Management approaches

Precautionary principle

Swisscom operates in a sustainable manner and uses established management systems and approaches to reduce environmental, business and social risks. Group targets and directives ensure that Corporate Responsibility requirements are taken into account in operations and projects. The investment guideline requires Swisscom to assess the environmental and social impacts of significant investments. For example, Swisscom uses a CR checklist to ensure economic, environmental and social criteria are taken into account in projects relating to network infrastructure, services and products. In addition, guidelines govern the recycling and disposal of network infrastructure, which was previously carried out on an ad hoc basis.

Requirements based on environmental criteria exist for renovations and newly constructed businesses. Swisscom’s Swiss subsidiaries and its Italian subsidiary Fastweb use instruments tailored to their needs. Preventive measures are taken as part of the company’s operational risk and safety management system. With regard to the electromagnetic fields in telecommunications technology – particularly mobile phone use –Swisscom has a certified quality assurance system (QAS) in place. This system is designed to ensure compliance with the limits set down in the Ordinance on Protection from Non-Ionising Radiation (ONIR limits).

Another important element of Swisscom’s precautionary principle is staff training and the raising of awareness among employees, involving for instance a separate programme addressing sustainability issues at Swisscom.

Management approaches and material issues

Swisscom has management approaches for the issues contained in the materiality matrix. Among others, the following requirements apply for the topics in the top-right quadrant of the matrix:

  • Collective employment agreement covering the representation of employees, the relationship with unions and other matters
  • Group Directive on the financial management of the Group
  • “Mobile work” guideline, which sets out the rules governing mobile working, and “management guideline”
  • Environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001 and associated directives and guidelines on the issues of energy and CO2 (guideline on Swisscom greenhouse gas inventory in accordance with ISO 14064)
  • Group Directive on security including data protection
  • Compliance policy with the associated compliance management system (described in more detail below) and directives on the issues of law and anti-corruption
  • Guideline on investment
  • Purchasing policy

Compliance management

Swisscom’s wide range of business activities, coupled with the complexity of the applicable regulations, call for an effective compliance management system (CMS). Swisscom’s CMS is based on the following underlying elements:

  • Culture: An effective CMS is founded on a culture of compliance. The Code of Conduct sets down the minimum expectations of the Board of Directors and CEO of Swisscom Ltd, which are communicated throughout the Group in the course of management work and day-to-day collaboration.
  • Objectives: The Board of Directors has defined Compliance goals. All organisational measures and activities are aligned with these goals.
  • Risks: Swisscom identifies compliance risks arising from its business activities and from regulatory and legislative changes. It assesses these risks and manages them using suitable measures.
  • Organisation: The Board of Directors has defined the minimum tasks of Compliance. The Group Executive Board and the management boards of the subsidiaries have defined further tasks and responsibilities and provide the resources required for an effective CMS.
  • Communication: Employees are informed of their tasks, competences and responsibilities. Regular reports are sent to the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Board of Swisscom Ltd, as well as the management boards and boards of directors of the subsidiaries and other internal units.
  • Monitoring and improvements: Swisscom monitors the CMS and eliminates any weaknesses on an ongoing basis.

During the financial year, Swisscom reviewed the business activities of its largest Group company Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd for corruption risks. While the review prompted recommendations to eliminate weaknesses in a few individual processes, no cases of corruption were identified.

Swisscom conducted in-depth reviews with regard to data protection and confidentiality, again primarily of Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd. It also approved a comprehensive package of measures for the continuous improvement of the CMS. As its cross-border activities are intensifying, Swisscom optimised the CMS in the area of global trade.

Responsible marketing

Swisscom’s marketing is aligned to its mission statement and the principles of the Swiss Commission for Fair Advertising (Schweizerische Lauterkeitskommission). These principles govern all of the relevant aspects of fairness and integrity in communication. The Brand Strategy & Management team, which is integrated in Group Communications & Responsibility, is responsible for informing Swisscom’s various marketing units about any developments in these principles. Ensuring that the principles are adhered to is the responsibility of the communicating units, as they are in a position to recognise any breaches of compliance early on and to take preventive action.

Swisscom does not differentiate its customers by age or gender, but rather makes sure to enable each customer to get to grips with an ever more networked and digitised world on an individual level. This approach ensures that Swisscom can support its customers without discrimination and according to each customer’s personal level of knowledge.

There were no infringements against fair trading in marketing and communications in the year under review.


Practices in relation to copyright laws

Copyright is governed by the Collective Employment Agreement. Employees assign any copyright and associated protective rights (in particular rights to software) and all shared rights to Swisscom, if these rights were created while working for Swisscom. This applies specifically to all achievements made by the employee either alone or in collaboration with others while employed by Swisscom. In the event that Swisscom has no interest in the rights transferred to it, the employee’s right to make use of them may be returned by contract.

Further management approaches based on the six GRI categories (economic, environmental, labour practices, human rights, society and product responsibility)

There are Group directives governing the various GRI sustainability topics. Specific technical regulations and guidelines also exist, for example on the cooling of telephone exchanges and data centres and the decommissioning of transmitter stations. These regulations are cited in the following chapters.

Swisscom’s responsibility towards the public

As a responsible “corporate citizen”, Swisscom actively participated in discussions on the following issues during the reporting year:

  • Sustainable conduct in the ICT sector
  • ICT in the education system
  • Improvements in customer service (e.g., relating to consumer protection)
  • Nationwide mobile and broadband infrastructure in Switzerland
  • Improvement of customer information systems
  • (e.g., information on mobile phone services for customers outside of Switzerland)
  • Contribution of ICT to energy reform

During the year under review, as in the previous financial year, Swisscom submitted statements as part of consultations at federal level, for example at a hearing of the National Council’s Committee for Transportation and Telecommunications (CTT) in relation to the Federal Council’s Telecommunications Report, i.e. a potential revision of the Telecommunications Act, or on the Ordinance on Telecommunication Services as a universal service. The Federal Law on the Monitoring of Postal and Telecommunications Traffic is also currently being amended. Swisscom formulated an independent statement of its own on the proposed amendments in the current consultation process and was also involved in formulating the statement of the industry association Association Suisse des Télécommunications (asut). Both statements can be viewed on the websites of the authorities in question.

Swisscom’s statements are based on the principle of self-regulation and competition in an open marketplace. Numerous attractive new customer offers and large investments made in the reporting year underscore this principle.

Swisscom supports a solution-oriented approach, in the interest of the common good and in the interest of the company. The positions Swisscom takes are based on clear facts. Swisscom maintains transparent and trusting relationships with politicians, public authorities and the community. The company participates in public hearings and events and plays its part in the political process by issuing written statements. Based on the relevant ethical codes (the Code of Lisbon and the Code of Professional Conduct of the Swiss Public Affairs Society), Swisscom rejects unlawful or ethically questionable practices aimed at exerting influence on opinion leaders. Moreover, Swisscom is a non-denominational, politically neutral organisation and does not support any political parties financially.