ETNO member companies have a long record of commitment to environmental and sustainability standards. Twenty ETNO members companies are currently signatories of the Sustainability Charter, created in 2004. This Charter is the follow-up to the ETNO Environmental Charter launched in 1996 through which signatories committed to high level environmental protection standards and to regular reporting. The ETNO Sustainability Charter embraces the three pillars of the EU sustainable development strategy: environmental protection, social progress and economic growth.
Sustainable development is a global strategic goal, which seeks to achieve economic growth that promotes a fair and just society while conserving the natural environment and the world’s scarce, non-renewable resources for future generations. It is our belief we can play an important part in making this happen.
Corporate Social Responsibility also needs to be understood in the context of sustainable development:
- Corporate Social Responsibility is the business contribution to making sustainable development happen, through the proactive management of a company’s environmental, social and economic impacts.
This Charter embodies our commitment to sustainable development via:
- a sustainable provision of products and services with significant environmental, social and economic benefits;
- a determined effort to integrate our business activities with environmental, social, and economic responsibilities — minimising, where practicable, any negative impact these activities may generate.
We believe, as do our employees, customers, shareholders and governments, that today’s world demands close attention to business principles and ethics, employee relations, human rights, environmental management, community investment and general working conditions, within a company and regarding its outside suppliers.
Collectively, these activities form the basis for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
CSR commitment demands regular performance assessment. Thus, our reports offer stakeholders a means to judge how effective our improvement programmes have been. Moreover, the spread and reach of telecommunications across contemporary society imposes on us, as responsible corporate citizens, the social obligation to demonstrate this commitment, to reflect how we run our businesses.
Collectively, our companies’ combined turnover represents a significant proportion of European trade, which offers a unique opportunity for ETNO member companies to co-operate actively with policy-makers and Governments to make a real difference. Indeed, our CSR activities can offer a significant contribution to sustainable development.
We, as Charter signatories, whether individually or collectively, are committed to continuous improvement and the sharing of best practice via action in the following areas:
To acknowledge all the relevant environmental, social and economic impacts of our products and services: whether positive or negative. In particular we will build CSR aspects into company communications and training programmes.
2. REGULATORY COMPLIANCE
To achieve full compliance with all relevant legal requirements and, where appropriate, to exceed them.
3. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
To support research and development into the contributions that new telecommunication products and services can make to sustainable development.
To implement efficient management of resources, energy use, waste, emissions reductions, environmentally friendly process and product requirements; eliminating use of hazardous materials; observation of human rights and labour conditions.
To make available to all stakeholders’ material data, case-study examples and information about our environmental, social and economic performance, as accountability and transparency are key elements of CSR.
To maintain an inclusive approach to stakeholder relationships in order to reflect their aspirations and needs in our business activities.
To co-operate constructively with governments, customers, industry partners, civil society and international organisations when investigating, developing and promoting the benefits that information and communications technologies generate for sustainable development.
7. MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
To offer a statement of business principles, an environmental policy, the appointment of a management board member with specific CSR responsibilities, and a manager(s) with designated responsibility for co-ordinating programmes of continuous sustainability improvement.
Finally, to implement management systems that support development of appropriate and well-structured programmes on environmental protection, labour conditions, occupational health and safety and social accountability.
8. EMPLOYEE RELATIONS
To create work environments that promote the work-life balance, professional development, diversity and health and safety; maintaining a highly motivated and productive workforce.