BlackBerry invests in clean water initiatives as part of commitment to UN Global Compact Sustainable Development Goals

Technology company BlackBerry Limited reaffirms its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with fresh investments that would enable access to clean water for the communities the company serves.

BlackBerry believes that “clean water 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,” the company said.

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To achieve its goals, BlackBerry is aiming at becoming carbon neutral by 2021. The company said 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%.

“BlackBerry’s purpose and responsibility to our stakeholders include taking meaningful action to ensure our business practices and our platform enables 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.”

ICT-driven initiatives

It will be investing 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.

In Rwanda, where citizens only have access to unsafe water, BlackBerry is looking at the country’s rehabilitation and maintenance of water wells. 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.

The company also addresses the use of single-use plastic by eliminating its use also by 2021, which is 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 the plastic waste ends up and harms marine life.

“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 mobilizing their resources to be a force for good. BlackBerry’s SDGs Action Plan clearly demonstrates its forward-thinking leadership for sustainable growth.”