Suppliers to Vodafone must make ethical pledge

26 November 2010
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26 November 2010 | Adam Leach

Vodafone is reducing business travel, sharing network stations with competitors and insisting that all new major suppliers sign its ethical purchasing code.

The company’s 2009/10 SustainabilityReport, out this week, said all future suppliers that are expected to receive more than £50,000 per annum from Vodafone will have to agree the standards in the code. Commitments stipulate that “no person is employed who is below the legal age of employment”, “products and/or services delivery meets general principles of health and safety risk prevention”, and “no form of bribery, including improper offers for payments to or from employees, customers, suppliers, organisations or individuals is tolerated.”

In a bid to cut carbon emissions, the number of company flights has been cut by 26 per cent following a pledge to the WorldWildlife Fund to cut out one in every five flights. The report shows that Vodafone surpassed the target within a year, removing 3,700 flights and saving 617 tonnes of CO2. The company achieved the reduction by using mobile communication for meetings more frequently to reduce the need for business travel, which also produced a significant cost saving.

“It’s great for the environment, but with around 3,500 fewer flights we’ve also achieved significant cost reductions,” said Peter Kelly, Vodafone UK’s enterprise director. Also commenting on their achievement, Lucy Bertenshaw, WWF’s transport campaign manager said: “Vodafone UK has achieved the ‘One in Five Challenge' by making the most of its own technology.”

The report also shows that Vodafone worked with competitor O2 to upgrade and add its own equipment to a number of O2 base stations. While this  increased the size of the stations, it removed the need to build a separate Vodafone one nearby.

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