GSMA: Mobile Impacts Sustainable Development Goals

From, Published on 27 Sept 2016

The mobile industry impacts all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the greatest effect on SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 13 (Climate Action), a new GSMA study reveals.

The study, ‘2016 Mobile Industry Impact Report: Sustainable Development Goals,’ developed by Deloitte for the GSMA, identified three primary ways that the mobile industry can accelerate progress against the SDGs: expand the global mobile network footprint and connect subscribers to voice and data services; enhance the quality of connectivity and ease of access and innovate mobile-enabled services to meet sustainable development needs; and contribute to sustainable development policy alongside governments and agencies.

It noted that mobile operators and players across the ecosystem, which collectively connects nearly 4.8 billion people globally, are already delivering a vast range of programs and initiatives that contribute to achieving the SDGs such as:

SDG 1 (No Poverty) –Today, more than 400 million people have access to financial services via their phone, with mobile money services available in over 90 countries. The mobile industry is committed to continue to develop new mobile money products, such as international remittances, for developing world consumers who need them most.

SDG 5 (Gender Equality) – The mobile industry is focused on increasing women’s access to and use of mobile services in low- and middle-income countries around the world. Since its launch in February, 18 operators representing over 90 million customers have joined the Connected Women Commitment Initiative to close the gender gap in mobile internet and mobile money services.

SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) – The mobile industry is a major contributor to the world’s economy. The mobile ecosystem added $3.1 trillion in economic value to the global economy in 2015, equivalent to 4.2% of GDP, a figure predicted to rise to $3.7 trillion by 2020. The industry also directly and indirectly supported 32 million jobs in 2015 and contributed $430 billion to public funding in the form of various types of taxation.

SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) – The mobile industry is committed to leveraging technology and expertise to ensure that communication is possible in disasters and humanitarian crises. Endorsed by the United Nations OCHA, the GSMA's Humanitarian Connectivity Charter now has 103 mobile network operators across 76 countries, committed to ensuring network resilience and supporting subscribers during times of crisis.

“As an industry, we are focused on connecting everyone and everything to a better future,” said  Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “In February, the mobile industry was the first to unite in supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and this report reiterates our commitment to ensuring that connectivity plays a key role in helping achieve the 17 Goals by 2030."


For more information on technology and sustainability, please refer to the following links:
How Tech Companies are Promoting Sustainability
The Role of Technology in Sustainability: Innovative Solutions
The Carbon Footprint of Technology