BlackBerry commits to UN Sustainable Development Goals
BlackBerry has announced it has expanded its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of its commitment BlackBerry is investing in initiatives that enable access to clean water for the global communities the company serves.
Billions of people around the world lack access to clean water, sanitation and handwashing facilities today, with communities of colour, lower-income people, tribal communities and developing countries most impacted. Safe water sanitation is a vital enabler of access to education, in particular for girls, and a strategy for economic growth and reducing poverty.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a further spotlight on the criticality of access to clean water, with handwashing being one of the key means to adequately prevent and contain disease.
BlackBerry today announced it will:
- Be carbon neutral by 2021. Climate change, primarily driven by carbon emissions, is limiting the availability and quality of water and is expected to have significant further impact. Since 2013 BlackBerry has reduced its carbon emissions by 88%.
- Invest in wastewater treatment technology in Canada that eliminates the environmental impacts of discharging raw wastewater into watercourses and the sea and consumes less energy than traditional systems.
- Invest in the rehabilitation and maintenance of water wells in Rwanda, where the population is currently fetching water from sources that expose them to bacteria. The economic benefits of improved water supply in the area will enable Rwanda’s Smart Cities Blueprint, a framework aimed to accelerate the adoption of ICT-driven initiatives in cities across Africa.
- Eliminate the use of single-use plastics globally by 2021, ahead of the Government of Canada’s plan. The initiative will help tackle microplastics pollution, as well as ease the burden on oceans and streams where plastic waste ends up and harms marine life.
“BlackBerry’s purpose and responsibility to our stakeholders include taking meaningful action to ensure our business practices and our platform enable a more sustainable and equitable world,” said Neelam Sandhu, Vice President of Business Operations and Strategic Accounts, Office of the CEO at BlackBerry. “We are pleased to expand our commitment to the UNGC SDGs, by investing in initiatives that enable access to clean water and the opportunities and benefits that are tied to that, for Canadian citizens and the global community we are all a part of.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation Science and Industry, said: “Now more than ever, it is vital that Canadian industries develop innovative solutions to the challenges we face. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate BlackBerry on their plan to become carbon neutral by 2021.
“When Canadian companies invest in clean technology projects, like BlackBerry is doing in the water sector, it not only helps to protect the environment and grow our economy, it also improves access to some of our most basic needs. Clean technology and renewable energy projects are key to helping Canada achieve our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.”
“The Sustainable Development Goals provide businesses with guidance to translate the world’s needs and ambitions into business solutions. It is not possible to have a strong, functioning business in a world of increasing inequality, poverty, and climate change,” said Ayman Chowdhury, Head of Secretariat at United Nations Global Compact Network Canada. “In this Decade of Action for the SDGs, the spotlight will be on companies who champion sustainability and are mobilising their resources to be a force for good. BlackBerry's SDGs Action Plan clearly demonstrates their forward-thinking leadership for sustainable growth."