- Working groups
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This is the first Communication on Enagement with the UN Global Compact that the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association releases since it joined the Global Compact in 2004. This document provides a brief overview of ETNO’s sustainability commitments and achievements.
ETNO does not only represent the above however. The Ten Principles of the Global Compact are embedded in the way ETNO member companies operate worldwide, be they Global Compact participants or not.
ETNO has a long history of commitment to sustainability: the Association launched the voluntary Environmental Charter of European Telecom Operators in 1996. The Charter is made up of a set of commitments on environmental protection and responsible use of natural resources and is also a commitment to investigate the role of telecommunication in driving environmental sustainability. In 2004 – the year when ETNO joined the Global Compact - the scope of the Charter was broadened and additional social commitments were included. Finally, in 2012 the Association launched its Corporate Responsibility Charter (see section 5). The Charter reflects most of the Ten Principles and all ETNO members and non-members are invited to subscribe to its commitments.
ETNO member companies are convinced of the importance of decoupling economic growth from the use of natural resources and, in particular, of the need to reduce pollution, manage energy effectively and contribute to the global fight against climate change. They are convinced that high health and safety standards in the workplace, fair treatment, respect of human rights, proper work-life balance and the creation of opportunities for professional growth are basic pre-requisites that can enhance the well-being and productivity of their workforce. They aim to ensure that such principles be applied globally across the whole value chain.
ETNO continuously monitors the performance of its members against Charter commitments: this is testified by the Environmental/Sustainability reports published on a regular basis. These can be found on the public web site of the Association together with an update on the sustainability related activities in which ETNO and its members are engaged. Such activities are coordinated by the Corporate Responsibility Working Group together with its associated task forces on Energy Efficiency and Online Child Protection.
ETNO was one of the founding members - and is still an active member - of the Globale-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI, www.gesi.org), having a seat on the Board of Directors. Created in 2001, GeSI is a strategic partnership which brings together international organisations and companies active in the ICT sector that are committed to creating and promoting technologies and practices that foster economic, environmental and social sustainability, while driving economic growth and productivity. Currently GeSI’s activities are particularly focused on enhancing and promoting the contribution of the ICT sector to reducing global GHG emissions - in line with the COP21 agreement, investigating ways and developing tools to guarantee and assess the respect of human rights across the ICT value chain, and developing methodologies and tools to assess ICT product and service sustainability.
In view of COP 21 ETNO released its Climate Change Report, which was officially launched together with the GeSI SMARTer2030 study at a joint event. The event - “Driving our sustainable future through ICT” - took place on the 28 October 2015 in Brussels. It analysed the role of Information and Communication Technologies in enabling greenhouse gas reductions and resilience building across all sectors, with insights into how current markets will change, and what new services will be needed.
Leading experts and decision-makers discussed the environmental and societal benefits of ICT-based solutions as well as their market potential against the backdrop of the global deal on climate action at the UN climate conference (COP21) in Paris at the end of the year.
ETNO continuously promotes the Ten Global Compact Principles together with the Association’s Corporate Responsibility Charter, which is practically aligned, to both its membership and within its sphere of influence.
The results achieved as a consequence of these awareness raising activities cannot be quantified as such, but can be assessed by looking at the improvement of each ETNO member company’s sustainability performance over the years, which is testified by the facts and figures that can be found in the sustainability sections of these companies’ annual reports or in their specific social/environmental/sustainability reports.
Currently 68% of ETNO member companies have joined the Global Compact; 16 of them since 2004, when ETNO also joined, and 3 over the past two years (2014 and 2015). This demonstrates both the value that ETNO members attribute to the Ten Principles and the awareness that the Association has been able to raise among its membership.
ETNO is firmly committed to further promoting the Ten Principles within its own sphere of influence, and to encourage its member companies to do the same.
Find the full communciation here.