Our long-term ability to prosper depends on our response to the changing social and environmental expectations of our employees, customers, investors, regulators and the wider public.
Responding to global challenges
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were launched by the United Nations in September 2015 and offer a common, global framework for considering and addressing the world’s most significant development challenges.
Business is a key stakeholder and will play an important part in achieving the SDGs. This year we identified some initial priorities that reflect our business context, key risks and impacts and current social and environmental focus.
For more context including the specific targets we are working to achieve and where they are most relevant across our value chain, please refer to the Sustainability at Telstra chapter of our Bigger Picture 2016 Sustainability Report.
We remain a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and are committed to supporting its principles – on human rights, labour rights, environment and anti-corruption – wherever we operate.
Managing our tax affairs
We comply with all taxation laws and obligations and pay tax in accordance with the laws of the countries we operate in.
We maintain a conservative tax risk profile and are committed to continuous improvement of tax compliance systems, processes and practices. All transactions entered into are based on commercial considerations and we do not take positions that are tax driven, artificial or contrived or interpret a tax law beyond its spirit and intent.
Where appropriate, we minimise tax risk and uncertainty by obtaining sign-offs from revenue authorities. We are committed to full transparency and disclosure in all dealings with revenue authorities.
This year, the Telstra Group purchased $7.4 billion in goods and services from about 4,400 suppliers.
The Telstra Supplier Code of Conduct sets out our minimum standards in the areas of labour and human rights, health and safety, environment, ethical dealings and supply chain diversity and is modelled on other codes including the Electronic Industry Citizen Coalition Code of Conduct. We expect suppliers to meet the standards described in our Supplier Code of Conduct and we are working with them to achieve this.
Our spend can be leveraged to positively influence the behaviour and actions of our suppliers and, in turn, benefit the environment and communities.
We continue to partner with 14 non-profit groups around Australia to create employment opportunities for people with disability or who are disadvantaged. At 30 June 2016, 533 people were employed through the program.
Mobile phones, base stations and health
We acknowledge that some people are concerned about possible health effects from electromagnetic energy (EME), and we are committed to addressing these concerns responsibly. We are proactive, transparent and fact based in our communications regarding EME and comply with the standards set by regulators. We rely on the expert advice of national and international health authorities including the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and actively contribute to scientific research in EME and health.
Helping our customers and the community keep abreast of the latest information is important to us. We provide information on EME on our website at telstra.com/eme.
We also invite customers to go directly to the WHO, ARPANSA and ‘EMF Explained’ websites for further information. This year, we continued our mobile safety SMS campaign, sending out almost 17 million messages referring customers to telstra.com/mobiletips, our information site for safe and responsible phone use.
We have a dedicated EME help desk and team that proactively reviews new site proposals, develops community consultation plans and works with the community to determine acceptable sites for new base stations.