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Green Pipe

Our approach to environmental protection is based on the circular economy concept, which seeks to improve resource and energy efficiency and enable the reuse of raw materials, components, and products. At the product design stage, we aim to maximize product lifespan and ensure easy take-back, maintenance, recycling, and reuse. Our design approach also adopts the lifecycle assessment methodology and tools to help us select recyclable or compostable materials, thus minimizing material use. We are committed to providing our customers with green and efficient products and solutions that consume less energy to lower operating expenses (OPEX) and carbon emissions.

Leading Green ICT Technologies

We strive to provide highly efficient and energy-saving green products and solutions that help customers slash their operating expenses and carbon emissions. To make this happen, we have embedded green requirements into our end-to-end product lifecycle, from development and manufacturing to delivery and operations and maintenance (O&M). All our offerings can meet or exceed applicable laws, regulations, standards, and customer requirements, allowing our customers to enhance their environmental performance. Through continuous technological innovation, we offer energy-efficient solutions for networks, sites, and equipment that enable customers to operate at lower costs and with higher energy efficiency.

We also actively cooperate with customers, industry partners, and universities to develop innovative green technologies. So far, we have led and driven the formulation of various energy efficiency standards and technical specifications. Our involvement promotes the innovation and development of green ICT technologies, and contributes to our competitiveness and influence in terms of energy conservation and emissions reduction.

In 2015, we implemented the following four initiatives regarding green product design:

1. We developed low-power chips and improved hardware design, software, and dynamic energy management technologies. Consequently, we increased the energy efficiency of core routers and wireless base stations by 25% and 20%.

Huawei Kirin 950 Chipset: High Performance, Low Energy Consumption, Long Battery Life

The Huawei Mate8 smartphone uses the latest Kirin 950 chipset, the world's first system-on-a-chip (SoC) powered by the 16nm FinFET Plus technology, and ARM's Cortex A72 architecture and Mali T880 GPU. The new architecture makes the GPU 125% more efficient than the predecessor Kirin 930. Several leading designs translate into a 70% reduction in energy consumption: state-of-the-art heat dissipation, smart temperature control, 6-level heat conduction structure, and DX19 high thermal conductivity alloy.

The smartphone's SmartPower 4.0 system, coupled with the chip-level Heartbeat Agent app, intelligently identifies which scenario the user is in, and then chooses the most suitable power solution to extend battery life. The power-saving firewall can monitor the operating system's running status in real time to prevent abnormal power consumption. Thanks to these technologies, users can enjoy the excellent performance of the Mate8 without constantly worrying about charging their phones.

2. We conducted research into innovative energy-saving technologies to support future network evolutions:

  • In the 5G domain, we made ground-breaking progress in multiple areas such as networking architecture, spectrum utilization, air interface technology, and base stations. The results were many leading technologies, including new air interface technology and digital radio frequency technology. These technologies can lower end-to-end network costs and boost spectrum efficiency and energy efficiency.
  • Huawei performed exceptionally in China's 863 Green Network R&D and Demonstration Project. This project focused on researching and developing breakthrough technologies for the evolution and management of end-to-end green network architecture. The results are green networks with high energy efficiency, as well as their evaluation system. Huawei's involvement contributed to faster industry development and more energy-efficient green networks, which boast a 30% decrease in end-to-end energy consumption compared to traditional networks.
  • In other domains, we worked closely with customers to enhance their energy efficiency and contribute to their goals of energy conservation and carbon emissions reduction.

Exploring Innovative Approaches with Customers to Cut Energy Consumption and Emissions

In December 2015, Huawei and Orange signed the green ICT network 2020 agreement in Paris, France. Both companies reaffirmed their strategic cooperation on energy, with Huawei offering energy-efficient solutions to help Orange achieve their energy conservation and emissions reduction goals by 2020.

The companies have been working together on improving energy design in multiple areas since 2013. This collaboration has enabled the design of customer connector cards that reduce energy consumption by 50% for ADSL access and 70% for fiber optic access. An innovative modular convergent infrastructure platform has already been set up at Huawei's research laboratories in Shenzhen, China. This infrastructure uses Huawei's latest energy supply solutions and cooling systems.

"This partnership will accelerate the implementation of high energy-efficient solutions in Orange's infrastructures to achieve our 2020 objective of reducing CO2 emissions per customer usage by 50%. This innovative approach in research and development of ecosystems will assist society in energy and environmental transition."

–Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Senior Executive Vice President of Orange Group

In terms of energy conservation and emissions reduction, Huawei is a long-term strategic partner of Orange, China Mobile, Vodafone, BT, and many other leading carriers. In the future, we will expand our partnerships with ICT carriers as we seek to boost network energy efficiency, tap into ICT's potential as an enabler of energy conservation and emissions reduction, and contribute to customers' goals.

Huawei and Orange representatives signing the green ICT network 2020 agreement

3. We provided services to enhance the energy performance of customers' existing networks. Network modernization is an efficient, cost-effective approach which carriers can adopt to cope with rapid business development. Energy conservation is one of the key factors needed to push network modernization. In 2015, we helped several customers redesign networks according to actual conditions such as traffic distribution, networking characteristics, and the power consumption of equipment and infrastructure. Our energy conservation solutions and configuration policies for soft features on equipment were highly feasible and ensured the networks' quality of service.

4. We collaborated with industry peers to develop and optimize energy efficiency standards. As a member of energy efficiency standards teams of ITU, ETSI, and CCSA, we submitted multiple proposals as a major contributor. These proposals involved broadband access, base stations, radio access networks, servers, and NFV. In doing so, we boosted the standards' accuracy and feasibility. We also participated in the development of multiple standards, such as ETSI's energy efficiency evaluation standards for future network evolution, and EISI's energy efficiency measurement standards for base stations and networks.

Best of Show Award for the Huawei NE5000E Core Router at Interop 2015

The Huawei NE5000E core router is leading the network industry in several areas. Its 128 100GE ports support line rate forwarding. And its multi-frame clustering technology allows smooth capacity expansion to 256 Tbit/s. This elasticity significantly increases the capacity of customers' backbone network nodes, reducing the need for frequent capacity expansions.

The router is a perfect embodiment of end-to-end green design in terms of chips, line cards, software platform, and hardware. Its overall power consumption is the industry's lowest, below 1 Wh of electricity per 1 Gbit/s of data. It greatly decreases carriers' energy use and operating expenses, and has thus been hailed as an industry leader.

Best of Show Award for the Huawei NE5000E Core Router

Product Innovation Leadership Award in Telecom Energy Solutions

Our next-generation energy solutions for ICT infrastructure can maximize networks' energy efficiency, and enable automated, simplified operations management while greatly enhancing the reliability of ICT infrastructure. Our solutions have helped our carrier customers and partners achieve business success and sustainable development.

In 2014, Frost & Sullivan presented Huawei with the Product Innovation Leadership Award in Telecom Energy Solutions. In 2015, we received the award again, indicating that our next-generation energy solutions have been well received and widely deployed by ICT carriers, and that Huawei has become a leader in eco-design and innovation for communications energy products.

Huawei presented with the Product Innovation Leadership Award in Telecom Energy Solutions

Lifecycle Assessment (LCA)-based Eco-design

We use an eco-design methodology to assess products' environmental impact throughout their lifecycle, including raw material acquisition, manufacturing, transportation, usage, scrapping, disposal, recycling, and reuse. With a deep understanding of our products' impact on resources and the environment, we have identified key influencing factors, set improvement targets, and incorporated energy conservation and emissions reduction requirements into our product design and development processes. In this way, our products can achieve higher resource efficiency and environmental performance.

In 2015, we drew up internal guidelines on product eco-design and assessment. We also worked closely with industry standards organizations and certification institutions on researching and drafting eco-design standards for ICT products. As part of this, we identified seven key factors for assessing eco-design over the lifecycle of ICT products, and this model was approved by industry bodies such as the China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI), the China Quality Certification Center (CQC), and the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA). Our assessment standards and indicators were incorporated into the General Standards for Assessment of Eco-design in Electrical and Electronic Products and the Technical Standard for Assessment of Eco-design in Optical Network Terminal (ONT) Products.

Eco-design in Huawei's Optical Network Terminals (ONTs)

Designed and optimized based on an eco-design approach, the Huawei HG8010a ONT emits 20.1% less CO2 compared to the HG8010H ONT throughout its lifecycle (five years). This is equivalent to a CO2 emissions reduction of 3.797 kg. Major optimization measures adopted were as follows:

Use of Renewable Materials

Bioplastics are made from natural, usually plant-based raw materials. These renewable resources are very environmentally friendly, and they are a substitute for non-renewable oil-based materials. Huawei began using bioplastics in our phones in 2013, and by 2015 we had extended their use to five different models: the P8, Honor 5X, Honor 7i, Mate S, and Mate8 smartphones. The bioplastic front cases of the P8 and Mate8 contain more than 30% castor oil. As inedible oil, castor oil reduces the need for edible oil used in device products, and is also an ideal replacement for nonrenewable materials.

