JOHANNESBURG – NETWORK operator MTN has joined a global sustainability initiative that aims to promote technologies and practices that foster environmental, social and governance (ESG) sustainability as teleco firms globally try to reduce their carbon footprint.
MTN said on Friday that it had joined the Joint Audit Cooperation (JAC) and the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), two globally recognised industry bodies.
It said the initiative would enable it to verify the sustainability performance levels of its top 20 suppliers and their sub suppliers.
“MTN relies on a multi-faceted and multi-layered global supply chain, which consists of approximately 15 000 suppliers. Not many telcos – particularly pan-African telcos – are members of both JAC and GeSI. By becoming a member of both organisations, MTN can ensure ethical, sustainable, environmentally responsible supply chain partners.”
MTN group executive for corporate affairs and Sustainability Nompilo Morafo, said, “As the leading operator in many of our markets, we recognise that in partnering with JAC and GeSI we have a significant opportunity to contribute to the collective agenda of driving greater adoption of sustainable environmental and social practices across our supply chain and the sector. This is how we realise the outcomes we aim for in placing ESG at the core,.”
MTN group executive for procurement and supply chain management Dirk Karl said: “We recognise the unique blend of know-how that these two well-established bodies bring. In joining, we are able to verify the sustainability performance levels of our top 20 suppliers and their sub suppliers who have already been audited. The memberships also provide a platform to further enhance the audit coverage across our supplier base.”
Members of JAC – which was founded in 2010 and whose members include many of the world’s largest telecoms operators – share resources and best practices to develop long-term corporate social responsibility implementation in the different tiers of the ICT supply chain globally. Collaboration between the largest operators promotes sustainable sourcing globally.
GeSI works to facilitate real-world solutions to real-world issues by contributing towards a sustainable future, communicating the industry’s corporate responsibility efforts and driving the sustainability agenda.
Luis Neves, the Global chief executive of GeSI said, “We are thrilled to have a company like MTN, a leader in its industry sector and region, join us as a member.”
MTN said it strove to always conduct business in a way that supported the long-term sustainability of the societies in which it operated.
“To meet these objectives, we conduct business with suppliers and partners who share our commitment to high ethical standards and operate in a responsible manner.” it said.
MTN is not alone in South Africa in striving for sustainability.
Rival Vodacom said in its 2020 Sustainability report it aimed to halve its environmental impact by 2025, while last year it became the first teleco in South Africa to secure a sustainability-linked loan worth R2 billion with Standard Bank South Africa.
Vodacom said the sustainability loan motivated it to better manage ESG factors by lowering the finance costs in accordance with its sustainability performance.