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. The UN’s agenda for sustainable development (2030 Agenda) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) formulated in 2015 substantially altered the framework conditions for sustainable action. Swisscom conducted an analysis that examined which of the SDGs are relevant to its own value creation chain and where it can help achieve these goals. The implementation of the SDGs is currently in full swing, particularly within our own organisation. Swisscom began addressing the SDGs for itself at an early stage. Through its cooperation with partners including the “Gap Frame Tools” project of the Business School Lausanne and participation in the federal government’s consultation process for implementing the 2030 Agenda (a participatory process in which stakeholders contribute to determining Switzerland’s SDG status). In this way, Swisscom has positioned itself as a pioneer in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Switzerland.
To evaluate the SDG requirements as well as the relevance and impact of its contributions for the Agenda 2030 goals, Swisscom applied a tool tailored to each phase of the evaluation. In the first phase, the evaluation determines whether there is a relationship between the activities of Swisscom and the individual SDGs based on three criteria. The first criterion relates to the situation of Switzerland with respect to the SDGs. It determines whether the SDG target is pertinent to Switzerland’s situation. The second criterion concerns the value creation chain. Here, the point in the value creation chain at which Swisscom’s responsibility objectively begins or ends must be determined. The third criterion determines the relevance of the targets with respect to Swisscom’s area of activity; for example, the goal of protecting the world’s oceans is not pertinent to Swisscom’s area of activity.
The second phase evaluates the concrete contributions Swisscom makes to achieve the targets of the SDGs. The two criteria applicable here are the relevance of Swisscom’s contributions and the degree of the impact on the SDG targets. In the third phase of the evaluation, the commitment Swisscom demonstrates in contributing towards the SDG targets is examined. This helps determine whether Swisscom’s contribution can be further optimised in some way or if Swisscom can do more to help meet the targets.
Once all of the evaluation phases have been completed, Swisscom’s contribution to the respective SDGs is ranked as good, very good or excellent.
The analysis of the SDG requirements 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. ICT technologies contribute significantly towards enabling a more sustainable lifestyle in urban areas. The term “Smart City” encompasses a range of applications on which Swisscom is working intensely in close collaboration with the respective divisions and the sustainability team.
Another priority of the SDGs is further education in the area of digital skills, which are becoming increasingly important owing to digitalisation and the transformation of the economy that this is inducing. New impetus in further education and training are therefore needed in order to sustain Switzerland’s high employment levels and the Swiss dual system of education (practical and academic).