CEO introduction

Vittorio Colao talks about Vodafone’s approach and priorities over the last financial year

CEO introduction

Mobile and digital communications transform lives and livelihoods. Our core business – connecting people and businesses – has fundamentally reshaped how 446 million customers in 26 countries communicate, share, create, learn and grow and thus realise their individual and collective potential.

We are committed to achieving our business goals while seeking to act at all times with openness, integrity and the highest standards of corporate responsibility. We expect everyone who works with us to have the utmost respect for privacy, human rights and freedom of expression. Our transparency report setting out our principles, policies and practices in meeting demands for assistance from law enforcement and intelligence agencies is widely viewed as the most comprehensive of its kind in the world. It is in the process of being updated and will be published separately in July 2015.

We have a similar commitment to transparency in another area of intense public scrutiny and debate. Our tax and total economic contribution report contains a breakdown – on a country-by-country basis – of the taxes we paid last year. The report was updated and published in January 2015 and provides details of how we paid £14.75 billion to underpin the public finances in our countries of operation.

We also think carefully about our role in mitigating climate change, reducing environmental harm, ensuring ethical conduct throughout our supply chain and tackling gender inequality. From the farmer in Turkey who uses our mobile services to enhance crop productivity and reduce pesticide use, to the new mother working for Vodacom Mozambique who will benefit from the same support offered to her peers in Europe under our new global maternity policy, we strive to have a positive impact on the way people manage their daily lives. We also provide details of our new approach to the reduction of greenhouse gases including a goal to use our technologies to help our customers reduce their carbon emissions by twice the amount of CO2e generated by our own business by 2018.

M-Pesa continues to evolve beyond a traditional mobile money transfer service enabling people to save and borrow and receive salaries and benefits. It is also the platform for many of our health and agricultural initiatives in emerging markets, demonstrating the power of mobile to protect vulnerable people from disease and extend economic participation and financial resilience to some of the poorest people on earth.

Operational safety remains a key focus at Vodafone. We believe all incidents are preventable and have put in place a number of programmes to seek to ensure that everyone who works for us goes home safely to their families at the end of each day. Road accidents – particularly in India and Africa – account for the large majority of all incidents in our local operating businesses. Over the last year, more than 115,000 employees, contractors, partners, service providers and distributors in India undertook mandatory defensive driver training.

Sadly, despite all of our efforts I regret to report that a total of 10 people lost their lives working for Vodafone in 2014/15. While we have made significant improvements to the safety culture and operational controls across our businesses over the last five years, every accident is unacceptable. We will continue to do all we can to ensure our people are safe from harm. Further details are set out in the Health and Safety section of this report.

The beliefs, aspirations and concerns of our diverse stakeholders shape our performance and success influencing the way in which we make decisions. We hope that this report demonstrates how our global business strategies and local market operations play an active and positive role in addressing a range of critical social issues.

CEO Signature

Vittorio Colao
Chief Executive, Vodafone Group Plc

Photo courtesy of Paul Ridderhof Copyright © 2014