Enabling mobile healthcare

Vodafone mHealth Solutions delivers mobile solutions which enable the accessibility, efficiency and quality of healthcare. For example our ‘Nompilo’ system, developed with GeoMed, allows community caregivers in South Africa to input and access patient information by mobile, reducing administration time and costs while improving patient care through more effective monitoring and evaluation. The service will be trialled next in Tanzania and Spain.

Sustainable business

Sustainability underpins everything we do


Our sustainability strategy has three components:

  • sustainable societies: helping create more sustainable societies by providing communication services to meet the needs of people in emerging markets and facilitating the transition to a low carbon society;
  • eco-efficiency: cutting our carbon footprint in developed markets, reducing carbon intensity in rapidly growing emerging markets and minimising other environmental impacts; and
  • ethical business: ensuring responsible, ethical and honest behaviour throughout our operations and supply chain.
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Performance for the year

Creating more sustainable societies

Our networks, products and services have been making a difference to people’s lives around the world and contributing to achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

Many of our innovative services, pricing plans and products, such as Vodafone WebBox, Vodafone-branded handsets and Vodafone M-Pesa are tailored to emerging markets. See “Focus on key areas of growth potential: Emerging markets” for further information.

Vodafone mHealth Solutions uses mobile communications to improve the efficiency of healthcare. In developed countries our focus is on remote care services, including assisted living and condition management, saving costs and improving patients' quality of life, as well as mobile based services that increase the efficiency of clinical trials. In emerging markets we are using mobile to improve access to medicine, for example 'SMS for Life', a supply chain management solution which helps clinics manage supplies of malaria drugs. It has successfully improved stock management in Tanzania and is now being rolled out in other countries in collaboration with Novartis and other pharmaceutical companies.

Mobile communications, particularly M2M connections, have been playing a part in the transition to a low carbon society by facilitating the development of smart energy grids and improving the efficiency and emissions from vehicle travel (see “M2M services”). We have been working with British Gas in the UK and Italgas in Italy to provide M2M connections in homes for over one million smart meters to allow consumers to monitor and reduce their electricity and gas use.


Our total CO2 emissions increased by 62.6% to 1.96 million tonnes principally due to the inclusion of India, South Africa, Ghana and Qatar in our reporting, and were approximately level against last year on a like-for-like basis. Our target is to reduce our absolute CO2 emissions in developed markets by 50% from the 2007 financial year baseline by March 2020, and in emerging markets we are setting carbon intensity targets to reduce emissions per network node.

We are deploying more efficient equipment across our network, working with suppliers to develop more efficient equipment, and using solar and wind power to generate renewable energy for off-grid base stations.

Ethical business

Our business and sustainability strategies are underpinned by our business principles and code of conduct which stress the importance of responsible, ethical and honest behaviour in everything we do. This means being a responsible employer, maintaining the health and safety of our employees and contractors (see “People”), ensuring high standards of labour and environmental protection in our supply chain, transparent and ethical business practices, clear pricing and maintaining a safe internet experience (including child safety and privacy). In response to the proposed disclosure requirements on conflict minerals required by the US Dodd-Frank legislation, we continue to strengthen our due diligence activities on the source and chain of custody of these materials. The issue of human rights and access to communications has been brought into sharp focus by continuing events in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Social investment

The Vodafone Foundation and its network of 27 local foundations continue to invest in the communities in which Vodafone operates. Specific initiatives include Mobiles for Good projects which include the piloting of handsets for women at risk of domestic violence and an instant network which provides rapid network coverage for emergencies, Red Alert SMS fundraising services for emergency appeals and its World of Difference programme which enables individuals to take paid time to work for a charity of their choice for up to a year. We make grants to a variety of local charitable organisations meeting the needs of their communities. Total donations for the year were £49.6 million and included donations of £5.2 million towards foundation operating costs.

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Sustainability governance

The Executive Committee is ultimately responsible for our sustainability performance and receives a formal update every year, as does the Board. Each local market has a sustainability management structure and a system for monitoring performance and reporting to the Group. We also influence and monitor the sustainability performance of our joint ventures, outsourcing partners and other organisations with which we work.

The Vodafone Sustainability Expert Advisory Panel met twice during the year to discuss various issues. We engage a wide range of stakeholders, including customers, investors, employees, suppliers, communities, governments and regulators.

Our 11th annual sustainability report which is assured by Ernst & Young LLP using the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (‘ISAE 3000’) to check adherence to the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard (‘AA1000APS’) is available at www.vodafone.com/sustainability. 16 local markets also publish their own sustainability reports.

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Key performance indicators(1)

Vodafone Group      
Energy use (GWh) (direct and indirect) 4,117 3,278 3,044
Carbon dioxide emissions (millions of tonnes) 1.96 1.21 1.22
Percentage of energy sourced from renewables 19.42 23 19
Number of phones collected for reuse and recycling (millions) 1.23 1.33 1.53
Network equipment waste generated (tonnes) 7,473 5,870 4,944
Percentage of network equipment waste sent for reuse or recycling 99 98 97
  1. Note:
  2. These performance indicators were calculated using actual or estimated data collected by our mobile operating companies. The data is sourced from invoices, purchasing requisitions, direct data measurement and estimations where required. The carbon dioxide emissions figures are calculated using the kWh/CO2 conversion factor for the electricity provided by the national grid, suppliers or the International Energy Agency and for other energy sources in each operating company. The 2011 data includes India, Ghana, Qatar and South Africa but excludes all other Vodacom markets. Our joint venture in Italy is included in all years.
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