BlackBerry pledges to be carbon neutral by 2021

The company also announced plans to invest in clean water initiatives and eliminate the use of single-use plastics.

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Image: Romolo Tavani, Getty Images/iStockphoto

BlackBerry announced its further commitment to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Thursday. The initiatives aim to enable access to clean water, reduce carbon emissions, and eliminate plastic waste, according to a press release

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More than two billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 4.2 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services, according to UN Water. The coronavirus pandemic has heightened the need for quality sanitation worldwide, which is a contributing factor to BlackBerry's investments, as stated in the release. 

Major initiatives

One of the major pledges BlackBerry made was a commitment to being carbon neutral by 2021. Climate change, significantly driven by carbon emissions, is restricting the availability and quality of water, which is projected to only get worse, according to the release. 

Since 2013, BlackBerry said it has reduced carbon emissions by 88%, a number that could reach 100% in the next couple of years. 

BlackBerry also announced its investment in wastewater treatment technology in Canada that eliminates the environmental impacts of discharging raw wastewater into watercourses and the ocean. This tech also consumes less energy than traditional systems, per the release. 

The company also confirmed its investment in the rehabilitation and maintenance of water wells in Rwanda, where the inhabitants are currently getting water from sources that expose them to bacteria.

An improved water supply in the region will also enable Rwanda's Smart Cities Blueprint, a framework to help accelerate the adoption of ICT-driven missions in cities across Africa.

BlackBerry said it would eliminate the use of single-use plastics globally by 2021, ahead of the Government of Canada's plan. The goal aims to tackle microplastics pollution and ease the burden on oceans and streams, where plastic waste lands and hurts marine life. 

"The Sustainable Development Goals provide businesses with guidance to translate the world's needs and ambitions into 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 the release.

"In this Decade of Action for the SDGs, the spotlight will be on companies who champion sustainability and are mobilizing their resources to be a force for good," Chowdhury said. 

For more, check out Carbon credit calculator determines cash values for used IT equipment on TechRepublic. 

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