Important legal information

The content displayed on this website is exclusively directed at qualified investors, as defined in the swiss collective investment schemes act of 23 june 2006 ("cisa") and its implementing ordinance, or at “independent asset managers” which meet additional requirements as set out below. Qualified investors are in particular regulated financial intermediaries such as banks, securities dealers, fund management companies and asset managers of collective investment schemes and central banks, regulated insurance companies, public entities and retirement benefits institutions with professional treasury or companies with professional treasury.

The contents, however, are not intended for non-qualified investors. By clicking "I agree" below, you confirm and acknowledge that you act in your capacity as qualified investor pursuant to CISA or as an “independent asset manager” who meets the additional requirements set out hereafter. In the event that you are an "independent asset manager" who meets all the requirements set out in Art. 3 para. 2 let. c) CISA in conjunction with Art. 3 CISO, by clicking "I Agree" below you confirm that you will use the content of this website only for those of your clients which are qualified investors pursuant to CISA.

Representative in Switzerland of the foreign funds registered with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority ("FINMA") for distribution in or from Switzerland to non-qualified investors is Robeco Switzerland AG, Josefstrasse 218, 8005 Zürich, and the paying agent is UBS Switzerland AG, Bahnhofstrasse 45, 8001 Zürich. Please consult www.finma.ch for a list of FINMA registered funds.

Neither information nor any opinion expressed on the website constitutes a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell or dispose of any investment, to engage in any other transaction or to provide any investment advice or service. An investment in a Robeco/Robeco Switzerland product should only be made after reading the related legal documents such as management regulations, articles of association, prospectuses, key investor information documents and annual and semi-annual reports, which can be all be obtained free of charge at this website, at the registered seat of the representative in Switzerland, as well as at the Robeco/Robeco Switzerland offices in each country where Robeco has a presence. In respect of the funds distributed in Switzerland, the place of performance and jurisdiction is the registered office of the representative in Switzerland.

This website is not directed to any person in any jurisdiction where, by reason of that person's nationality, residence or otherwise, the publication or availability of this website is prohibited. Persons in respect of whom such prohibitions apply must not access this website.

I Disagree
Focus on ESG risks crucial in the telecom sector

Focus on ESG risks crucial in the telecom sector

01-11-2013 | Column

When considering sustainable corporate operations you initially think of preventing child labor in the textile industry or of recycling metal. The telecom sector does not immediately spring to mind. However, in this sector there are actually many specific issues, particularly relating to social (S) and environmental (E) aspects of the business that, if not properly managed, can expose telecom companies to considerable risk. I will focus on the most significant of these.

  • Edith Siermann
    Edith
    Siermann
    CIO Fixed Income

Privacy and freedom of speech

In this era of mobile communication and cloud computing there is a huge increase in the volume of network data. It is therefore crucial for telecom companies to handle client and user data carefully. It has recently become apparent that this does not always happen. Companies that are unable to protect the privacy of their customers run the risk of losing them or being confronted with legal risks. In the event of data theft, confidential information can be placed in the public domain or an individual's privacy can be violated. Other major issues that affect telecom providers are the protection of client data from illegal government access and ensuring that freedom of speech is guaranteed. This means that it is also important for telecom companies to have procedures and directives in place to prevent possible financial and reputational damage.

Stay informed on our latest insights with monthly mail updates
Stay informed on our latest insights with monthly mail updates
Subscribe

CO2 emissions and electronic waste

The ICT sector is responsible for around 2% of global CO2 emissions. As a result of the growth of social media, cloud computing and smart electronics demand for ICT infrastructure is constantly increasing. Data centers are responsible for a rapidly rising proportion of these emissions. As a sustainable investor, you therefore want to know what initiatives a company is taking to reduce the environmental footprint of its data centers, for example, by using renewable energy sources. Does this company put its clients in a position to reduce their environmental footprints? An electronic waste policy is also necessary, as is a way of sharing responsibility with the handset makers.

Personnel policy

Human capital is crucial for many industries. This applies primarily to information-oriented industries. It is thus vital for telecom companies to recognize the importance of personnel development and the need to retain talented staff. Investing in sustainability is an increasingly important factor in attracting high-quality personnel.

Supply-chain management

Many environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks do not lie with the company itself but with its supply chain. In the case of mobile phones, and other electronic devices, raw materials such as tin can come from areas of conflict. It is therefore important for a telecom company to assess and manage the ESG risks in its supply chain effectively.

These examples demonstrate that sustainability is manifested in a number of different ways. Sustainability is not sector- or product-related - it is an issue that plays a role throughout all facets of industry.

This column appeared at an earlier date on FD.nl

Subjects related to this article are: