The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Home / case studies / Case study: How Telenet promotes sustainability across its supply chain

Case study: How Telenet promotes sustainability across its supply chain

Telenet is the largest provider of cable broadband services in Belgium, focusing on offering digital television, high-speed Internet, and fixed and mobile telephony services to residential customers in Flanders, Brussels and parts of Wallonia. Committed to promoting sustainability among its suppliers, Telenet rewards suppliers who strive for sustainable operations  Tweet This! and encourages the others to improve their performance.

This case study is based on the 2020 Sustainability Report by Telenet, prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards, that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Telenet makes sure that, among others, human rights are respected across its value chain by setting the highest standards for its suppliers, also working closely with suppliers in order to evolve towards a carbon-neutral supply chain. In order to promote sustainability across its supply chain Telenet took action to:

  • promote compliance
  • assess suppliers

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2020 Sustainability Report Telenet identified a range of material issues, such as business ethics and transparency, product sustainability, privacy and data security, carbon and energy efficiency, digital inclusion and skills development. Among these, promoting sustainability across its supply chain stands out as a key material issue for Telenet.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Telenet engages with:

To identify and prioritise material topics Telenet engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Customers ·      Net Promoter Score (NPS) to assess the satisfaction of Telenet’s customer

·      Four values to every new product: simplicity, transparency, focus on loyal customers, and forward-looking

·      Transparent communication around sensitive issues such as price adjustments

·      Actively engage in dialogue with customers through social media channels

Investors ·      Open, active, and simultaneous communication with all investors

·      Financial reports in accordance with international standards such as the International Financial Reporting Standards (EU) and the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act

·      Telenet annually measures the effectiveness of its sustainability policy by actively participating in external reviews, with focus on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and customer-led audits using the EcoVadis CSR Performance Scorecard

Employees

 

·      Bi-annual survey to actively assess the satisfaction of employees and quarterly polls to monitor the employee engagement and well-being

·      A stimulating working environment that encourages personal development

·      Equal opportunities and respect for diversity to ensure Telenet is a good reflection of the broader society and its customer base

Suppliers

 

·      A dedicated Telenet Supplier Code of Conduct, to be signed by all suppliers

·      Using the EcoVadis platform to evaluate and monitor the sustainability risk of each supplier

·      Structural partnerships with suppliers who have a strong social dimension, such as the social profit company Vlotter (IMSIR cvba)

Local community ·      Consultation of local communities and neighborhood committees for major projects like network optimisations in Telenet’s entire footprint

·      Active support for social initiatives that boost the digital talents of the future, like:

–       CoderDojo Belgium

–       ToekomstAtelierDelAvenir

–       YouthStart

–       BeCode

Policymakers ·      A Telenet Stakeholder Engagement Charter, with principles to develop lasting, trusted relationships with Telenet’s corporate stakeholders in an open and transparent way

·      Membership of professional organisations, such as the ISPA (Belgian Internet Service Providers Association), the GSMA, Giga Europe, and the Agoria Federation of Telecom Operators

·      Transparent interactions with policymakers, without supporting political parties

What actions were taken by Telenet to promote sustainability across its supply chain?

In its 2020 Sustainability Report Telenet reports that it took the following actions for promoting sustainability across its supply chain:

  • Promoting compliance
  • Telenet requires suppliers to comply with its Anti-Corruption Policy and the Telenet Supplier Code of Conduct, which covers:
    • environmental standards for the suppliers’ activities, products and services;
    • fundamental human rights;
    • working conditions;
    • health and safety at work;
    • business ethics.
  • Suppliers must also agree to comply with the Responsible Purchasing and Supply Chain Principles of Telenet’s parent company Liberty Global. These principles implement international labour standards such as the International Labor Organization Core Conventions and the UN Treaty on Human Rights, Bribery and Corruption, Health, Safety and the Environment.
  • Assessing suppliers
  • An assessment of the implications of the UN Framework and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights on Telenet’s business found that there is a significantly elevated risk of disrespect and abuse of human rights in its supply chain. Key human rights risks in the supply chain include child labour, forced labour, working hours and wages, discrimination, freedom of association and health and safety. Together with Liberty Global, Telenet uses the EcoVadis Dynamic Scorecard to assess the Environmental, Social and Governance performance of companies on 21 indicators covering environmental, social, ethical and supplier risks. Telenet regularly monitors its suppliers and launches a formal audit in the event of suspected breaches. In case of non-compliance with Corporate Social Responsibility principles, Telenet helps suppliers take corrective actions. If no agreement is reached on an acceptable recovery plan, however, the business relationship may be terminated.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 308-2 Negative environmental impacts in the supply chain and actions taken

2) Disclosure 414-2 Negative social impacts in the supply chain and actions taken

 

Disclosure 308-2 Negative environmental impacts in the supply chain and actions taken does not correspond to any SDG.

Disclosure 414-2 Negative social impacts in the supply chain and actions taken corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified & IEMA recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified & IEMA recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP

 

References:

This case study is based on published information by Telenet, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the following link:

https://www2.telenet.be/en/corporate/sustainability/reports

Note to Telenet: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.