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Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Rank

Company

Tomorrow’s Value score

1

Vodafone

60%

2

Nokia

55%

3

HP

52%

4

France Telecom

49%

5

Siemens

47%

6

Ericsson

46%

6

LG Electronics

46%

8

Panasonic

44%

9

Telefonica

42%

9

Motorola

42%

9

Cisco

42%

12

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation

41%

13

Deutsche Telekom

40%

14

Hitachi

38%

15

Alcatel-Lucent

34%

16

Toshiba

32%

16

Samsung Electronics

32%

18

Sony

31%

19

AT&T

28%

20

Verizon

23%

Overall

The Tomorrow’s Value Rating of the world’s largest information and communications technology (ICT) companies shows that sustainability leaders such as Vodafone, Nokia, HP and France Telecom are developing products and services to support the world’s response to climate change. The results of the Rating reflect the broader trend of ICT companies showing sustainability leadership.

However, while the sector continues to push best practice in sustainability innovation, there is considerable room for improvement in its management of its direct environmental impacts.

The companies subjected to this Tomorrow’s Value Rating were the 20 largest ICT companies according to the Fortune Global 500 list, which ranks the world’s largest companies by revenue.

Key findings

1. Vodafone tops the Tomorrow’s Value Rating of the world’s largest ICT companies
Vodafone is placed first in the Rating with an overall score of 60%, reflecting its strong, all-round sustainability leadership. It has implemented comprehensive governance mechanisms for sustainability issues. Also, 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 communities.

2. The leaders are developing commercial solutions to help with climate change adaptation
ICT sector sustainability leaders such as Vodafone, Nokia, HP and France Telecom can point to promising product and service developments that are helping the rest of the world with climate change adaptation. They are increasingly recognising the commercial opportunity that lies in helping other sectors to reduce their carbon footprint.

3. The sector displays a range of other innovative sustainability practices
The Rating finds a range of examples of ICT companies innovating on sustainability beyond the issue of climate change. For instance, some companies are using technology to offer health or education services to remote communities.

4. Management of direct environmental impacts is a weak spot
While the sector continues to push best practice in sustainability innovation, its management of its direct environmental impacts leaves room for improvement. For example, while most companies have set CO2 emissions targets, the majority are struggling to achieve significant reductions. Panasonic is a notable exception to this rule.

5. Panasonic leads the way on carbon reduction
Panasonic leads the way in terms of carbon performance by reporting an absolute reduction in its carbon emissions, as well as reductions in GHG emissions within all lifecycle states of its products, and across its product portfolio. Where other companies achieve reductions, these are usually relative to production units and emissions and therefore still grow as the company grows.

6. HP leads the sector’s considerable efforts towards more sustainable supply chains
Collaborative initiatives such as the Global e-Sustainability Initiative and the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct have offered member companies a useful forum to address some of the challenges in the supply chain. However, much remains to be done. Ensuring sustainable practices among second-tier suppliers is likely to be a key focus area in the future. HP goes further than most by not only integrating social and environmental considerations into core sourcing practices but also disclosing areas of non-conformance.

7. Stakeholder engagement is patchy
While companies generally acknowledge who their stakeholders are and discuss most of their key concerns, only leaders such as Vodafone, Ericsson and LG Electronics routinely specify their responses to these issues. Vodafone sets itself apart because of a comprehensive approach that is as inclusive of global NGOs as it is of local communities in developing countries.

8. Governance is good
Most ICT companies have good sustainability governance arrangements in place. Again, Vodafone is providing a good example to the rest of the sector and to big business in general.

9. Europe leads the way
European ICT companies clearly lead the industry. There are only two Asian companies and one US company in the top 10 of companies assessed.

10. Waste management responses are mostly compliance driven
The need for responsible management of electronic waste is commonly acknowledged, but responses from ICT companies are mostly compliance driven. Electronic waste in developing countries is still a major challenge, and many companies fail to give this issue due attention.

Summary report

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