4.7 million metric tons a year by 2040, which is more than the entire group emits today—will require massive progress in energy-saving green innovation.
Notably, the charter promotes the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network initiative (IOWN), a concept that aims to develop a network and information-processing platforms that feature high-speed, high-capacity communication through optics-focused technology, supported by tremendous computational resources, and with ultra-low latency and ultra-low power consumption.
One of the key aims is to increase research and development in the fields of high-performance networking and computing, artificial intelligence and advanced-learning technologies that can support sustainability. NTT says businesses and societies across the globe stand to benefit from this innovation because it will support their path to a net-zero future.
The company’s research and development experts explain that the development of IOWN and other connectable, nascent technologies will, for instance, address issues faced by the elderly and those on low incomes who struggle with accessibility to technology and will offer long-term value for future generations. It is also designed to help protect communities from epidemics, natural disasters and cyber-attacks, while also addressing privacy and security issues.
Sustainable innovation is now essential, says NTT, stressing that organizations worldwide need to improve innovation drastically because the current approach has had a seriously negative impact: depletion of resources, biodiversity loss, environmental destruction and global warming—putting humanity’s very survival at risk.
In 2022, as the world continues to tackle the effects of a global pandemic and a climate crisis, the conversation about sustainability and innovation will continue. NTT is ideally placed to lead the discussion, innovate through technology, and move toward a future of a better us.
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