Sustainable Development Map for Vodafone New Zealand

Vodafone Group Plc is a telecommunication group, and it is ranked among the few most successful companies in the industry. The company has a significant presence in different continents around the world, including Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East. Vodafone provides a wide range of services including messaging, messaging, and voice calls across fixed and mobile networks. The purpose of Vodafone is to ensure that everybody is connected so that they can live better lives today, and also build a better tomorrow. The company believes that by pursuing this goal responsibly and sustainably, they will be able to create long term value for the whole society, and also for their shareholders (Epstein & Buhovac, 2014). This paper will develop a sustainable development map for Vodafone New Zealand, and give recommendations which are based on the research.

Vodafone New Zealand was started in the year 1998; it was initially started as a mobile telecommunication provider with approximately 138,000 customers. The company has grown its market share over the last 18 years to about 2.3 million mobile connections; this amounts to approximately 45% of mobile market in New Zealand. On 2013, the company purchased Telstra clear, and become the first company to with a single brand that combined two businesses (Guinee, Heijungs, Huppes, Zamagni, Masoni, Buonamici & Rydberg, 2010). The purchase of Telstra clear enabled the company to meet the needs of their customers while are constantly changing. The combination of the two businesses positions Vodafone to grow, compete and innovate, especially in the current world of fiber access. The combination also strengthens their national presence, more so Christchurch. In the year 2006, Vodafone purchased hug, which was the third largest internet services providers in New Zealand (Gibson, Miller, Smith, Bell & Crothers, 2013). This enabled the company to be full providers 0of telecommunications services; as a result, they were able to provide different services such as broadband and home phone lines, alongside their mobile products. This was part of their total communication strategy, which has seen them drive innovation and mobile/fixed convergence while aiming at meeting full data communication and voice needs of their customers.

The company is dedicated to offer quality and safe services to their customers, they are committed to do the right thing. According to the company, doing the right thing revolves around the environment in which they carry on their activities. It is the place where the corporation operates changes, and as they respond to their stakeholder’s feedbacks on issues that they find material in their operations (Finnveden, Hauschild, Ekvall, Guinée, Heijungs, Hellweg & Suh, 2009). The past few years have been important for Vodafone’s sector as well as for Vodafone New Zealand. The prices of mobile phones have reduced in past few years, they have decreased significantly, and are even lower than the OECD average. The price of broadband is decreasing continuously. Also, more customers who are requiring more data, content, speed and coverage have increased, this is making the company continue investing more in network and infrastructures, accelerated by competition (Beltrán, 2013). This pressure has resulted in the past four years, and have led to the shrinking of the overall revenue of the sector.

Communication technology has already become a vital part of human lives; it is assisting transform the services that people rely on, the way people live and the way they work. Since the delivery of services is reliant on it, those people in the society without contact to it are highly underprivileged. It creates a digital division between those who have access to it, and those who do not have access, especially to those in rural areas (Dempsey, Bramley, Power & Brown, 2011). The rural areas create a challenge because of the geography and the distance from centers which are major; it is challenging to deliver coverage in such places.

New Zealand is a small market, and the company can identify the key stakeholders through monitoring media and public relations, and through recommendations. The main stakeholders include the customers, media, non-governmental organizations, industry, government, community, suppliers, regulators, and employees. The company has many channels for engagement for their stakeholders, and they use it to inform them their materials issues. The surveys, the customers, and the employees regularly on their performance, opinions, satisfaction, and concerns (Singh, 2014). They also survey their suppliers so that they can be able to understand their perspective. Vodafone’s foundation and sustainability team beyond you survey on employee annually. The survey is meant to gather the opinion of employees on how they feel about the company’s tracking on sustainability. Vodafone also engages with the government, interest groups, and the media directly. They engage directly with the members of the communities where they want to set up their infrastructure.

Since 2003, Vodafone has offered recycling programs for mobile phones known as RE: MOBILE. They have led in New Zealand Telecommunication Forum program of recycling mobile since 2010.  This program offers all people of New Zealand an option in disposing their gadgets, they create environment friendly ecosystem by disposing mobile handsets that they are not using, or are not functional. RE: MOBILE is dedicated to selling and collecting mobile gadgets that are still useful, the program is also dedicated to recycling and deconstructing end of life phones components. Accessories and mobile phones that are unwanted are dropped at bins that have been set up by RE: MOBILE in Vodafone stores (Kresak, Corvington & Williamson, 2016). The program is aiming to increase the number of the collected phones per year for reuse and recycling to about 300,000. At the same time, decrease the amount of mobile phones that ends up to landfill by approximately 2 percent, reduce the number of mobile phones and accessories that are kept at homes by approximately 10 percent by the year 2020.

Vodafone New Zealand’s electricity emission is measured and calculated by use of greenhouse gas release factors from the energy quarterly of New Zealand. Apart from electrical energy, the company also have sources of emission included in the calculations are diesel and petrol used by their network, retailer shops, air travel, and offices, all this is provided to them by CWT. Vodafone believes that these are their major backers to their carbon footprint (McLaren, & McLaren, 2010). The company is looking at how they will reduce their carbon emission footprint. They have continued their programs of improving network efficiency and data center so that they can achieve an average usage of power efficiency factor of about 1.63 across the data centers in the networks of Vodafone

Vodafone has also contributed to the society by offering mentoring services. The Vodafone Foundation picks up children and young people and starts to support and nurture them. The foundation also offers academic mentoring programs for those youths who are at risk, as well as young children and dads. Apart from this, Vodafone engages in ICT donations, for instance, in the year 2013, Vodafone NZ made an ICT donation of $40,000 to Manurewa intermediate. The staff completed the makeover, who volunteered more than 200 hours of their time and proficiency. This contribution included connection of Wi-Fi to more than 40 areas around schools, refurbished laptops, desktops, and new iPads. This donation would enable teachers to create an easier and richer learning experience for their students while incorporating real applications of what the students are learning.

Also, technology acts as a benefactor for businesses, society, environment, and consumers, however, it comes with its negativity such as cyber bullying and other accidents. Vodafone has addressed some of this problems by introducing services and products that will empower their customers so that they can be able to address these problems. For instance, cyber bullying using communication technology is a serious issue that has is affecting many young people. Vodafone developed Vodafone blacklist as a reaction to this matter; they also ensured they had a method to enable their customers to address this problem directly (Finkbeiner, Schau, Lehmann & Traverso, 2010). The company is working with Netsafe to ensure they come up with a new tool that will be used by school children and young people, who are most of the time the victims of bullying, communicate better about cyber bullying in their schools.

Recommendations

Vodafone New Zealand initiated a review which is more formalized to its stakeholders and their material issues on corporate responsibility (CR), however, incorporation of this act into a formalized stakeholder engagement program is yet to be completed.

Vodafone increased its services scope by acquiring Telstra Clear; it also increased the number of its customers and their base. The Vodafone requires to identify and assess the material CR impacts which is associated with this operating environment; this will be a vital task for the company in the years to come.

Managing for sustainability