Millicom offers mobile and broadband telecommunications services and cable television in nine countries in Latin America. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Luxembourg. In 2021, it had 45 million mobile customers.
Millicom promotes digital opportunities for women through its flagship programme Conectadas. The programme has taught more than 575,000 women and girls throughout Latin America how to access the internet and use it for their personal development and education, to access essential services and to expand their businesses. Millicom follows best practice by disclosing its financial contribution to the programme.
In addition to supporting women in skills development through the Conectadas programme, Millicom has connected more than 2,200 schools and 580 public institutions across Latin America to the internet. Millicom’s ‘Maestr@s Conectad@s’ (Connected Teachers) programme trains teachers on developing technology-based curricula. The company also has basic and intermediate digital skills programmes and demonstrates leading practice by providing details on programme metrics.
Millicom uses open-source technologies in deploying mobile networks. The company demonstrates high-level support for the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and uses the SDG framework for measuring goals and progress. Additionally, the company has a target to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and discloses its renewable energy share and the breakdown of CO2 emissions by scope.
Although Millicom made efforts to support digital access during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has an opportunity to continue promoting universal and affordable access to digital technologies through a dedicated programme. The company can also work with a third party to assess the impacts of its Conectadas programme. Millicom can demonstrate how it ensures digital technologies are accessible for people with disabilities. In addition to reporting a breakdown of its employees for its subsidiaries across its countries of operations, Millicom can also provide a breakdown of income taxes paid in each operating country.
Millicom can provide more insights on the technology training programmes it has with local and national entities. It can also disclose a breakdown of the number of women attaining basic digital skills and those attaining business-focused digital skills through the Conectadas programme. Further, it can strengthen its support in this area by initiating a programme dedicated to advancing technical digital skills. Additionally, the company can consider an impact evaluation for its initiative to connect schools across Latin America to the internet.
Millicom can make its information security management certification publicly available and report the number of data breaches it experiences. While the company reports government requests for personal information, it can provide a country-by-country breakdown of the number of requests received and those it has complied with. In addition to having integrated child online safety into its business strategy, Millicom can provide guidance on how its customers can report content that is sensitive to children. It can also explain how it works with authorities to combat child online abuse.
No evidence was found that the company has a high-level commitment to open source initiatives/standards. Apart from evidence that the company helps small business owners gain knowledge in scaling their business, little evidence was found of Millicom’s support for open, sustainable, inclusive and ethical innovation. The company has an opportunity to support technology innovation ecosystems, partner with universities on technology and sustainability research topics, and disclose the number of women working in technical roles at the company.
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.
Millicom can strengthen the language of its commitment to respecting human rights, as the word ‘promotes’ is too weak to be considered a formal policy commitment. At the same time, the company can make a public commitment to respecting all the labour fundamentals outlined in the ILO core labour rights, including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The company describes the process(es) to identify its human rights risks and impacts in specific locations or activities covering its own operations, and it engages with its stakeholders in relation to human rights risks. Millicom also identifies and assesses the salient human rights issues in its own operations and in its business relationships, but it does not disclose how it takes action to address these issues. Millicom has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints.
Millicom also needs to strengthen its language regarding its commitment to worker health and safety. Even though it places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance, the company is not explicit in stating that it does not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours. It also does not disclose the percentage of its workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements, and it provides no relevant evidence in relation to paying its workers a living wage. Millicom publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender. However, it has an opportunity to disclose information against other indicators of diversity per employee category, such as age group.
Millicom has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and takes steps to identify and address these concerns. The company has a tax strategy that only covers its UK operations. Further, it discloses income taxes for some tax jurisdictions but not for all its individual tax jurisdictions. Millicom states that it does not make political contributions, but it does not have a publicly available policy document stating its overarching approach to lobbying and political engagement. It also does not provide any information in relation to its lobbying expenditures.