May 19, 2020

Vodacom’s Top 10 sustainability priorities

Top 10
Leah Netabai
5 min
Vodacom’s Top 10 sustainability priorities

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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Jun 11, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve, in terms of sustainability and global trade

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 


Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.


Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 


When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 


Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 


The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 


It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 


Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”


The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 


According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 


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