Management approaches

Swisscom has management approaches for those issues contained in the materiality matrix. The following requirements apply:

  • Collective employment agreement covering the representation of employees, the relationship with unions and other matters
  • Group Directive on the financial management of the Group
  • Group Directive on security including data protection
  • Environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001 and associated directives and guidelines on the issues of energy and CO2 (guideline on Swisscom greenhouse gas inventory in accordance with ISO 14064)
  • Compliance policy with the associated compliance management system (described in more detail below) and directives on the issues of law and anti-corruption
  • Guideline on investment
  • Quality assurance system for compliance with the limits set out in the Ordinance on Protection from Non-Ionising Radiation (NISV) – certified in accordance with ISO 15504
  • “Mobile work” guideline, which sets out the rules governing mobile working

Compliance system

Swisscom’s wide range of business activities, coupled with the complexity of the applicable regulations, call for an effective compliance management system (CMS). Swisscom’s CMS is based on the following underlying elements:

  • Culture: An effective CMS is founded on a culture of compliance. The code of conduct sets down the minimum expectations of the Board of Directors and CEO of Swisscom Ltd, which are communicated throughout the Group in the course of management work and day-to-day collaboration.
  • Goals: The Board of Directors has defined Compliance goals. All organisational measures and activities are aligned with these goals.
  • Risks: Swisscom identifies risks arising from its business activities and from regulatory and legislative changes. It assesses these risks and manages them using suitable measures.
  • Organisation: The Board of Directors has defined the minimum tasks of Compliance. The Group Executive Board and the management boards of the subsidiaries have defined further tasks and responsibilities and provide the resources required for an effective CMS.
  • Communication: Employees are informed of their tasks, competences and responsibilities. Regular reports are sent to the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Board of Swisscom Ltd, as well as the management boards and boards of directors of the subsidiaries and other internal units.
  • Monitoring and improvements: Swisscom monitors the CMS and eliminates any weaknesses on an ongoing basis.

During the financial year, Swisscom reviewed the business activities of its Group companies in Switzerland for corruption risks. While the review prompted recommendations to eliminate weaknesses in a few individual processes, no cases of corruption were identified or confirmed.

With regard to data protection, the internal data leakage prevention system and customer complaints only revealed a small number of violations. Swisscom took disciplinary action under employment law as called for by the individual circumstances.

Precautionary principle

Swisscom operates in a sustainable manner and uses established management systems to reduce environmental, business and social risks. Group targets and directives ensure that Corporate Responsibility requirements are incorporated in operations and projects. For example, Swisscom uses a CR checklist to ensure economic, environmental and social criteria are taken into account in projects relating to network infrastructure, services and products. In addition, guidelines in place since 2013 govern the recycling and disposal of network infrastructure, which was previously carried out on an ad hoc basis.

The investment guideline requires Swisscom to assess the environmental and social impacts of significant investments. Requirements based on environmental criteria exist for renovations and newly constructed businesses. Swisscom’s Swiss subsidiaries and its Italian subsidiary Fastweb use instruments tailored to their needs as required. Preventive measures are taken as part of the company’s operational risk and safety management system. With regard to the electromagnetic fields in telecommunications technology – particularly mobile phone use –Swisscom has a certified quality assurance system (QAS) in place. This system is designed to ensure compliance with the limits set down in the Ordinance on Protection from Non-Ionising Radiation (ONIR limits).

Another important element of Swisscom’s precautionary principle is staff training and the raising of awareness among employees.

Responsible marketing

Swisscom’s marketing is aligned to its mission statement and the principles of the Swiss Commission for Fair Advertising (Schweizerische Lauterkeitskommission). These principles govern all of the relevant aspects of fairness and integrity in communication. The Brand Strategy & Management team, which is integrated in Group Communications and Responsibility, is responsible for compliance with these principles. It monitors the relevant communications and marketing projects throughout the Group and is in a position to detect breaches of the principles early on and initiate preventative measures. At the same time, the Brand Strategy & Management team regularly informs the various marketing units within Swisscom about developments in these principles.

There were no infringements against fair trading in marketing and communications in the year under review.

Practices in relation to copyright laws

Copyright is governed by the Collective Employment Agreement. Employees assign any copyright and associated protective rights (in particular rights to software) and all shared rights to Swisscom, if these rights were created while working for Swisscom. This applies specifically to all achievements made by the employee either alone or in collaboration with others while employed by Swisscom. In the event that Swisscom has no interest in the rights transferred to it, the employee’s right to make use of them may be returned by contract.

Further management approaches based on the six GRI categories (economic, environmental, labour practices, human rights, society and product responsibility)

There are Group directives governing the various GRI sustainability topics. Specific technical regulations and guidelines also exist, for example on the cooling of telephone exchanges and data centres and the decommissioning of transmitter stations. These regulations are cited in the following chapters.

Swisscom’s responsibility towards the public

As a responsible “corporate citizen”, Swisscom actively participated in discussions on the following issues during the reporting year:

  • Sustainable conduct in the ICT sector
  • ICT in the education system
  • Improvements in customer service (for example, relating to consumer protection)
  • Nationwide provision of mobile and broadband infrastructure in Switzerland
  • Improvement of customer information systems (for example, information on mobile phone services for customers abroad)
  • Contribution of ICT to energy reform

During the year under review, as in the previous financial year, Swisscom submitted statements as part of consultations at a federal level on the proposed revision of the anti-trust law, as well as the revision of the Telecommunications and Radio and Television Act (RTVG). The Federal Law on the Monitoring of Postal and Telecommunications Traffic is also being amended. Swisscom formulated an independent statement of its own on the proposed amendments in the current consultation process and was also involved in formulating the statement of the industry association Association Suisse des Télécommunications (asut). Both statements can be viewed on the websites of the authorities in question.

Swisscom’s statements are based on the principle of self-regulation and competition in an open marketplace. Numerous attractive new customer offers and high investments made in the reporting year underscore this principle.

This is reflected in Swisscom’s solution-oriented approach, which is geared to serving the common good as well as the interests of the company. The positions Swisscom takes are based on clear facts. Swisscom maintains transparent relationships with politicians, public authorities and the community which are based on mutual trust. The company participates in public hearings and events and plays its part in the political process by issuing written statements. Swisscom rejects unlawful or ethically questionable practices aimed at exerting influence on opinion leaders. Moreover, Swisscom is a non-denominational, politically neutral organisation and does not support any political parties financially.