Incorporated in 1989, KPN is a telecommunications provider in the Netherlands. It offers fixed and mobile telephony, broadband internet and TV to retail customers, as well as infrastructure and network-related solutions to business customers. In 2021, the company served more than 8.8 million subscribers.
KPN has a programme called KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds, which teaches people with learning difficulties how to use the internet. The company’s KlasseContact (Class Contact) initiative enables ill students to stay in touch with their school and classmates through laptops and information and communications technology (ICT) setups.
KPN demonstrates high-level accountability for cybersecurity and describes its approach to information security management in detail. The company reports the number of its data breaches. Further, the company works with national authorities and other third parties to combat child online abuse and offers a service enabling parents to control the content their children see online.
KPN supports open innovation by offering its application programming interfaces through one platform and by partnering with Dutch universities on quantum computing. The company also provides venture capital support to entrepreneurs and operates a division that connects start-ups with KPN, enabling them to share knowledge. KPN is a leader in promoting sustainable innovation. It participates in a data sharing agreement, which ensures data is used for improvement of sustainability practices across the Netherlands. It also reports emissions across all scopes and is committed to reducing its environmental footprint. The company sources 100% of its electricity use from renewable sources.
Limited evidence was found of KPN’s efforts to make digital technologies universal, affordable and accessible. The company could also provide information on the amount it contributes to community investments, as well as calculate its indirect economic impact.
The company has an opportunity to expand its efforts across all levels of digital skills development. It can also provide additional information about its existing programmes in this area, such as its financial and in-kind contributions to the programmes as well as programme impacts.
KPN could disclose how many women work in R&D roles at the company, and how it applies ethics in its R&D activities and in its use and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI). KPN can further consider supporting start-ups and enterprises founded by people from underrepresented groups to promote inclusivity in innovation.
Core Social Assessment
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
KPN commits to respecting human rights and has a publicly available policy statement that expects its business relationships to commit to respecting the ILO core labour rights. However, the company does not have a policy statement committing to respect all the labour fundamentals outlined in the ILO core labour rights, including freedom of association and collective bargaining. The company has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints. Furthermore, KPN has included human rights issues in its materiality assessment. Nevertheless, it does not disclose a process to identify, assess and act on salient human rights risks associated with its own operations or with its business relationships. The company describes the different stakeholders it engages with in general, but it does not specify whether it engages with stakeholders whose human rights could be affected by its activities.
KPN places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance. It also discloses what proportion of its workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements. However, the company does not have a policy commitment to respect the health and safety of its workers and can improve its disclosures on quantitative health and safety information. Moreover, it does not explicitly state that it does not require workers to work more than the regular work and overtime hours. KPN has a time-bound target on gender equality and women’s empowerment and on paying its workers a living wage. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender. However, it does not provide employee breakdowns against other indicators of diversity, such as age group.
KPN has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption. The company takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption and has a grievance mechanism for stakeholders to raise concerns and complaints on the topic. The company also has a global tax strategy and discloses its income tax payments for its main markets. KPN specifies that it does not make political contributions. However, the company does not disclose its approach to lobbying and political engagement in a policy statement and does not report its lobbying expenditures. It can also be more explicit on its commitment to protecting personal data.