At United Group, we are committed to supporting our customers and our planet. By working alongside the many brands and businesses in the Group, we strive to uphold the highest levels of sustainable practices and operations. Our ambition is to be a market leader in sustainability in the telecommunications and media industry for generations to come.
Fundamentally, we believe that strong business performance and high ethical standards go hand in hand. While serving the needs of our customers, we are also taking steps to ensure we live up to our wider social obligations. This includes minimising our environmental impact, investing in positive social change and ensuring that governance decisions meet the expectations of our company’s stakeholders.
- CONNECTED SOCIETY
- DIGITAL EQUALITY
- SKILLS FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
United Group is supporting social and economic development in a market of approximately 40 million people through major investments in network infrastructure and digital education. We are ensuring Southeast Europe is connected, and that citizens are equipped with skills for the digital age.
State of the art connectivity is the key to unlocking the benefits of the digital age. We will be investing around €1 billion by the middle of this decade to modernise and expand our mobile and broadband networks. This will create the region’s fastest and most advanced digital telecommunications infrastructure.
Our business empowers people with access to information and connects them to others around the world. To ensure no one is left behind, we are supporting several community initiatives that will provide access to the internet and digital services to the most vulnerable, helping them overcome the digital divide.
SKILLS FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
Many of our companies at United Group are helping the next generation with the skills needed to succeed in a technology driven society. We provide educational programmes, training in STEM subjects, and initiatives for talented young engineers. The centre is also a place to connect with other young budding entrepreneurs.
- EMISSIONS AND NET ZERO
- RENEWABLE ENERGY
- ACCOUNTING FOR WASTE
We have a responsibility to minimise our environmental impact - and that is exactly what we are doing. The Group will be continuing to reduce, inspect and monitor our emissions to ensure we mitigate against risks that impact our operations now and in the future.
EMISSIONS AND NET ZERO
Our long-term goal is to make United Group and all its companies carbon neutral and energy independent. In 2021, we signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and submitted a target to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 60% by 2030 versus 2020 levels.
Electricity represents the greatest source of our carbon emissions; therefore, we are switching to renewable energy sources. As part of a 10-year carbon reduction plan, we have invested in our very own renewable power generation plants. When complete they will have the capacity to generate all of the Group’s required energy, up to 310GWh annually.
ACCOUNTING FOR WASTE
In 2021, we recycled 720 tons of network telecom equipment, batteries, and cables. We also recycled 750 tons of paper and cardboard. We also repurpose, reuse, or recycle 100% of returned customer devices and accessories. This has helped some of our larger telecommunications operations to achieve ISO 14001:2015 certification, a global standard for environmental management.
- DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
- TRUSTED PRODUCTS
- RESPONSIBLE PROCUREMENT
- EDUCATION INITIATIVES
- LOCAL ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
- COMMUNITY RELIEF
- INVESTING IN OUR PEOPLE
- DATA PRIVACY PROTECTION
We strive to be a positive force in communities. This includes making sure our actions benefit the lives of our customers, employees, and stakeholders. To fulfil this commitment, we have been supporting programmes that have genuine impact and build a true connection between us as a telecommunications provider and our customers.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION
We focus on building a safe, fair, and inclusive working environment for our employees. Throughout the Group, we collect data on our workforce gender mix (57% male, 43% female), the percentage of women in management positions (32%, including our Chief Executive Officer) and the percentage of disabled employees (1%). We also have mandated diversity and inclusion rules at all of our Group companies.
The products and services we provide are an essential part of millions of people’s daily lives and an indispensable element of the businesses we serve. We are committed to providing high-quality and innovative products and services, catering to a range of budgets ensuring that customers get good value for the money.
We need our supply chain to meet the same high levels of ESG performance that we expect of ourselves. We have created Group-level procurement, labour standards and health and safety policies to ensure that ESG factors are considered when appointing new and engaging with current suppliers.
Education is the key to realising the opportunities that the digital transformation of society brings. Our programmes help young children into STEM education initiatives, entrepreneurship, and foster academic development of highly gifted young students in science and the arts.
LOCAL ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
We support initiatives at the community level to clean up and protect the environment. At the same time, we are working to have a positive impact on people’s health with programmes to get them outside, active and appreciating outdoor spaces.
When society needs us, we are there. In 2021 we donated €1.7 million to groups and activities dedicated to protecting the socially vulnerable. In 2022, we donated €1 million to support relief efforts in Ukraine. As new challenges arise, we plan to grow the number of employees participating in community engagement activity which is currently at 7%.
INVESTING IN OUR PEOPLE
United Group has built a workforce committed to excellence. We provide annual training budgets for employee's professional growth, a fair outlook on employee performance and activities to support our overall wellbeing. In 2021, almost 84% of employees participated in live training sessions.
DATA PRIVACY PROTECTION
As part of our obligations to protect customer data, we are aligning our Group data protection policies to standardize processes and continue our track record of compliance.
- CLIMATE RISK ASSESSMENT
- ESG LEADERSHIP
We do not just talk the talk. We walk the walk. That starts with our senior leadership. Throughout the Group, we are simplifying and unifying the way we assess climate risk, set new ESG strategies and dedicate resources. More can be seen on this in our policies, reports and investor relations pages.
CLIMATE RISK ASSESSMENT
To track our progress on ESG, we collect KPI data across the Group on things such as carbon emissions, and have adopted a series of science based targets. We annually complete the global disclosure system questionnaire operated by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), maintaining our targets to reduce our carbon output.
We have a dedicated ESG coordinator role at the Group level, a Group Managing Director of Energy Management, and a multi-disciplinary team of senior executives who, together with independent consultants, have finalised a detailed ESG action plan and implementation roadmap.
We are currently working to expand on current reporting, procedures, and other ESG-related activities, and are developing a framework to help in addressing a wide range of ESG considerations.