We structure our organization in a way that enables us to conduct business ethically and responsibly.
At the moment we are in a process of harmonizing the purchasing process of VodafoneZiggo. Embedding sustainable and ethical purchasing is one of the focus points. Our suppliers have to meet the general purchasing conditions. Our sustainable and ethical code is part of this. It describes what we expect from our suppliers and their subcontractors.
As a telecom company we bear a huge responsibility regarding the protection of customers’ data and the confidentiality of their communication. This goes beyond complying with laws and regulations. After all, the success of our company depends on the extent to which customers and employees trust us to respect their privacy.
At the moment, next to integrating the privacy programmes of Vodafone and Ziggo, we are in a process of implementing the European General Data Protection Regulation. This will lead to a privacy risk management framework. We carry out privacy risk impact assessments for new products and services and we conclude unambiguous agreements with suppliers processing personal data on behalf of us. In addition, we report security leaks with regard to personal data to the Dutch Data Protection Authority. Should a security leak have negative consequences for our customers’ privacy, we will inform our customers accordingly.
Vodafone only shares personal data with third parties if this essential for the service provision, if there is a legal obligation to do so or if a customer explicitly gives his consent to do so. For example for using an app. We are legally obliged to inform the Dutch Data Protection Authority about the customer data we process.
The direct negative environmental impact by VodafoneZiggo is mainly caused by the network, the mobility of our employees and our buildings. The indirect environmental impact is caused by media boxes, Wi-Fi transmitters and mobile phones. The network is responsible for 85% of our power consumption. Our environmental programme is called 'Planet Tomorrow’. Our environmental policy is guaranteed by the ISO 14001® certificate. The programme consists of over 50 different project with three goals:
1. Improve our operational activities. For example by implementing energy-saving measures, doing more circular business and by doing so, reducing waste streams.
2. Enabling our customers to be more environmental-friendly. For example by buying back used phones to give them a second life, by clarifying the effect of our environmental-friendly Internet of Things connections with the campaign ‘Less CO2 thanks to ICT’ and by stimulating ‘smart working’.
3. Inspiring our employees to work and live environmental-friendly. For example by using public transport.
- Energy consumption: VodafoneZiggo uses wind energy for 100% of its electricity needs.
- Carbon footprint: VodafoneZiggo aims for a carbon-neutral service provision and is a member of the climate coalition.
- Harmful substances: VodafoneZiggo uses no harmful substances. We do use coolants, however, for air conditioning units in the shops for example. Our internal programmes focus on reducing the amount of coolants used.
- Circularity: Vodafone offers customers the possibility to reuse or recycle existing communication devices. We take care of the entire end-to-end process. As to Ziggo services, ownership of the equipment lies with Ziggo. All consumer customers are obliged to return the equipment to Ziggo upon cancelling their subscription.
-Dematerialization: apart from providing services, VodafoneZiggo can also stimulate dematerialization together with business customers in other areas as well. For example by stimulating working from home (smarter working) but also using ICT to improve the efficiency of services.
- Avoiding waste: like with dematerialization, VodafoneZiggo is able to develop programmes, in which the role of ICT is mainly supportive, together with business customers with the aim to reduce waste.
The progress of our performance with regard to our carbon footprint, energy consumption and recycling and reuse of waste is reported on a yearly basis.
Read our annual report
We want to be an attractive company for international employees coming from different cultural backgrounds and will adjust our working culture and employment terms accordingly.
We have established an official Friends of LGBT+ network. Furthermore, we are a member of Workplace Pride, a partner that each year helps us organize the Pride Week (Gay Pride) in Amsterdam.
We also believe it is important to offer job opportunities to people who are distanced from the labour market. This has been an ongoing effort for several years. The independent research institute TNO assesses our performance in this area on a yearly basis. The results are published in the Performance Ladder of Social Entrepreneurship, a measuring tool showing a company’s performance in social areas. The higher on the ladder, the better the company performs. Next year we intend to make it to step 1. To realize that, we cooperate with, among others, partners like Locus, Emma at Work, Onbeperkt aan de slag and Sterk Sociaal.
Mobile phones, masts and health
Some people worry about the effect of mobile phones and masts on their health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there is no conclusive scientific proof that radio signals from base stations and wireless networks and mobile phones have a negative health effect. We want our customers to be able to use their mobile phone without having to worry. That is why we collaborate on an (inter)national level with various organizations when it comes to research and public information.
When building and maintaining our mobile network, cooperating with other parties is of the utmost important to minimize nuisance for local residents. Together with other providers we are united in Monet. This organization coordinates the location of antenna sites with the authorities. Together with Monet, we also enter into a dialogue with communities if the location of a mast leads to unrest. Since 2002, the industry and the authorities have been bound by the Antenna Covenant. This covenant contains the conditions for antenna sites up to five metres in height that can be erected without a building permit.
Using a mobile phone
When using a mobile phone, the human body absorbs part of the radio signals. According to the WHO there is no conclusive scientific evidence that this is harmful. If people want to reduce the level of radio signals when using a mobile phone, the World Health Organization has the following advice: call hands-free, limit the number and length of the calls and use the phone in areas with good reception.
According to a majority of scientists, backed by the WHO, there is no evidence so far that radio frequencies of mobile phones or base stations form an additional risk to children. Since the current generation of children and young people is likely to use mobile phones over a longer period of time, more research is being conducted into the use of mobile phones at various ages and into long-term usage. Vodafone will closely monitor the results of this research and the viewpoints of organizations like the World Health Organization on this subject.
We actively contribute to international and national scientific (independent) research into possible consequences of electromagnetic fields. Like the international COSMOS research in the Netherlands by the IRAS institute of the University of Utrecht (duration 30 year) into possible long-term effects of electromagnetic fields. We provide the data essential for conducting the research.
Since 2015, the telecom industry has been supporting the Knowledge Platform EMV (Electromagnetic Fields and Health). This is an independent information centre that gathers all knowledge of the RIVM, TNO, KEMA, the Joint Health Services, the Radiocommunications Agency and ZonMw with regard to electromagnetic fields. The goal is to interpret scientific information about the topic and make it available.
More information about the working of mobile phones, our global policy and scientific research can be found on the website of Vodafone Group.