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Vodacom Sustainability Strategy
Transforming societies and enabling
sustainable living for all
About this strategy: a message from our Leadership 1
The context of sustainability and business 7
Vodacom's strategic sustainability priorities 10
Strategy implementation and next steps 20
Further Information 23
Vodacom Sustainability Strategy 1
About this strategy: a message from our Leadership
Integrating sustainability into business strategy
At Vodacom, our sustainability journey is our business journey. We do not see sustainability as separate to our core business, nor do we see it as a discrete set of issues that need to be ‘managed’. Rather, we continue to unlock value in our business by using it as a lens through which to identify the risks and opportunities that affect our ability to continue to add value to our stakeholders and to fulfil our purpose. This belief is what has informed the approach to this sustainability strategy, and I trust that you will see the link between our business and the strategic sustainability priorities contained in this document.
Our industry is fast-paced and exciting, with an ever- increasing rate of change and increasing complexity. The issues that matter to our business and our stakeholders will continue to evolve, as will our strategy to deal with them. The priorities and initiatives contained in this document will live and grow with these changing times, and it this flexibility is built into the design of the strategy process. We will continue to engage our people and external stakeholders for the issues that matter most to them, and develop a response that moves our business forward and fulfils our purpose in society.
I encourage you to engage with the sustainability priorities contained in this document and to share your views on our strategy with me or any member of my Executive team.
Shameel Aziz Joosub Chief Executive
Embedding sustainability in the way we do business
We live out Vodacom’s commitment to sustainability through the decisions we make and actions we take on a daily basis. The sustainability priorities contained in this document guide the issues that we dedicate our attention to because they are important to our stakeholders and our business strategy. It is my hope and intention that the initiatives we invest in and the actions we take flow from these priorities to live out our commitment in everything we do.
There are a number of practical pillars that support the strategic sustainability priorities contained in this document. We are embedding key performance indicators into the various aspects of how we manage our business. We are also enhancing our ability to track the impact of the different initiatives and to report back to stakeholders on our performance. Finally, we continue to search for partnerships that provide opportunities to create shared value through various initiatives.
I would welcome any feedback on this document and contributions on how to take our sustainability journey even further.
Maya Makanjee Head, Corporate Affairs
Vodacom Sustainability Strategy 2
Background and objectives of the strategy
This document sets out Vodacom’s approach to managing the business risks and opportunities presented by sustainability issues. It presents the outcome of a structured process undertaken to identify the most material sustainability issues for Vodacom, distil them based on the importance of the issues to the business strategy and key stakeholders, and present them in the form of strategic sustainability priorities that represent risks and opportunities for the business. In doing so, this strategy is intended to guide the integration of sustainability issues into business strategy, and to function as a living document that is constantly updated to reflect the most pressing issues in the external environment that can affect the business.
Methodology adopted in developing the strategy
To place Vodacom on the journey to achieve the alignment between sustainability issues and the business strategy, this document has been developed using a structured approach that uses the same tools that inform the manner in which we set the objectives for our business, run our operations and report on our performance. The process of developing this strategy involved four key steps, namely; identifying the inputs that would feed into the strategy, collecting data from the various sources that represent the different inputs, analysing the data using a set of defined criteria, and developing a set of strategic sustainability priorities. The following graphic summarises these steps.
Context of the strategy
The importance of recognising the impacts of sustainability issues on the business in the form of a strategy document is reflected in how the business environment has evolved in the past 20 years, and how it is expected to get more uncertain and complex as a result of sustainability ‘megaforces’. These megaforces are seen to drive unprecedented risks and opportunities for business, requiring a response that considers the strategic implications of these changes. The following graphic summarises the megaforces that are used to explain the context of sustainability and business.
Vodacom Sustainability Strategy 3
Strategic sustainability priorities
The outcome of the process adopted in developing this document is a set of ten strategic sustainability priorities. These are framed as the actual risks or opportunities presented by the most material issues and are explained in terms of their importance to Vodacom’s key stakeholders, the impact on the business, and the current and planned activities that make up the strategic responses in each case. The following graphic summarises the set of ten strategic sustainability priorities as set out in the figure that follows.
Vodacom Sustainability Strategy 4
Strategy implementation and next steps
This strategy document is intended to be the coordinating point for the various initiatives that make up the strategic response to each of the sustainability priorities. It is intended to be a living document that evolves as the landscape of our business changes and the objectives we set for ourselves move in line with the changing competitive situation. The strategy is brought to life and operationalized through an implementation plan for translating the strategy into action, and the different steps of the implementation plan have been outlined in this document.
Vodacom Sustainability Strategy 5
This strategy has been developed through a structured process designed to place sustainability firmly within the context of the overall business strategy. Issues that would fall within the realm of sustainability should not be seen as distinct or in any way removed from the core business. Sustainability represents a lens through which to view the risks and opportunities that a constantly changing external environment presents our company. To place Vodacom on the journey to achieve this alignment, this strategy has been developed using the same tools that inform the manner in which we set the objectives for our business, run our operations and report on our performance.
The process of developing this strategy involved four key steps, as follows:
1. Identifying the inputs that would feed into the strategy: at the outset, the various tools and frameworks that guide the way we govern our overall business were identified to start from the same point of departure as the business strategy. Four key sources of inputs emerged as the key building blocks; the external business environment, the issues that our stakeholders consider most material to them, the business strategy as we have articulated it at present, and the principles of our Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) process.
2. Collecting data from the various sources that represent the different inputs: the process involved consulting widely from a number of different sources to gather the data that would form the basis for defining our sustainability priorities. In some cases, these sources were external to the company, such as an extensive media search and a review of local and international thought leadership on business and sustainability. In other instances, the sources were internal documents, such as Vodacom’s integrated report and corresponding supplementary reports.
3. Analysing the data using a set of defined criteria: the bottom-up process of data collection produced a ‘long list’ of issues that could potentially be material to the company. Subsequently, a structured process was used to analyse the data and distil the most critical issues using a materiality filter. This filter was made up of three primary components that made up the criteria against which each of the long-list of issues were analysed to determine their relevance. The components included; relevance of the issue(s) to the sector, importance to stakeholders, and impact on the business strategy.
4. Developing a set of strategic sustainability priorities: the process of distilling our most material issues using the defined criteria produced a set of ten strategic sustainability priorities. These priorities represent the actual risks or opportunities presented by the sustainability issues and explain the relevance