Telenor’s responsible business approach: Empowering societies in everything we do

No matter where you live in the world, if you are a farmer in Bangladesh or a fisherman in Norway, a father in Pakistan, or a mother in Finland, sustainability matters. Sustainability at Telenor is how we do business in a responsible way that helps both create value for the business and empower and sustains the world for generations to come. If societies do better, we do better.

The global Covid-19 pandemic has put our contribution to society to the test. The new normal makes delivering connectivity crucial in every society we operate in and presents a clear reminder of our shared commitment and responsibility to support the societies we are part of.

Telenor’s climate targets towards 2030

Our purpose guides us towards a sustainable future

Empowering societies. Connecting you to what matters most. That’s Telenor’s purpose. Being a company founded in Norway over 165 years ago, we live and breathe the Nordic values of equality, trust, and democracy in the way we do business today. So, for Telenor, our purpose is not just a statement on glossy paper. We have put responsible business as one of three key strategic pillars for the company – ingraining it within everything we do.  

But we also realise that global challenges cannot be addressed alone. As a global company, we are part of a greater effort that is guided by the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and delivered through our partnerships.

At Telenor, we continue to evolve our services, operations, and targets as they relate to the SDGs. At the heart of our business functions is a drive to provide sustainable, innovative, and resilient infrastructure and to be an enabler for green digitalisation to combat climate change (SDG9 and SDG13). Through our services and programs, we are committed to empowering societies by reducing inequalities (SDG10), empowering women and girls (SDG5), and helping enable quality education (SDG4). Together, these five SDGs form the bedrock of our global commitments.

In everything we do

Being a sustainable company in practice isn’t one or two things. It’s everything we do – delivering resilient, secure, and inclusive connectivity, services, and technological solutions; while being responsible towards our customers, employees, and society.

Three words sum up how our purpose comes alive and guides our responsible business approach: Include, Advance, and Safeguard.

Connectivity is the first step towards inclusion. We deliver affordable, essential connectivity services – opening the digital door of possibilities to millions. Inclusion is also a top priority for Telenor as an employer, seeing diversity as an essential ingredient to innovate and challenge. Our target is to reach a 65 percent share of active data users in our customer base by 2023.

To advance both ourselves and the societies around us, we need future skills. The global pandemic has accelerated both the need for digital skills as well as the digital divide underpinning it. Telenor has ongoing projects in several markets, building key future skills for young people, especially girls – allowing more people to take advantage of the opportunities offered by connectivity. Internally, through the 40-hour challenge, we upskill and reskill thousands of employees every year, creating value for both the employees and the company. 

For us, online safety and safeguarding customers when they use our services is at the heart of what we do. In all our markets, we work with our partners to help make the internet a safer, inclusive space. So far, we have trained over four million children in online safety across Europe and Asia. We never compromise on privacy and security and are always striving towards new solutions and services to protect our customers. We are guided by transparency and accountability in our operations, and our code of conduct is the platform that ensures we walk the talk.

In short, inclusive and safeguarded connectivity to advance people and empower societies is a key ambition.

Digiworld is our online learning resource designed to help children identify online risks while promoting a kind and respectful online presence

All hands on deck

Telenor has a holistic approach to sustainability, responsible business, and the challenges facing us. However, to raise the standards in our supply chain and operations, the following areas will be especially important for us in the coming years:

Climate & Environment: Combating climate change is about supporting and empowering societies, people, and businesses. Coming out of a year where ending a pandemic has been top of mind, it is more important than ever that we continue to take responsibility in driving positive climate action. The digitalisation of our societies gives us new possibilities on how to prevent climate change. Now – it’s time to step up our efforts.

Telenor’s climate ambitions cover two main areas. Firstly, we have committed to targets of becoming carbon neutral in the Nordic region and reducing our CO2 emissions by 50 percent in the Asian region by 2030 (from a 2019 baseline). Secondly, we aim to leverage our knowledge of technology and connectivity to empower other industries to reduce their own emissions through emissions-saving business solutions derived from 5G and IoT.

Going forward, we need to rebuild our economy and step up digitising societies while securing industry-wide climate actions to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Diversity & Inclusion: To understand what matters most to our customers, we need to have a diverse workforce. Our inclusive culture drives innovation in our global footprint that includes countries in the Nordics and Asia. We have set clear ambitions for what we want to achieve by 2024 – 35 percent of our senior leaders to be women, 35 percent of our senior leaders to come from a non-Nordic background, and 40 percent of our entire workforce to be women. This is not an exhaustive list of our ambitions, but some of the most important ones that we will measure ourselves on in the years to come.

Health and safety: Our employees should be safe at work – both in Telenor and in our supply chain. Telenor has the health and safety of our employees top of the agenda, with risk-based processes and standards, as well as culture building initiatives, to secure health and wellbeing for all – across our markets

Human rights: We believe telecommunications enables the exchange of ideas and access to information, and respect for human rights is integral to the way we do business. Through our policies and how we are raising standards, we want to be a voice for human rights in the markets where we operate. With a long-term perspective, continuous improvement, and stakeholder dialogue, we use due diligence to identify and address human rights challenges.

We put diversity and inclusion on our supplier’s agenda

Committed to a better future

Sustainability is about how we all can live, work, and do business together in a way that makes the world a better place, not just for us living here today – but for future generations. To achieve this, all of us must work together. Telenor is committed to doing our part by including, safeguarding, and advancing people, businesses, and societies around us – making responsible business a key tool for a more sustainable future.