Governance

The Group Executive Committee (ExCo) is responsible for our sustainability performance and receives a formal update on sustainability at least once a year, as well as a monthly written update. Material issues related to sustainability are also raised at Board level.

Our Group Sustainability team act as advisers to our local market sustainability managers and issue owners who implement sustainability initiatives across the business. In 2014/15, the Group Director of Sustainability and Vodafone Foundation headed the Group Sustainability team and the Group Director of Corporate Affairs took over in March 2015. Both report to the Group External Affairs Director, the ExCo member responsible for sustainability.

Vodafone Group Plc Board

Responsible for:

  • ultimate supervision of Vodafone’s sustainability performance.

Chief Executive & Executive Committee (ExCo)

Group Director of Sustainability and Vodafone Foundation reports to Group External Affairs Director (ExCo member responsible for sustainability)

Responsible for:

  • sustainability policy
  • discussing sustainability issues
  • Vodafone’s sustainability performance.

Group Sustainability team

works closely with

Local operating companies

Group operational functions

Responsible for:

  • formulating sustainability strategy, policies and goals
  • maintaining sustainability performance across the Group
  • stakeholder engagement
  • raising awareness among employees
  • sustainability reporting
  • helping management to ensure that sustainability standards are consistent across the Group.

Managing sustainability across the Group

We have an established framework for implementing our sustainability programme across the Group through a network of issue owners within different functions and dedicated teams in each local market.

The Chief Executives of individual operating companies have overall responsibility for their sustainability performance and the Group Director of Sustainability and Vodafone Foundation met members of their executive teams in 2014/15. Quarterly formal meetings are also held with our regional Chief Executives and directors of key Group functions.

In 2014/15 our Group Sustainability team focused on:

  • compliance: managing issues and collecting data to ensure we operate responsibly and comply with external regulations and internal policies
  • commercial opportunities: leveraging the sustainability credentials of our business and our products and services as a commercial differentiator
  • communications: researching and improving understanding of the role of communications technology in addressing global trends.

Our local markets align their strategy to the Group but have the flexibility to focus on issues that are important to their local stakeholders. The Group Sustainability team runs monthly teleconferences and annual global workshops. This allows sustainability managers and issue owners from our local markets to align with the Group sustainability strategy, share best practice, ensure consistency across the business and drive progress towards our vision.

We report progress publicly in this Group report and our local markets’ sustainability reports. Our performance at group is independently assured (see Assurance).

In focus: Managing compliance risk

We have a robust programme in place to ensure we comply with laws and regulations in the markets where we operate. Key compliance risks are identified through risk assessments, assurance activities and scanning the horizon for changes to legislation. Our compliance programme, managed by the Group Compliance team and experts across the business, aims to address these risks through:

  • governance – defining ownership and accountability for addressing our key compliance risks
  • prevention – setting clear policies and establishing controls that are embedded across the business to prevent compliance risks
  • monitoring – assessing the effectiveness of our controls and identifying opportunities to improve
  • culture – creating a culture of ethical behaviour driven from the top of the business, clearly communicating to our employees what is expected of them and equipping them with the tools they need to ensure compliance.