Sustainability: Environmental, Social and Governance at the GSMA
The GSMA supports the mobile industry’s commitment to addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an initiative that aims to eradicate poverty, protect the planet, and ensure the prosperity of humanity as part of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. The GSMA contributes to all 17 SDGs through work carried out by GSMA Mobile for Development, driving innovation in digital technology to reduce inequalities and pioneering many significant initiatives including the global Mobile creating a Better Future campaign, and the industry taskforces to drive Climate Action and Sustainability.
In addition to driving sustainability initiatives and convening the industry in support of the UN SDGs, the GSMA itself strives to achieve sustainability within its own operations. The GSMA is working to address the following goals within internal operations:
Carbon Neutral on the path to net zero
The GSMA has been measuring its carbon emissions for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona since 2011, first neutralising emissions in 2014. Since 2016, the GSMA has been measuring and offsetting its carbon emissions for the entire business and voluntarily compensates thousands of tonnes of CO2 each year by purchasing carbon credits as part of the management of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 100 per cent of emissions are offset by the purchase of Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) issued through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol. CERs are certified by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The carbon footprint generated by the company’s activity is verified annually by Aenor, an independent third-party, and the GSMA is certified as Carbon Neutral in accordance with the PAS 2060 international standard.
Since 2016 the company produces a company-wide Carbon Management Plan, in which actions to combat climate change are defined and prioritised in the short, medium and longterm.
For more information on event specific green initiatives visit:
Transparency and Reporting
The GSMA takes part in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), one of the most highly recognised organisations for its work on climate change, which seeks to assess the quality of the information provided by private companies or by the public sector in the sustainability and environment area.
In addition, the GSMA has signed up to the CDP Supply Chain programme, which aims to better understand how suppliers are addressing climate change and working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The GSMA is committed to:
- Achieving carbon neutrality for all operations year on year (Scope 1, 2 and 3)
- Setting targets aligned with Science by December 2022
- Achieving net zero emissions by 2050
- Disclosing emissions, targets, and progress year on year
- Set targets aligned with Science within 24 months from January 2021
- Maintain or improve upon CDP Climate disclosure score on an annual basis
- Engage with suppliers via the CDP Supply Chain Programme to address Scope 3 emissions
- Carbon Neutral organisation in accordance with PAS 2060 since 2016 including Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions
- Guinness Record for the World’s Largest Carbon Neutral Tradeshow 2015-2016, 2018-2019 for MWC Barcelona
- CDP Climate Disclosure 2020: Score A-
- Donation Room Program in partnership with Barcelona and Hospitalet City Councils: 100+ tonnes of furniture and build materials donated to charitable organisations in Barcelona and Hospitalet since 2016 and 50+ temporary jobs created for persons in situations of vulnerability or risk of social exclusion
- Shortlisted in 2020 UN Global Climate Action Awards for the initiative “GSMA Climate Action Programme”
Fair, Equal and Inclusive
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Building on the mobile industry’s commitment to supporting the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with our industry purpose of ‘Intelligently Connecting Everyone and Everything to a Better Future’, it is important the GSMA is equipped with a diverse workforce.
Enabling the advancement of underrepresented talent will not only have a positive and profitable impact at the GSMA but will also directly transform lives and improve economies worldwide. The GSMA must have diverse talent at all levels if it is to represent the worldwide mobile communications industry and tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.
The GSMA aims to be a role model for the industry, challenging them to reflect their customer base within their employee base at all levels.
The GSMA is committed to:
- Being an inclusive business, creating a transparent, diverse, and inclusive culture, where everyone, regardless of their background, race, ethnicity or gender, has an equal opportunity to thrive. See Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan for more information.
- Promoting equality ensuring men and women are paid fairly in comparative roles and have the same opportunity for performance bonuses. See Gender Pay Gap Report 2019 for more information.
- Increase the representation of people with disabilities on all teams as the GSMA believe in the benefit of a diverse workforce beyond gender
- Ensuring 40% of shortlists for London based Manager, Director, Extended Leadership Team (ELT) and Leadership Team (LT) roles will consist of ethnic minority candidates in line with the 2011 UK Census data for London
- Aiming for a 50/50 gender split on the LT and ELT combined by 2025
- Working intentionally to improve and advance change to increase the number of women on the GSMA Board
- Increasing the racial representation of managers in the UK to align the demographic of staff to the UK census at a minimum and aim to be more representative of the London labour market
- The United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) have published a Case Study about our work on closing the gender pay gap globally.
- The GSMA has been awarded the 2020 G7-EU UN Women Empowerment Principles Award in the Best Network Category. There were three criteria the GSMA was judged against: Innovation, Transformation and Impact. The GSMA was chosen as the winner by a UN Women appointed Youth Jury.
- Launched OneGSMA, our employee-led forum; a platform to share experiences and ideas on how to promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion at the GSMA
Pledges and Partnerships
The GSMA has committed to:
- The UN Women Empowerment Principles
- EQUALS Global Partnership for Digital Gender Equality
- The Valuable 500 putting disability on the business leadership agenda
- The Halo Code, the UK’s first Black hair code, championing the right of staff to embrace all Afro-hairstyles and celebrate their identity
- Partner with social mobility charities to target underrepresented groups for annual internships
The GSMA will commit and sign up to the following:
- Race at Work Charter to amplify our commitment to improving equality of opportunity in the workplace
- UN LGBTI Standards to accelerate workplace inclusion globally
Overseeing the GSMA’s strategic, commercial, public policy and technical initiatives, the Board is comprised of Group CEOs, CEOs and C-level representatives from the world’s leading mobile operators. They collectively set the GSMA’s strategic direction, ensuring its work is fully aligned with the needs of mobile operators and their customers across the world. The Board ensures the GSMA’s resources are focused on activities where collective action can deliver significant benefits to the mobile industry’s customers, beyond those that individual operators could achieve through their own pursuits.
The Board provides the GSMA’s membership with a strong voice, clear direction and fast decision making. The GSMA Board has 25 operator members representing the largest operator groups and members from smaller independent operators.
As approved by the Board in 2020, the GSMA focuses on three pillars, which leverage the GSMA’s core – government/regulatory relationships, technical standards acumen and convening power – to better address the industry’s immediate and mid-term opportunities and challenges, while allowing the GSMA to deliver on vision and purpose.
The 3 Pillars
- Connectivity for Good focusing on three overarching themes: Connect the World, Ensure Safety & Security, and Protect the Planet.
- Industry Services & Solutions unlocking the full power of connectivity so that people, industry and society thrive. This enables the mobile industry’s mission: to connect everyone and everything to a better future, through projects delivered within the new GSMA Foundry, Core Technology Activities (such as the Working Groups) and GSMA Services.
- Outreach providing the industry with outstanding convening opportunities and outreach programmes, through annual MWC events, Mobile 360 regional conferences, Thrive virtual events, Mobile World Live and GSMA Intelligence.
GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation
The GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation Inc. Board (“Foundation Board”) is responsible for oversight of GSMA Mobile for Development programmes, approval of the Foundation’s annual business plan, approval of material donor agreements and the approval of the annual audited financial statements. The Foundation Board reports into the Policy Group and provides financial updates to the Audit & Risk Committee.
The GSMA Foundation works with partners to deliver innovations in mobile technology that positively impact the lives of the underserved. The following donors have contributed towards the work of the GSMA Mobile for Development Programmes over the course of the fiscal year 2018/19 . At 31 March 2019, the Foundation had £71m donor funds under management, extending to 2023