Telecommunications are part of the solution to climate changes, to social divide, and in general they give a positive contribution to the quality of life and to the safeguard of the environment.
Companies providing telecommunications services are not generally considered to be at high environmental or social risk. Still, some risks exist, and listed below are the most common ones associated with the telecommunications sector which are classifiable as socio-environmental risks, accompanied by a quick summary of the mitigation actions implemented by TIM.
Beyond the risks common to any large company, associated with labour exploitation (which are meticulously avoided, within TIM, by a management system that starts with the Group Social Responsibility Policy and trade union agreements, and is based on detailed monitoring procedures that required the presence of workers’ representatives), the social risks most closely connected with the telecommunications business come from:
- breaches of network security and privacy systems, with consequent access to personal and sensitive data, to mitigate which TIM has equipped itself with a specific organisational structure and skills to predict and combat such breaches (click in order to see how we mitigate such risks);
- use of telecommunications services that causes harm to the mental and physical wellbeing of children or of anyone who lacks sufficient protection (click in order to see how we mitigate such risks);
- discrimination of some subjects who, for geographical or social/cultural reasons, do not have access to Internet and to the benefits it brings with it. TIM implements digital inclusion by developing its infrastructure and spreading the digital culture (click in order to see how we mitigate such risks).
Social risks are mostly considered as “reputational risks”, i.e., if there were a violation of human rights due to a company, the image of that company would be harmed and some stakeholders (for example, customers) might abandon that company.
Two main kinds of risks fall under the heading “environmental risks”:
- Risks to business continuity due to external environmental conditions (for example, earthquakes can destroy switching stations, exhaustion of energy sources can cause unsustainable costs)
- Possible damages to the environment caused by the company’s operations
Naturally, the first kind of risks, which are threats to the company’s operations, is carefully analysed and monitored through specific strategies and procedures.
As for damages which Telecom Italia might cause to the environment, the ones relative to the provisioning of telecommunication services are:
indirect impacts due to the use of Energy, needed for keeping the networks up and running (click in order to see how we mitigate such risks). It is worth noting, in particular, that the consumption of electricity by Telecom Italia S.p.A. in 2014 and 2015 was focused on renewable energy, certified by guarantees of origins.
sourcing of technologies, whose production might damage the environment, and disposal of technological waste (click in order to see how we mitigate such risks) These aspects are governed by the Group Green Procurement policy and by the sustainable supply chain management system.
electromagnetic emissions (click in order to see how we mitigate such risks)
Telecom Italia monitors the aforementioned types of risk using the tools it considers most appropriate for each type. Precise targets have only been set for the types of risk for which targets can actually be useful. In particular, targets have been set for
- new generation network coverage
- supplier sustainability
- reducing energy consumption