Vodafone is committed to maintaining high ethical standards; understanding and responding to stakeholders’ priorities; and delivering on its responsibilities towards customers. The company is working towards ensuring that issues such as energy and climate change, the reuse and recycling of mobile phones, and the increased provision of services to people who are currently excluded from existing technology are addressed.
Arun Sarin, Chief Executive, Vodafone, said:
This year we announced a GBP 5 million social investment fund over the next three years to develop mobile products and services that benefit society. This builds on the work we have initiated this year on areas such as social alarms, teleassistance, microfinance and inclusive design. The new fund will help us explore further opportunities to develop products that have both high social value and commercial benefits.
As part of its work to extend the benefits of mobile phones, Vodafone has established a target to reduce preventable exclusion by at least one third by 2010. Current research suggests that 9% of the EU adult population is excluded from using a mobile phone. This includes people who have limited ability to see or hear and those with dexterity and mobility problems. To achieve this objective, Vodafone has committed to introducing products with features that reduce exclusion by March 2008.
The report also provides information about Vodafone’s contribution to addressing the climate change challenge, by announcing a target to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions per unit of data used by customers by 40% by 2011.
Vodafone has continued to lead research on the socio-economic impact of mobiles (SIM). In March 2006 Vodafone published the first systematic study into the potential use of mobile communications in healthcare.
The research showed that simply sending text message reminders to patients could reduce missed hospital and doctors appointments by between 30-50%. In England, this could lead to potential savings of between GBP 240-370 million a year for the NHS.