Our actions are based on ethical principles. With this approach we meet our responsibility to all stakeholders – but also to ourselves. The public and stakeholder expectations of the business community have increased sharply, and we ourselves are also increasingly demanding that we act responsibly and with integrity.
We endeavour to act in a way that does not lead to any disadvantages for customers, employees, the economy, the environment, society or the company itself. As our main shareholder, the Confederation expects us to pursue a corporate strategy that, to the extent economically possible, lives up to sustainable and ethical principles. We are committed to transparency and open dialogue with the public. We encourage our employees to keep asking themselves whether their professional decisions and actions comply with the norms and values of both the company and society. We can only be economically successful if we inspire the trust of our stakeholders and can convince them with responsible actions based on ethical principles.See www.swisscom.ch/cr-governance
We meet these goals through our commitment to the environment, society and the economy. In the analogue as well as the digital worlds, our ethical standards take equal account of the needs of Swisscom and our stakeholders. We are aware that this can also result in conflicting objectives. We therefore actively address this matter, make decisions in line with our values, and strive to collaborate to identify solutions that accord with our corporate culture.
Responsible and ethical actions affect the entire company. We trust our employees and appreciate the fact that they act responsibly in their day-to-day work in keeping with our values. Management sets an example. The Head of Group Communications & Responsibility is also the person responsible for Swisscom’s ethics. He deals with ethical issues and impact assessments relating to our business activities and raises staff awareness. The person responsible for ethics also presides over the Data Ethics Board, which meets to discuss data projects and makes recommendations for projects and management. Together with the CEO and the Head of Human Resources, he also regularly reflects on corporate ethics issues with a small group of people.
The sustainability strategy creates added value for society, the economy, the environment and the entire company. It stands for a brand of entrepreneurship where ethical and economic concerns are given equal consideration. In line with our sustainability strategy, we examine projects and engagements not only for their profitability, but also for their long-term impact on the environment and society, and thus for compliance with sustainability standards.
We are committed to the following rules and code of practice:
- Code of Conduct: taking responsibility, complying with rules, being honest and reporting violations – with these four principles 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 the Group companies.
- Corporate governance: transparency and clear responsibilities characterise responsible corporate governance at Swisscom. Sustainability governance defines the rules in accordance with which the line units and the sustainability network make decisions, oversee and report (see ‘Corporate Responsibility Governance’).
- Values and promises: we focus on three values – trustworthy, committed, curious – which define who we are and the attitude with which we do our work. Swisscom has a duty to everyone in Switzerland to make the opportunities provided by the networked world accessible, easy to use and relevant. That is our responsibility as number one. That is our promise as the Swisscom brand.
- 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: we have set up a 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 Board consists of representatives from HR, Customer Care, Data Analytics and Mobile Solutions for Business Customers. In the year under review, the Board met four times to review current cases according to ethical criteria. This number may seem small. However, Swisscom generally has few cases that raise ethical questions. Our business models and services are fundamentally not data-based. Data ethics principles are already being taken into consideration by development teams. This leaves very few complex cases for the Data Ethics Board to look at in depth.
- Transparency and dialogue: we value and seek contact with the public. We maintain open dialogue with interested stakeholder groups on specific topics relating to our core business. Swisscom employees have the option of anonymously reporting suspected unfair business practices via a publicly accessible whistle-blowing platform. The reports are processed according to a defined process. The Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Head of the Audit & ESG Reporting Committee, the CEO, the CFO and the responsible member of the Group Executive Board are informed about reports in a timely manner and anonymously. The Audit Committee receives quarterly updates from VR-IA on the status of audit activities in the event of serious reports.
- Responsible data handling: data-based applications and services provide opportunities for society, for the economy and for us as a company. We are aware of the trust our customers place in us when it comes to the handling of data. That is why we have set up a data governance procedure. This formulates measures and processes to systematically establish and promote a responsible data culture. The aim is to ensure that Swisscom processes data in a legally compliant and legitimate manner. This is also an example of how we are involving ourselves in the socio-political discourse surrounding the public availability of data (see ‘Data protection’).
- Code of Conduct for Procurement: with our Code of Conduct for Procurement, we set binding rules: for us and our conduct as one of the largest buyers in Switzerland, but also for our supply partners, for whom we set high standards in terms of operating efficiency and innovation, but also in respect of social and ecological matters.
- Corporate Responsibility Contract Annex: the Code of Conduct for Procurement sets out the principles and procedures to be followed by the procurement organisations. It stipulates the requirements that suppliers accept by signing the CR Contract Annex (CRCA). We use a structured risk management system to review compliance with these requirements. This system was introduced in the purchasing organisation in 2015 and has since been expanded in terms of its concept. It covers all the risk areas of the supply chains.