Sustainability checks

[G4-Dma Supplier Human Rights Assessment], [G4-Dma Employment] Activities intended to verify the sustainability performance of common suppliers and sub-suppliers continued in 2015 in the framework of the Joint Audit Cooperation (JAC)1 initiative, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed at the end of 2009 by Telecom Italia, Orange and Deutsche Telekom. In 2011, Proximus (former Belgacom), KPN, Swisscom and Vodafone Group signed up to the memorandum, followed by Telenor and TeliaSonera in 2012 and Verizon in 2013.

The purposes of the Joint Audit Cooperation initiative are:

  • to verify the sustainability of the most important suppliers/sub-suppliers that are common to the members of the JAC, with production plants located in geographical areas with a significant degree of socio-environmental risk. The checks are carried out by means of audits conducted by third parties using a specific method developed by the JAC members themselves, who share the results of the verifications;
  • to contribute to the increased sustainability of suppliers/sub-suppliers involved by devising and implementing corrective actions and ongoing improvement programmes, establishing long-lasting and mutually beneficial cooperation with them in terms of efficiency, productivity and risk reduction in the supply chain.

[G4-HR4b], [G4-HR5c][G4-HR6b], [G4-HR11c], [G4-HR11d], [G4-LA15] Between 2010 and 2015, thanks to the gradual increase in the number of members of JAC, 209 audits were carried out – including 61 in 20152 - in production plants (suppliers and sub-suppliers) located in Asia, Central and South America, North Africa and Eastern Europe. The checks were carried out through international specialised companies selected by competitive tender, and related to a total of more than 600,000 workers. The suppliers included in the audit campaign belonged to the user devices and equipment, network equipment and IT equipment production sectors.

The table below shows the non-conformities recorded during audits on Group suppliers, including those relating to Human Rights. The higher number of non-conformities detected in 2015 is basically a consequence of the higher number of audits conducted last year (61) as compared with 2014 (37) and 2013 (37).

Environment 27 (22) 14 (12) 13 (3)
Discriminations 5 (3) 2 (2) 2 (1)
Business ethics 38 (35) 18 (18) 32 (19)
Forced Labour 8 (7) 5 (4) 5 (4)
Child labour 7 (5) 8 (8) 11 (5)
Freedom of association 2 (2) 2 (2) 5 (1)
Working hours 33 (27) 23 (20) 34 (19)
Pay 22 (18) 6 (3) 11 (7)
Disciplinary proceedings 5 (4) 4 (3) 2 (1)
Health and Safety 130 (115) 79 (68) 79 (31)

(data relating to suppliers also operating for the Brazil BU is given in brackets)

For all the non-conformities encountered, specific corrective action plans were drawn up that established resolution procedures and timetables amongst others. The implementation of these plans is monitored on a constant basis by the JAC members3.

On 22 January 2015, Suzhou (China) hosted the fourth annual forum with suppliers involved in the JAC programme, on the matter of: “Transparency of the Supply Chain”. The event was attended by approximately 150 delegates, representing members of the JAC, suppliers, members of the press, entities operating in sustainability and NGOs.



2 52 of Telecom Italia suppliers, of whom 23 in 2015 alone.

3 [G4-DMA Supplier Human Rights Assessment], [G4-HR11e] As the aim of the initiative is to help suppliers in the countries at greater risk in terms of the application and respect for sustainability principles improve their performance, non-conformities always result in corrective action and not the termination of the purchase contract.