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Corporate responsibility

CR governance

The Group’s main focus is on implementing its CR programme across local operating companies. For the purposes of this section of the annual report, “operating companies” refers to the Group’s operating subsidiaries and the Group’s joint venture in Italy. For the first time, it includes information on India but, given the scale of operations and the challenges of bringing India in line with the Group’s CR practices, which may take some time, the CR information and data disclosed for India is preliminary. The newly acquired businesses in Ghana and Qatar are excluded and it is intended to include them in reporting for the 2010 financial year. The Group recognises that it has influence with joint ventures, associates, investments, partner networks and outsourcing partners. In the 2009 financial year, the Group reviewed its role in promoting CR with these partners and the result of this analysis is available at

Vodafone’s approach to CR is underpinned by its business principles which cover, amongst other things, the environment, employees, individual conduct, community and society. The business principles are available at and are communicated to employees in a number of ways, including induction processes, websites and face to face meetings.

The Executive Committee receives regular information on CR and, for the last six years, the Board has had an annual presentation on CR. A CR management structure is established in each local operating company, with each one having a representative on its management board with responsibility for CR. CR performance is closely monitored and reported at most local operating company boards on a regular basis. CR is also integrated into Vodafone’s risk management processes such as the formal annual confirmation provided by each local operating company detailing the operation of their controls system.

These processes are supported by stakeholder engagement, which helps to ensure Vodafone is aware of the issues relevant to the business and to provide a clear understanding of expectations of performance. Stakeholder consultations take place with customers, investors, employees, suppliers, the communities where the Group operates and where networks are based, governments, regulators and non-governmental organisations. Established in 2007, the Vodafone Corporate Responsibility Expert Advisory Panel comprises opinion leaders who are experts on CR issues important to Vodafone. The Panel met twice during the 2009 financial year and discussed the results of research on the socio-economic impact of mobile communications in India, climate change, the limits of Vodafone’s responsibility and embedding business principles into company culture. In addition, the Group has continued to hold formal stakeholder engagement events, this year focused on climate change and mobile advertising. The Group has also published a CR dialogue on waste.

Vodafone’s CR programme and selected performance information, as reported in the Group’s 2009 CR report, will be independently assured by KPMG using the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (‘ISAE 3000’). The assurance process assesses Vodafone’s adherence to the AccountAbility1000 Principles Standard (‘AA1000APS’) addressing inclusiveness, materiality and responsiveness, and the reliability of selected performance information. KPMG’s assurance statement outlining the specific assurance scope, which excludes India, procedures and assurance opinion will be published in the Group’s 2009 CR report.

For the 2009 financial year, the Group’s CR reporting comprises online information on CR programmes and a performance report. Thirteen operating companies have at some time produced their own CR reports.