Vodafone is proud to support the Sustainable Business Awards. The awards recognise leading New Zealand businesses whose innovation and long-term approach is vital to New Zealand’s future success.
Vodafone is New Zealand’s leading mobile telecommunications provider and the principal challenger in the total telecommunications market. Telecommunications is important to New Zealand – connecting a sparsely populated country, geographically isolated from the rest of the world. Technology has a key role to play in tackling our environmental and social challenges, coordinating resources and sharing knowledge.
In this fast-moving industry sustainability is about understanding and responding to the rapidly evolving impacts our technology is having on the environment and the community. It’s also about looking for opportunities to use our products and services to make a difference. It makes good business sense – understanding the environment we’re operating in, identifying business risks, and looking for commercial opportunities to meet emerging societal needs.
Corporate Responsibility and sustainability are long-standing elements of everyday business at Vodafone. We published our first NZ Corporate Responsibility report for the 2002-03 financial year, and to date we are the only local telecommunications provider to produce a triple bottom line report. Our reports have won a number of awards, including being recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and at the ACCA Australasian reporting awards.
Corporate Responsibility and sustainability KPIs are shared across the business. Members of the executive team have responsibility for the Corporate Responsibility programmes which fall within their team’s activities. Some of the key project areas include:
- Mobile recycling
- Sustainable supply chain
- Txt bullying and online safety
- Energy efficiency
- Responsible deployment of our mobile network
Mobile phones are one of the few consumer electronics items commonly replaced prior to technical obsolescence or malfunction. If a phone is still in good working order, the best environmental outcome is for that phone to be reused by someone else. A working phone also represents a social and economic opportunity for someone in the developing world, whom otherwise would not have access to any form of telecommunications.
In 2008 we launched a partnership with Enable Community, an Australian-based charity who work alongside microfinance organisations in the developing world. Enable Community give mobile phones to micro entrepreneurs, to assist them to work their way out of poverty and create wealth and employment in their communities.
The Enable Community partnership is a world-first. We believe it offers the best environmental and social return on the handsets we collect. It also offers an incentive for people to hand in their old mobiles, knowing that they could go to a good home, where they can make a real difference to someone’s life.