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March 03, 2010
Vodafone Tops List of Sustainable ICT Companies
by Robert Kropp
Ranking of the largest global information and communication technology companies finds strengths in
product innovation and supply chain engagement, but room for improvement in emissions reduction and
The importance of corporate sustainability in the information and communication technology (ICT)
industry sector is two-fold. With extensive supply chains and the significant environmental impact
of e-waste, the ICT industry is under pressure from key stakeholders to demonstrate leadership in
sustainability management. As providers of tools that other industry sectors and social
institutions use to improve their own sustainability practices, ICT companies are increasingly
expected to be leaders in corporate transparency and reporting as well.
Two Tomorrows, a UK-based sustainability
consultant, recently issued its ranking of the sustainability leadership practices of the world’s
20 largest ICT companies, assessing them according to their performance in the areas of business
strategy, corporate governance, stakeholder engagement, supply chain management, and product
According to the company’s benchmarking methodology, “Assessments are based on companies’ public disclosures, including
their annual report and accounts, sustainability, CSR and corporate citizenship reports, and
information on their websites.”
In general, Two Tomorrows found that ICT companies
performed well in providing innovative products and services to support the global response to
climate change. In addition, the company’s Tomorrow'
s Value Rating tool found that the highest-ranking performers were taking steps to address
e-waste through recycling programs, and engaging with their supply chains to reduce emissions and
On the other hand, while many ICT companies have set emissions
reduction targets, most have yet to achieve significant reductions, according to Two Tomorrows.
Many ICT companies also lag in stakeholder engagement.
Two Tomorrows ranked Vodafone
first among sustainable ICT companies. Thomas Krick, global manager of the Tomorrow’s Value
program, said, “Vodafone has implemented comprehensive governance mechanisms for sustainability
issues. It listens and responds to stakeholders both locally and globally, and has a strong track
record of developing services that help improve the lives of disadvantaged people and remote
Nokia ranked second on the list, followed by HP. HP was cited by the report
for integrating social and environmental considerations into its supply chain relationships, and
for transparency in disclosure.
According to Two Tomorrows, seven European companies
ranked among the top ten companies in the Tomorrow's Value Rating, two are Asian, and HP was the
only US-based company in the top ten. However, a look at the list suggests otherwise. Two US-based
companies, Motorola and Cisco, are listed as tying for ninth in the Tomorrow's Value Rating.
The two companies that finished at the bottom of the list, AT&T and Verizon, are both US-based.
It is interesting to note that Two Tomorrows recently published its ranking of the 15 largest Silicon
Valley-based companies. Not surprisingly, HP ranked first, and Cisco finished third. Intel, which
ranked second, is not included on the list of global ICT companies. Because there appears to be no
discernable difference in the methodologies applied by Two Tomorrows for the two lists, Intel’s
absence from the global list must be attributable to the company’s size.
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