Ethical behaviour is the frame of reference (basis) for everything Swisscom has been doing for many years. The public’s expectations of the business community have risen sharply. And stakeholders are making legitimate demands for responsible action.
Swisscom endeavours to act in a way that does not lead to any disadvantages for customers, the economy, the environment, the general public, social groups, individuals or the company itself. It acts in the knowledge that it can maintain its competitive position not only through offering convincing products and services. Rather, acting responsibly and on the basis of ethical principles is just as important for Swisscom. Swisscom is committed to transparency and open dialogue with the public. It also encourages its employees to keep asking themselves whether their decisions and actions comply with the norms and values of both the company and society. Swisscom is only economically successful if there is harmony between the company and society.
As its main shareholder, the Confederation expects Swisscom to pursue a corporate strategy that is, to the extent economically possible, both sustainable and committed to ethical principles.See www.swisscom.ch/cr-governance
Swisscom lives up to this demand through its commitment to the environment, society and the economy, in both the analogue and digital worlds. Swisscom’s ethical standards take equal account of the needs of Swisscom and its stakeholders. Swisscom is aware that there are conflicting objectives associated with this. It actively addresses these and strives to collaborate to identify solutions that accord with its corporate culture.
Ethical standards affect the entire company. Swisscom trusts its employees and expects them to act responsibly in their day-to-day work. Management sets an example. The Head of Group Communications & Responsibility is also the person responsible for Swisscom’s ethics. He is responsible for ethical issues and impact assessments relating to Swisscom’s business activities, and raises staff awareness. In 2019, Swisscom also set up a Data Ethics Board under the direction of the person responsible for ethics, which meets to discuss data projects and makes recommendations for projects and management.
The 2025 Sustainability Strategy creates added value for society, the economy and the environment and stands for ethically responsible entrepreneurship. Among other things, Swisscom makes a contribution to energy efficiency and climate protection, aims to improve the quality of people’s everyday lives, advocates fair working conditions in Switzerland and abroad, promotes the development of its employees and champions better media skills in Switzerland. Swisscom checks projects and engagements not only for profitability, but also for compliance with sustainability standards and long-term impact on the environment and society.
Swisscom committed to the following rules and code of practice during the year under review:
- Code of Conduct: taking responsibility, complying with rules, being honest and reporting violations – Swisscom’s Code of Conduct contains the minimum expectations that the Board of Directors and CEO have of the managers and employees of Swisscom and its Group companies.
- Sustainability governance: transparency and clear responsibilities characterise responsible corporate governance at Swisscom. Sustainability governance defines the rules in accordance with which Swisscom employees in charge must manage, organise and control.
- Principles of communication: employees adhere to Swisscom’s values and principles of communication in their day-to-day communication with one another and with customers, as well as in media and public relations work.
- Data Ethics Board: Swisscom has set up the Data Ethics Board to examine data processing operations based on objectifiable values. The Board, chaired by the Head of Group Communications & Responsibility, examines specific application scenarios from day-to-day business. The principles, processes and composition of the Data Ethics Board were adopted in August 2019 in collaboration with the CEO, Head of Strategy, Head of Security and Head of Group Communications & Responsibility. The Board consists of representatives from HR, Customer Care, Data Analytics and Mobile Solutions for Business Customers. The first meeting of the Data Ethics Board, with its new composition, took place in November 2019. The Board advised on and examined projects relating to Swisscom TV and mobile communications.
- Transparency and dialogue: Swisscom seeks to establish contact with the public. It maintains an open dialogue with interested stakeholder groups on specific topics relating to its core business. Swisscom employees have the option of anonymously reporting suspected unfair business practices via a publicly accessible whistle-blowing platform. The incoming notifications are handled by the Internal Audit department.
- Responsible data handling: data-based applications and services provide opportunities for society, for the economy and for Swisscom as a company. Swisscom is aware of the trust its customers place in it when it comes to the handling of data. That is why it has set up a data governance procedure. This procedure systematically formulates measures and processes to establish and promote a responsible data culture at Swisscom. The aim is to ensure that Swisscom processes data in a legally compliant and legitimate manner. Swisscom became a board member of the Open Data Association in 2018. This is an example of how the company is involving itself in the socio-political discourse surrounding the public availability of data.