To minimize the impact of our product packaging on forests, Huawei has sought FSC® certified packaging for our phones. FSC is a supply chain management certification that ensures the materials for our packaging come from well-managed sustainable forests. In 2015, the packaging for many of our products was FSC certified, including the P8, P8max, G8, Mate S, Mate8, and Honor X2.

Management of Hazardous Substances

Hazardous substances are substances which pose a potential danger to people, other living things, or the environment. As environmental problems continue to escalate and technologies advance worldwide, more and more substances are being banned or their use curtailed. Complying with laws and regulations on hazardous substances is not our only goal: We have gone one step further by restricting the use of hazardous substances that are not yet outlawed but can significantly affect the environment. Starting in 2016, we plan to invest more than US$75 million each year to restrict the use of six substances in our new mobile phones, tablets, and wearables. These substances include brominated flame retardants, chlorinated flame retardants, PVC, phthalates, antimony trioxide, and beryllium and beryllium compounds. We have already ceased using these substances in our flagship phones (the Mate S and Mate8) and in our wearable Huawei Watch.

In 2015, we published the fifth edition of the Huawei Substance List, listing 45 restricted substances, to which specific usage restrictions apply; and 115 reported substances, the use of which must be reported.

Restricted and reported substances in the Huawei Substance List

Green Product Certification

In 2015, over 60 Huawei switches and routers were awarded the TÜV Rheinland Green Product Mark, up 120% from the previous year. TÜV Rheinland and Huawei presented a joint display at CeBIT 2015, and Huawei is the first ICT solutions provider in the world to have an entire range of campus network switches certified with the Green Product Mark. The Green Product Mark is confirmation that Huawei switches are at the forefront of green technology; that Huawei products are leaders in terms of environmental performance, recycling, energy efficiency, regulatory compliance, and minimal carbon footprint; and that Huawei is setting the pace for green operations in the ICT industry.

Green Certification: Sustainable Mobile Phones

UL 110 is an environmental standard developed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) specifically to assess sustainability for mobile phones. UL 110 certification is one of the industry's most recognized green standards. It assesses products in eight areas: sourcing of materials, manufacturing and processing, emissions, energy efficiency, health and safety, transportation, disposal and recycling, and innovation; and produces a final certification assessment. In 2015, several Huawei phones achieved the highest level (Platinum) of UL 110 certification, including the P8, G8, and Mate8. Six products, including the Honor 6Plus, P8, T1-821w, and Honor 5X, also received the highest A certificate for green electronic/electrical products from the China Quality Certification Center (CQC).

Huawei is able to achieve certification because we have built in green design from the beginning. We aim to minimize impact and damage to the environment throughout the entire product lifecycle, from material selection and sourcing, processing, transportation, usage, logistics, and distribution, to waste treatment.

Green Packaging

Huawei complies strictly with environmental regulations across the entire lifecycle of packaging materials, including selection, manufacturing, usage, and disposal. We use green packaging materials that are reusable, renewable, and sustainable. Our steel pallet plus high-density cardboard packaging solution has replaced wooden pallets and plywood crates, cutting our use of forest products. In 2013, Huawei was recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as a leader in the use of wood substitutes. Since then, we have continuously increased the use of green packaging to conserve more resources and reduce carbon emissions.

We have implemented the green packaging strategy summarized as "6R1D": Right Packaging (the core), Reduce, Returnable, Reuse, Recycle, Recovery, and Degradable.

  • Right Packaging: At the core of 6R1D is selection of the right packaging. Choosing the right type of packaging is an expression of Huawei's commitment to sustainability by "getting it right first time" in every phase of the lifecycle.
  • Right and Reduce: These Rs represent Huawei's smart use of technology to design green packaging that responds to customer needs. We make ongoing reductions to our packaging, reducing the volume, and using wood substitutes, transparent packaging, and multi-packs.
  • Returnable and Reuse: These Rs explain how Huawei's green packaging approach extends to the entire supply chain. Effective reuse extends the lifecycle of packaging along the supplier-Huawei-carrier customer chain.
  • Recycle, Recovery, and Degradable: These factors represent Huawei's resource efficiency in the way it selects and processes green packaging materials.

Green Logistics

Green logistics cut our operating expenses (OPEX) and reduce energy consumption and pollution. As such, it is an important part of our end-to-end green strategy.

Fuel consumption and exhaust emissions during transportation are the major sources of logistics-related pollution. To realize green logistics, we have analyzed huge amounts of data to plan shorter transportation routes and increase vehicles' load ratios. In 2015, we adopted the following green logistics measures to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions from logistics.