Vodafone demands suppliers make social commitments

(Image credit: Vodafone)

Vodafone will require potential suppliers to detail their social commitments when bidding for contracts, with the company looking to extend its own values further down its supply chain.

The Newbury-based operator has committed to reducing its own environmental impact by 2025 and also wants to improve the lives of one billion people through mobility.

Starting from October, environmental, diversity and inclusion, and health and safety policies (where applicable) will account for a fifth of a suitability evaluation for any tender for services issued by Vodafone worldwide.

Vodafone social values

The company will ask suppliers to demonstrate measures that promote equality in the workplace and whether there are policies for equal pay and to ensure there is a certain percentage of female employees at all levels.

Suppliers will also be asked about measures taken to reduce carbon emissions and waste, as well as practices that extend product lifecycles or promote renewable energy. There will also be examination of a commitment to science-based targets for reducing emissions.

For contracts where health and safety is a factor, these assessments will account for half of the 20 percent that is taken into consideration.

“We want Vodafone’s supply chain partners to be aligned with and support our desire to build a resilient, sustainable and inclusive digital society,” declared Vodafone Group CFO Margherita Della Valle. “From October 2020, we are evolving our vendor assessment criteria to give significant weighting to our suppliers’ commitments on diversity, inclusion and the environment.

“We will be providing practical support for our smaller suppliers, providing help and tools to ensure that vendors of all sizes have the opportunity to align with our purpose when we consider them for contracts.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.