Nokia is a global telecommunication hardware company founded in 1865. It has operations in networks, software, and business and consumer technologies. The company is a leading vendor of equipment for telecommunication networks. It is headquartered in Finland, with employees spread around the world and customers in nearly 200 countries.
Nokia supports digital inclusion through its flagship programme Smartpur, which aims to enhance the access of rural Indian villages to technology and associated
services such as education, health, livelihood, governance and financial inclusion. The programme has benefited up to 260 rural villages across nine Indian states so far.
Nokia also advances women’s digital inclusion. In partnership with UN Women, the Saudi Arabian government and Zain Saudi Arabia, Nokia launched the Converged Female Talent programme, which creates innovate technology solutions. The company is also among the few that discloses how the economic value it generates is distributed among stakeholders. Additionally, it provides employment figures for its main countries of operation.
Nokia partners with the Forge Academy in South Africa, training students in areas such as 3D printing, virtual reality and digital marketing. In collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Education, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Safaricom, Nokia has provided internet connectivity to approximately 32,670 students from about 90 Kenyan schools in rural and disadvantaged urban areas across the country.
Nokia demonstrates good practice in open innovation through its participation in several regional and international standards bodies and support for academic research on artificial intelligence (AI), 6G, etc. It also supports the tech start-up ecosystem through its venture capital fund NGP Capital. Additionally, Nokia aligns its activities with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and demonstrates commitment to ethical AI by having an ethics committee in place and publishing an official policy commitment on the topic, which includes human rights considerations. Notably, Nokia was part of the team that created the EU’s Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI.
Nokia can consider supporting initiatives focused on developing basic and intermediate digital skills. It can demonstrate greater transparency on its existing digital skills programmes by providing more details about its financial and in-kind contributions to these programmes and their impact.
The company should disclose the number of women it employs in R&D roles. Another area of opportunity for Nokia to demonstrate good practice in innovation is to provide support for start-ups, particularly those whose founders are people from underrepresented groups or for social and non-profit start-ups.
Core Social Assessment
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Nokia commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights and places the same expectation on its business relationships. The company also has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints. Furthermore, Nokia identifies its salient human right risk issues in its own operations. However, it does not disclose a process to assess and act on salient human right risks in its business relationships. Moreover, the company does not engage with stakeholders whose human rights have been or may be impacted by its operations.
Nokia publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety, and it places health and safety expectations on its business relationships. However, the company does not disclose a policy commitment explicitly stating that it does not require its own workers nor the workers of its business relationships to work more 48 hours in a regular work week or 60 hours including overtime. Moreover, the company provides no relevant evidence in relation to paying its workers a living wage, nor in relation to how it supports its business relationships to help them pay their workers a living wage. Nokia commits to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment and has more than 30% women on its board. The company also discloses its workforce diversity per employee category by age group and gender. However, it can disclose employee breakdowns against more diversity indicators.
Nokia has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its business relationship contracts. Furthermore, the company takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption and has a grievance mechanism for stakeholders to raise concerns and complaints on the topic. Nokia has a global tax strategy, but it does not disclose its income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. Also, Nokia does not disclose its approach to lobbying and political engagement in a publicly available policy statement, nor does it have a publicly available statement indicating that it does not make political contributions. Additionally, it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures.