The Enterrpise of Future: Telecom Industry Edition-(Final Part)

9 05 2009

Now, we have reached to last topic of discussion in the series ‘Enterprise of Future: Telecom Industry Edition’. Today we will talk about creating long term relationship with the community, which telecom companies are serving. In other words, the final trait of ‘Enterprise of Future’ we will talk about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Let’s explore it!

CSR isn’t a new proposition. In India one of the leading IT Service firm, Infosys Technologies (Infosys foundation) is one of the pioneers of CSR. But in Telecom Industry the idea has yet to kick start. Basically when we are talking about CSR- we talk about acting in an ethical fashion that considers need of workforce, society & environment as well as those of investors.

According to IBM Study, only 53% Telecom CEOs believe that CSR is a good proposition for business, as compared to overall average of 69%. That could be the reason telecom CEOs are allocating a smaller portion of investment of their total investment to CSR initiative, than their peers in other industry.

The IBM Study justifies the need of CSR initiatives among Telecom organization. This would lead to many opportunities to profit socially & economically. How shall CSR can be implemented? One example cited in the report is about going green i.e. protection of environment. No doubt, the industry is becoming aware of it, but major initiatives are missing. E.g.  The number green BTSs running on renewable energy are far less as compared to number of BTSs running on traditional fuel. The awareness would lead to saving of traditional fuel which will lead to savings of OPEX, which in turn result in profitability. So indirectly, being aware about environmental issues will generate benefits for telecom organization.

There are some other ways to CSR initiatives like addressing the concern of safety of internet or developing new products for disabled people or developing services/products to fill up digital divide etc. So the question is, “Are you bringing innovation by CSR initiative to reduce carbon footprint?” Just imagine the amount of money you could save with Video & Tele Conferencing services. Recycling of old devices like mobiles could also form part of CSR initiative.

Implications:  

From IBM Study

“Telecom companies should focus on creating CSR programs that are aligned with their broader corporate objectives, developing new products and services for consumers who are currently underserved, devising innovative solutions that will help other businesses meet their climate-change targets and providing better recycling facilities. They should also develop more robust content-filtering and security tools, and publicize the steps they are taking more effectively.

In addition to such measures, telecom operators should ensure that sustainability is an intrinsic part of their day-to-day activities – and, here, they enjoy two significant advantages over companies in many other industries. Firstly, they can measure their carbon footprints relatively easily. Their networks typically account for about 80 percent of the carbon emissions they produce, and 75 percent of these emissions come from powering the base-stations that enable mobile phones to work. Secondly, there are several straightforward ways in which to reduce the energy a base-station consumes, such as turning down the air-conditioning, turning off some base-stations during off-peak periods when there are fewer calls to handle and, in the longer term, switching to new generation equipment powered by renewable sources of energy (like solar power or wind power). ”

 

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