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Vodafone committed itself to Sustainable Development Goals

02. June 2016

Vodafone has become part of the UN Global Compact Initiative and, at the same time, one of 27 members of the Global Compact Network Czech Republic. The network helps to root the sustainable business and social responsibility global know-how in the local context. Vodafone has thus confirmed that it is seriously committed to social responsibility in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. For his personal engagement in promoting and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Balesh Sharma, CEO at Vodafone Czech Republic, has been nominated as the Local SDG Pioneer. The award winner is to be announced at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York in June 2016.

According to a survey conducted by the Ipsos agency on behalf of the Association of Social Responsibility, 82 per cent of Czech people believe the government should be involved in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. 67 per cent think the private sector should take the responsibility. "Vodafone is aware of the importance of social responsibility and that is why it has become a member of the Global Compact Network Czech Republic. The membership in this global initiative obliges us to align our business with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. In these areas, we are going to report on our year-on-year progress," said Adriana Dergam, Head of Corporate Communication and CSR at Vodafone.

The host organization of the Global Compact Network Czech Republic is the Association of Social Responsibility. "There is no need to keep coming up with ever new issues concerning sustainability. It is important to take what is already there and implement it in the everyday life. And that´s what UN Global Compact offers. It is vital that the leading players in the area of sustainable business take part in the initiative, and Vodafone is surely one of them," said Lucie Mádlová, Executive Director of the Association of Social Responsibility and Global Compact Network Czech Republic.

With respect to its new role, Vodafone was one of the leading voices at the Global Compact 2030 Summit, which took place on 4 May in Prague. The summit was held by the Global Compact Network Czech Republic only one year after the network was founded. About 300 world´s key players in sustainability discussed the global future of sustainable business. The Vodafone Foundation Czech Republic and the Quality Council of the Czech Republic were the general partners of the summit.

Vodafone´s tools

Through sustainable business, Vodafone wants to support energy innovations and contribute to greater protection of the environment. One of the tools to facilitate this is the Internet of Things, which also helps to reduce the carbon footprint through technologies which enable direct communication of physical objects among themselves.

As another goal of sustainable business, Vodafone wants to support women and their chances in business and society, as well as young people and their personal and professional development. The major tool that should facilitate a change of the society for the better is mobile technologies. Being a part of the global HeForShe initiative, for example, Vodafone supports mobile education of female refugees. In the Czech Republic, the Women in Technology initiative focuses on supporting single mothers associated in the non-profit organization of Aperio and improving their digital skills through expert volunteerism. Technology as a tool for social innovations has been a central point of interest for the Laboratory of the Vodafone Foundation, too.

Local SDG Pioneer nominations

Balesh Sharma, CEO at Vodafone Czech Republic, was nominated as the Local SDG Pioneer in April 2016. Local SDG Pioneer is a person working at any level of organization and taking a significant effort to promote the global Sustainable Development Goals at a local level. This year, 660 people from all over the world have been nominated for the award. Balesh Sharma is the only nominee from the Czech Republic.

UN Global Compact

The UN Global Compact Initiative was founded in 2000. At the moment, it has over 13 thousand members, 8,300 of which work in business. It invites companies and organizations to align their missions and activities with universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.