Zain, Kuwait’s leading digital service provider, has joined forces with Huawei, the global technology leader, to launch a long-term initiative to accelerate the development of green 5G networks and ICT infrastructures. Both partners seek to build green and sustainable networks, leveraging on 5.5G technologies, to achieve their joint goals towards tackling climate change. The announcement was made during the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2023) in Barcelona, Spain.
Zain, one of the region’s leading operators, has launched an extensive array of initiatives and efforts over the years to address climate change in the ICT sector. As a leading global ICT solutions provider, Huawei has become one of Zain's top strategic climate action partners and is committed to helping Zain build the greenest ICT infrastructure possible.
In 2023, Zain and Huawei will jointly explore and define a climate change related performance indicators that will be built around a consistent and progressive decarbonization of network infrastructure. Zain will also cooperate with Huawei to accelerate the development of green 5G networks and deploy innovative technologies that contribute to building a greener ICT infrastructure.
Eaman Al Roudhan, Chief Executive Officer of Zain Kuwait, said: “In 2021, Zain joined Huawei’s Digital Energy Summit to affirm our stance on climate change. Today, we continue our journey to further outline our joint strategic vision in pursuing this crucial endeavor together.”
“On the regional scene, companies like Zain and Huawei have spearheaded the industry in adopting green practices, but more efforts are needed to further reduce our environmental footprint by limiting our dependence on fossil fuels , reducing energy consumption, adopting eco-design principles, eliminating e-waste, adopting circularity across or value chain, implementing water and electricity conservation measures, addressing impacts on biodiversity and ensuring that our plans and activities are inclusive. We have aligned our partnership ecosystem to accelerate our transition to a Net Zero economy and achieve our sustainability strategic goals. Addressing climate change is a top priority.” Al Roudhan added.
“Huawei strongly believes that climate change leads to physical and transition risks such as increased severity of floods, changes in precipitations’ patterns, rising mean temperatures, rising sea levels, acidification of oceans, and increased price of raw materials and energy tariffs. These risks will have impacts on societies and biodiversity as well as companies’ assets, capital expenditures, operating costs and revenues. To mitigate such risks, it is important for companies to adopt sustainable practices and reduce their carbon footprint in line with limiting global warming to the recommended level of 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial level. Zain's focus on green development strategies such as pursuing energy-saving and intelligent solutions for ICT infrastructure is a positive move towards achieving this goal. As Zain's strategic partner, Huawei is committed to support their endeavors in pursuing green and sustainable development", said Steven Yi, President of Huawei Middle East & Central Asia.
Zain and Huawei will strengthen their cooperation in green technology products, solar hybrid power solutions, and Al energy saving innovations. Both companies are launching a long-term initiative to build a green and sustainable network utilizing 5.5G technologies.
Zain has made addressing climate change one of the four pillars of its corporate sustainability strategy. The company is dedicated to reducing its overall energy consumption and emissions across its entire value chain, enhancing the environmental performance of its workplaces, and promoting environmental care.
Zain has established short and medium-term targets to lower its entire carbon footprint and aims to achieve net zero by 2050 to minimize its negative environmental effects. As a result, Zain and Huawei are conducting extensive research on cutting-edge technologies such as 5.5G, artificial intelligence, and renewable energy to reduce the ICT infrastructure's carbon footprint.
Both partners have engaged in extensive, multi-layered practices and research in environmentally friendly development throughout the years. In 2022, the collaboration succeeded in several areas, including optimizing network design, introducing innovative technologies, activating artificial intelligence, and implementing renewable energy sources.
5G, as a more energy-efficient network, can reduce the amount of power per bit in the network compared to its predecessor, LTE 4G. Zain works with partners like Huawei, actively migrating data traffic from 4G network to 5G network.
Zain is continuously working with partners to improve its policies for conserving energy across the whole network, which has resulted in a reduction of 5G energy consumption of more than 20% while maintaining network KPIs. The capabilities of the network's artificial intelligence made the accomplishment of this goal conceivable. In addition, by utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar power, Zain can reduce the usage of diesel generators at the solar hybrid powered site by 85%.
Zain will continue its search for high-quality, low-carbon, and environmentally friendly technology, products, and practices. In addition, Zain will work with Huawei to develop a system and solution for defining what a green network is. The company is determined to develop an environmentally friendly network and foster technological innovation to assist Kuwait in achieving its total carbon-neutral vision by 2060.
To promote key sustainability pillars and increase awareness amongst its employees, Zain is launching Sustainability Week, an internal initiative to highlight the company’s sustainable goals and shed more light on the role every employee plays in achieving these goals. The initiative covers many activities throughout an entire week, featuring seminars and talks, workshops, documentary screenings, and trips to local parks and nature reserves, giving employees an opportunity to learn more about sustainability as well as to participate in activities with their colleagues outside of the office environment.