Vodafone 2024 Annual Report

34 Vodafone Group Plc Annual Report 2024

Strategic report



Other information

Our purpose Purpose

Digital technology has been recognised as a key enabler of carbon savings. We work with our business customers to build solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (‘GHG’) and lower their planetary impact. As use of technology expands, we are playing our role in the growing circular economy. We work to minimise the impact of the waste we create from our own operations and encourage greater reuse, repair and recycling of the hardware our customers use. Maintaining Trust Integrity is core to who we are and how we act at Vodafone. Recognising that digitalisation can be disruptive and pose new challenges, we want to be a trusted partner to customers, employees, suppliers and the communities we serve in the digital society. We protect their data, ensure that services are delivered securely and responsibly, and provide guidance on how to navigate new technology. We aim to respect human rights across all our operations, and proactively manage risks in our supply chain. We continue to foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce that reflects the customers and societies we serve. We behave responsibly and transparently and always strive to uphold the highest industry standards. Read more on pages 53 to 54 Materiality assessment In FY24 we undertook a detailed stakeholder engagement exercise to assess our ESG strategy and prioritisation of related topics. The assessment provided an analysis of critical enablers and identified emerging ESG issues relevant to our business, our stakeholders and the societies in which we operate. Identification of material issues was determined by extensive stakeholder engagement. The views of employees, customers, investors, suppliers and peers were gathered via surveys, interviews and workshops. The preliminary results of the assessment are scheduled for discussion at executive level and will be presented to the ESG Committee. This stakeholder engagement is a critical step on our journey towards completion of our double materiality assessment (‘DMA’) as required by the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (‘CSRD’). Once completed, the results of the DMA are expected to drive our future strategic focus and non-financial reporting as set out in the CSRD. UN Sustainable Development Goals (‘SDGs’) We have identified two primary SDGs where we and our partners directly contribute to finding lasting solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges and thereby accelerate the delivery of many other SDGs. SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. Read more on our SDG alignment on page 43

Our purpose is to connect for a better future. We aim to create a digital society where everyone can thrive. As one of the largest European and African telecoms companies, we acknowledge our unique position to support making the world a better place. Vodafone’s connectivity and digital services can transform our customers’ lives. Every day, more than 300 million people and businesses put their trust in us to connect them to those who matter the most. We give people access to the digital tools that can help them improve their lives and livelihoods. We support small, medium and large businesses to serve their customers and grow. We offer access to financial services for people and businesses left out of traditional banking systems. The opportunities offered by digital technology are numerous. By connecting 187 million devices to our advanced networks, cloud and Artificial Intelligence services, we are able to help facilitate farmers to increase their yields, mayors to create smarter and greener cities, and delivery drivers to reduce their fuel consumption. We seek to ensure that governments can deliver essential public services digitally, improving citizens’ access to education and healthcare. The digital society we help to enable aims to make our communities more prosperous and more resilient. However, we must seek to ensure that as many people as possible are included and that progress does not come at the cost of the planet. This is why we place Empowering People, Protecting our Planet, and Maintaining Trust at the heart of our purpose as a business, guiding everything we do. Empowering People We believe everyone should fully benefit from the digital society, regardless of who they are or where they live. However, with a third of the world’s population still offline, a digital divide between the connected and unconnected persists. We focus on overcoming the main barriers to connectivity by increasing network coverage, increasing access to smart devices, and providing services aimed specifically at bringing more women online. We support millions of small businesses, with 3.3 million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (‘MSMEs’) accessing benefits of digitalisation through our V-Hub. Our fintech services in Africa connect more than 66.2 million people, helping to support entrepreneurship, lift communities out of poverty and transform national economies. We are also there to support people in times of crisis. We provide vital emergency connectivity and relief during major disasters. We connect refugees to digital education and our emergency material transport programme helps provide emergency relief in Africa. Protecting our Planet Digital technology has an important role to play in enabling the climate transition, by helping reduce carbon emissions and underpinning climate adaptation technologies. However, recognising that technology can create its own impact on our climate and nature, we strive to minimise the environmental footprint of our operations, value chain and products and services. We are working to reduce our environmental impact to reach net zero across our full value chain by 2040. We drive energy efficiency in our operations and seek to match our energy with electricity from renewable sources.

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