CEO introduction

Hear from Vittorio Colao on the significant contribution Vodafone’s products and services are making and how we are growing our business responsibly

CEO introduction

The beliefs, aspirations and concerns of our diverse stakeholders shape our performance as much as any business decision. Everyone we deal with – our customers, shareholders, partners, suppliers, employees, elected representatives, regulators, NGOs and the media – rightly expects everyone at Vodafone to act responsibly and with integrity at all times. Financial results alone are not enough: the societies and communities within which we operate want companies to focus on enhancing lives and livelihoods, not just enhancing returns to their shareholders. Overlooking that expectation would risk undermining our prospects for long-term value creation.

Our core business is founded on a powerful social good: we exist to help more than 430 million customers in more than 27 countries communicate, share, create, learn and grow. The rapid expansion of communications networks is having a profound impact on the way people manage their daily lives. The social consequences are significant: for example, as we explain in a new section in this report, mobile can be enormously empowering for many women in emerging markets. High-speed data networks are also changing how companies and public sector organisations operate, enhancing productivity and effectiveness and in many cases reducing energy needs, therefore helping to address global warming. The report sets out how our technologies enable our customers to reduce their climate change impact, and gives an overview of our continuing efforts to reduce our operational energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

The data revolution is shaping household habits and enterprise strategies in ways that were little more than science fiction a generation ago. However, radical change often leads to complexity, new emerging risks and new kinds of concerns. Foremost amongst the latter is growing public anxiety about access to citizens’ private information by commercial entities and government authorities. As we explain in this report, the protection of our customers’ privacy is one of our highest priorities. We also reflect the public debate arising from allegations regarding government surveillance with the publication of our first Law Enforcement Disclosure report. This illustrates our approach to responding to law enforcement demands across 29 countries, including information about intelligence agency and authority demands on a country-by-country basis, where statistical data can lawfully be disclosed.

Corporate taxation is also an ongoing focus of public debate. Here, too, we have sought to inform discussions by producing a detailed and transparent insight into our views and approach. Our tax and total economic contribution report – updated in December 2013 – provides a detailed overview of our role in funding public finances, including a country-by-country breakdown of cash taxes paid: Vodafone is the first international communications operator to do so.

These issues – and others also addressed in this report – are of interest to a wide range of stakeholders. We are accountable to all of you. We hope this report is informative and we look forward to further discussions over the year ahead.

CEO Signature

Vittorio Colao
Chief Executive, Vodafone Group Plc