We’re committed to excellence in corporate governance, transparency and accountability.
As a large telecommunications company with a presence across Australia and a global footprint, we recognise that our long term ability to prosper is dependent on how we respond to the changing social and environmental expectations of our employees, customers, investors, regulators and the wider public. These expectations increasingly extend beyond our own operations and into our supply chain and relationships with our business partners.
United Nations Global Compact
We have been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact since 2011 and are committed to supporting its principles on human rights, labour rights, environment and anti-corruption wherever we operate. We implement our commitment through a range of policies, management systems, strategies and initiatives that reflect the diverse range of conditions our business operates in. This year we updated our Human Rights Policy to more closely align with external developments such as the publication of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights the global standard for preventing and addressing adverse human rights impacts linked to business activity and internal policy changes including updates to our Code of Conduct.
This year, the Telstra Group purchased $6.8 billion in goods and services from about 4,800 suppliers.
The Telstra Supplier Code of Conduct sets out our minimum standards in the areas of labour and human rights, health and safety, environment, ethical dealings and supply chain diversity. The Code applies to all suppliers of goods and services to Telstra worldwide. We have a three year sustainable procurement strategy in place (FY14-16) that focuses on embedding sustainability into processes and procedures, supplier engagement, building capability and partnerships, and monitoring compliance.
Our spend can be leveraged to positively influence the behaviour and actions of our suppliers and, in turn, benefit the environment and communities. We significantly expanded our Indigenous Workforce Program to more than 500 sites across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia this year. Through the program, we partner with local Indigenous groups to undertake grounds maintenance at our sites, employing more than 60 people. We also continue to partner with 14 not for profit groups around Australia to create employment opportunities for people with disability or who are disadvantaged. At 30 June 2015, 620 people, including 144 support workers, were employed through the program.
Mobile phones, towers and health
We acknowledge that some people are genuinely concerned about possible health effects from electromagnetic energy (EME), and we are committed to addressing these concerns responsibly. We are proactive, transparent and fact based in our communications regarding EME and comply with the standards set by regulators. We rely on the expert advice of national and international health authorities including the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and actively contribute to scientific research in EME and health.
Helping our customers and the community keep abreast of the latest information is important to us. We provide information on EME on our website at www.telstra.com/eme. We also invite customers to go directly to the WHO, ARPANSA and EMF Explained websites for further information.
We have a dedicated EME help desk and team that proactively reviews new site proposals, develops community consultation plans and works with the community to determine acceptable sites for new base stations. This year, we continued our mobile safety SMS campaign, sending out more than 15 million messages referring customers to www.telstra.com/mobiletips, our information site for safe and responsible phone use.