Find out how we are supporting industry, people and the planet.
The UN goals are our goals
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, accelerating innovation in digital technology to reduce inequalities and pioneering many significant initiatives, including the industry task forces to drive climate action and sustainability.
In addition to advancing such initiatives and convening the industry in support of the UN SDGs, the GSMA itself strives to achieve sustainability within its own operations and is working to address the following goals within internal operations.
On the path to net zero
The GSMA started measuring its carbon emissions for MWC Barcelona in 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% 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 long term.
In 2022 the GSMA set a carbon emission reduction target for scope 1 and scope 2 emissions in line with the 1.5°C trajectory and for scope 3 in line with the “well below 2°C” trajectory, following a science-based approach, using a baseline year of 2019.
Transparency and Reporting
The GSMA discloses climate impacts, energy and GHG emissions via the internationally recognised Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) system, 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)
- a carbon emission reduction target for scope 1 and scope 2 emissions in line with the 1.5ºC trajectory and for scope 3 in line with the “well below 2ºC” trajectory, following a science based approach, using a baseline year of 2019
- 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 and 2018-2019 for MWC Barcelona
- CDP Climate Disclosure 2020: Score A-
- Donation Room Programme 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”
For more information on event specific green initiatives visit:
To best represent our members, the GSMA board is made up of Group CEOs, CEOs and C-level representatives from the world’s leading mobile operators. They set the GSMA’s strategic direction, ensuring its work in commercial, public policy and technical initiatives is fully aligned with the needs of mobile operators and their customers across the world. As well as focusing resources on activities where collective action can deliver significant benefits to the mobile industry’s customers – beyond those that individual operators could achieve themselves.
The board provides the GSMA’s membership with a strong voice, clear direction and fast decision making. It has 26 operator members, representing the largest operator groups and members from smaller independent operators.
As approved by the board, the GSMA focuses on three pillars, which leverage the GSMA’s core:
- government/regulatory relationships
- technical standards acumen
- 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.
Engages members, governments and civil society to advance positive policy, reduce inequalities and tackle the big societal challenges, from digital inclusion to climate change. One key example is the industry’s commitment to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more on the Connectivity for Good page.
- Industry solutions
Supports the technology and interoperability that make mobile work. Assisting the industry’s development in areas such as 5G, mobile IoT and fraud and security. Through projects delivered within the GSMA Foundry and core technology activities, such as the working groups) and GSMA services.
Provides the industry with outstanding convening opportunities and outreach programmes, to make strong business connections and drive positive impact. Through annual MWC events, Mobile 360 series, Mobile World Live and GSMA Intelligence. Find out more on the Events page.
The GSMA Foundation
The GSMA Foundation works with partners to deliver innovations in mobile technology that positively impact the lives of the underserved. On 31 March 2019, the GSMA Foundation had £71m donor funds under management, extending to 2023.
The GSMA Foundation Board
As well as oversight of GSMA Mobile for Development programmes, the GSMA Foundation Board is responsible for approval of:
- The Foundation’s annual business plan
- material donor agreements
- the annual audited financial statements
The Foundation Board reports into the Policy Group and provides financial updates to the Audit & Risk Committee.
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 ‘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 our Diversity Report 2022 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 and Ethnicity Pay Gap Report 2022 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