Swisscom attaches a great deal of importance to sustainability. Our main aim is to use resources efficiently, to think ahead and make provisions for future changes, and to ensure that our communication is based on dialogue and credibility. As a national infrastructure provider and a company committed to Switzerland, Swisscom holds a special position. Coupled with the expectations of the various stakeholder groups – especially customers, employees and the federal government as principal shareholder and as legislator – this position places high demands on the company as regards sustainability. Sustainable management and long-term responsibility are among the core values to which Swisscom is committed. They are reflected in the corporate business strategy and mission statement, and are presented in more detail in the Corporate Responsibility (CR) strategy. During the year under review, the UN published a sustainability agenda comprising 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with 169 individual targets between them. The goals and targets are geared in equal measure towards government entities, society and companies. As part of an analysis, Swisscom examined which of its sustainability measures measure up to the goals of the UN agenda and which should be intensified. As the analysis shows, Swisscom’s sustainability measures completely meet the goals in four areas (goals 1, 4, 7 and 9), partially meet the goals in five other areas (goals 3, 8, 11, 12 and 16) and could be intensified or expanded in six of the areas mentioned (goals 5, 6, 10, 13, 15 and 17). The remaining two goals (goals 2 and 14) are not relevant to Swisscom. The analysis of the SDGs therefore revealed that Swisscom’s sustainability strategy covers the relevant topics and only needs to be intensified in a few isolated areas. For example, targeted communication could play an even greater role in inspiring employees and customers to pursue a sustainable lifestyle.
Value chain and main aspects of Corporate Responsibility
- The provision of consumer and investment items and their transport to Switzerland have ecological effects on the consumption of energy and resources as well as on CO2 emissions.
- The provision of infrastructure and telecommunication services plays a role in ensuring that Switzerland remains competitive.
- Using Swisscom services offers advantages to customers, but also entails certain technical and social challenges.
- Creating and maintaining jobs in Switzerland and within the supply chains involves a social and economic aspect.
The added value statement and the distribution of added value are addressed in the Management Commentary of the Annual Report, in the “Financial review” section on page 66 ff.
Swisscom fosters dialogue with its most important stakeholder groups through various channels: via electronic media, over the phone, through surveys, information events, business meetings and conferences, as well as in customers’ homes and in Swisscom Shops. In 2016 – as in previous years – Swisscom took note of the concerns of the various stakeholder groups, prioritising them and among other things incorporating them into its CR strategy. Stakeholders’ expectations change over time. This had an influence on the further development of the CR strategy in 2016, which will remain in effect until 2020, but did not significantly impact its main thrust. Stakeholder management at Swisscom is decentralised in order to ensure proximity and ongoing contact with individual stakeholder groups. As part of the further development of the CR strategy and on behalf of the Group Executive Board, Swisscom continued the CR Executive Dialogue in 2016, which sees the members of the Group Executive Board discuss all six strategic Corporate Responsibility targets with the managers responsible for stakeholder groups. Among other activities, this included engaging in dialogue with WWF Switzerland over the promotion of a sustainable lifestyle in the year under review. With regard to social sustainability, an intensive exchange also took place at management level with Zewo-certified NGOs concerning the launch of crowdfunding platform letshelp.ch. Swisscom supports these NGOs in their fundraising efforts in its role as a technology partner.
Dialogue with stakeholder groups and strategic priorities
Dialogue takes place with stakeholder groups depending on how close the relationship is and on the individual stakeholder group’s interests. However, the size of the respective stakeholder group is the decisive factor in the kind of dialogue that is possible.
Quarterly surveys are conducted among business customers, which include questions on sustainability. Swisscom also maintains regular contact with consumer organisations in all language regions of Switzerland and runs blogs as well as online discussion platforms. The overall findings show that customers expect a good service, attractive pricing, market transparency, responsible marketing, comprehensive network coverage, network stability, low-radiation communication technologies and sustainable products and services.
Shareholders and external investors
Besides the Annual General Meeting, Swisscom regularly fosters dialogue with shareholders at analysts’ presentations, road shows and in regular teleconferences. Over the years, it has also built up contacts with numerous external investors and rating agencies. Shareholders and external investors expect above all growth, profitability and predictability from Swisscom.
Network expansion gives rise to tension because of the different interests at stake. Swisscom has been engaged in dialogue with municipal authorities and residents on network planning for many years, which in the case of construction projects gives the parties affected an opportunity to suggest suitable alternative locations. Swisscom also liaises regularly with public authorities in other areas and on other occasions: for example, it invites ICT heads of the cantonal education authorities to an annual two-day seminar on the subject of “Internet for Schools”. As a stakeholder group, public authorities expect Swisscom to act decisively in the way it recognises its responsibility towards the public at large and towards young people in particular.
Swisscom is required to deal with political and regulatory issues, maintaining a regular dialogue with authorities, parties and associations. Wherever Swisscom makes a constructive contribution to the legislative process, it always aims for full compliance in the application of the law.
Swisscom’s procurement organisations regularly deal with suppliers and manage supplier relationships, analysing the results of evaluations, formulating target agreements and reviewing performance. Once a year, they invite their main suppliers to a Key Supplier Day. The focus of the event is on risk mitigation and responsibility in the supply chain. In the interests of maintaining dialogue with global suppliers, Swisscom also relies on international cooperation within the relevant sectors.
Swisscom maintains close contact with the media, seven days a week. Its relationship with the media is based on professional journalistic principles. In addition to the Media Office, representatives of management maintain a regular dialogue with journalists and make themselves available for interviews and more in-depth background discussions.
Employees and employee representation
Helping to shape Swisscom’s future is one of the most important tasks of the Employee Representation Committee. This committee comprises 53 members (one representative for every 400 employees), as well as one representative in every company affiliated to the Swisscom CEA, i.e. 8 representatives. Twice a year, Swisscom organises a round-table meeting with the employee representatives. Employee concerns mainly relate to social partnership, training and development, diversity, and health and safety at work. Swisscom engages in dialogue with teams from all organisational units on sustainability issues, under the motto “Hello Future”. Through this dialogue, Swisscom keeps its employees up to date on its work in the area of sustainability and encourages them to implement sustainability measures in their daily work and life.
Partners and NGOs
Swisscom believes in the importance of sharing insights and information with partners within the framework of projects; for example, with WWF, myclimate, the Swiss Child Protection Foundation, Brot für alle, Fastenopfer and organisations that address the specific needs of affected groups. Active partnerships and Swisscom’s social and ecological commitment are especially relevant for the partners and NGO stakeholder group. The Swisscom website provides an overview of the individual stakeholder groups.See
We maintain contact with the public directly via the Swisscom website, through surveys of the public, at trade fairs and as part of events such as the ENERGY CHALLENGE 2016, which was held in the year under review. The ENERGY CHALLENGE 2016 is a campaign launched by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy in which Swisscom took part as the main partner.