Vodacom’s Top 10 sustainability priorities

By Leah Netabai

Business Chief Africa, takes a look at the top 10 sustainability priorities of Vodacom, which is majority owned by Vadafone.

1. Deliver exceptional network quality

Vodacom prides itself on its network being the backbone of its business. “The quality of our network allows us to distinguish ourselves from our competitors. It allows us to attract new customers and also ensures that we retain our existing customer base.”

With government and regulators increasing their focus on quality, Vodacom continues to ensure that its network remains of a high standard to retain its operating licences. As part of Vodacom Sustainability Strategy 12 the company endeavours to increase its network access, to develop innovative network solutions in rural areas. 

2. Deliver superior customer value and protect customer data and privacy 

“Our customers are the reason why we exist,” states Vodacom. Which is why the organisation places customer experience, and the value its brings to customers at the top of its priorities. 

“This will allow us to maintain and grow our position in an increasingly competitive landscape. We are also responsible for protecting our customer’s data, particularly as we analyse more of our customer’s data to recommend personal value-added services, and enable customers to transact and exchange sensitive information over mobile networks.”

3. Continue to innovate

With the ICT sector continuously evolving at an exponential rate, Vodacom sees this as an opportunity for the sector to provide value adding services, in areas which do not have access.

“It allows us to operate in smarter and more efficient ways, and continue generating value for our stakeholders. Innovation is key to developing solutions that address the needs of our various customers, and allows us to stay relevant. It encourages customer loyalty and furthers our market penetration.”

4. Increase penetration in existing markets and expand 

Increasing population growth, wealth and urbanisation in Africa, is creating unprecedented demand for telecommunication services, which is driving a market of people wanting connectivity.

“With six of the top ten fastest growing economies located on the African continent, the opportunity for expansion into new markets and growth in subscribers is a key strategic priority for Vodacom. In more mature existing markets such as South Africa, the opportunity to deepen penetration provides the greatest opportunity for growth. We aim to grow the number of customers whose lives we touch.”

5.  Manage environmental footprint

In order to deliver its services, Vodacom operations consumes natural resources such as energy, minerals and water, as well as generating carbon emissions.

“It is important that we understand our cradle to grave environmental footprint, from the production of our products and the provision of our services, to the disposal of our network and electronic waste. Our ability to proactively respond to a changing operating environment will influence our resilience as an organisation. We believe that we can provide innovative technological solutions to reduce operational energy costs and carbon emissions, while providing products and services that help customers to live and work more efficiently and flexibly.”


6. Create and sustain value for communities and markets

Currently Vodcom believes that, the business world is at an all time low when it comes to trust, with companies being asked to demonstrate how they are creating and sustaining value, as well as being encouraged to meet not only the law but the spirit of legal and moral compliance. 

“We are committed to furthering the transformation agenda in South Africa and encouraging localisation in the areas in which we operate.”

7. Provide a stimulating and rewarding environment

To create a productive working environment that allows people to fulfil their potential, Vodacom strives to develop and retain the right type of people, that will create and develop this workplace culture.

“We depend on our people. We need the right people with the right skills to operate our business effectively and create value. To do this we need to attract and retain the right people by creating a safe and rewarding environment, and to create the right culture and environment where employees can thrive and have the freedom to pursue their higher purpose through their work.”

8. Proactively engage with key stakeholders

“We operate in an industry constantly in flux and with ever changing risks and opportunities. Consequently, being able to pre-empt the changing needs of our stakeholders in this dynamic environment is key to retaining and growing our competitive advantage.” Vodacom believes that simply answering and responding is not sufficient neither a fulfilment of its role as a corporate citizen. Instead, Vodacom proactively engages with its stakeholders to understand their needs and take deliberate steps to fulfil its responsibilities.

9. Protect and further human rights

Despite the large amount of progress made in terms of human rights, there continues to be an unacceptable level of violations being made across the world.

“The political turmoil and economic challenges that continue to afflict many African countries create conditions where vulnerable and marginalised communities continue to suffer violations of their inalienable rights. As an organisation with considerable reach and influence in developing countries, we believe it to be our responsibility and mission to ensure the protection and furtherment of human rights in everything that we do.”

10. Embed the highest principles of corporate governance 

Vodacom highlights that over the last two decades there has been a mainstream formal code of corporate governance being established within businesses. Which the company has seen reflected in the implementation of the King Codes of Corporate Governance through the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

“We believe that embedding the highest principles of Corporate Governance in the way we do business is first and foremost the right thing to do, and it makes clear business sense.”

For more information on business topics in Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Africa.

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