Orange is a global telecommunications services business with operations in 26 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The company is the ninth largest fixed broadband operator in the world with over 20 million subscriptions in 2019 and also provides mobile service to over 200 million customers. Orange is a leading provider of telecommunications services to multinational businesses, under the brand Orange Business Services. It has an extensive internet backbone around the globe, and interests in 40 submarine cables stretching 450,000 kilometres. The company was formerly known as France Télécom and assumed its current name in 2013.
Orange leads in making digital technologies widely available and inclusive through programmes that give low-income households a discounted broadband connection and affordable devices. The company also has digital centres that provide skills training for women in Europe and Africa. Orange stands out by designing accessible products that accommodate the needs of users with disabilities, and reporting on the number of employees with disabilities and its efforts to provide an inclusive workplace. The company reports the indirect economic impact of its operations in some areas of its footprint, notably, West Africa.
Orange shows leadership in supporting digital skills development and school connectivity through several programmes. It offers workshops on smartphone skills for seniors, parents and children in France. The company’s Solidarity FabLabs and coding schools train young people in 19 countries in employment-related digital skills. Its Digital Schools programme equips schools in 15 African countries with tablets and provides educational content.
Orange provides a detailed description of its approach to cybersecurity, including how it is managed within the company. In terms of protecting children online, the company participates in the European Commission’s Better Internet for Kids programme, which aims to promote the positive use of digital technologies in a safe and responsible environment.
Orange is among the leaders in open innovation. It is a co-founder of OW2, an international consortium devoted to promoting and developing open source software communities. The company strongly supports the tech innovation ecosystem through its venture capital fund, incubators and hubs for start-ups in Africa, and a dedicated social enterprise incubator. It is also involved in more than 100 research partnerships with universities and public laboratories. Further, Orange uses best practice in applying ethical principles to research and development activities.
Orange could enhance its reporting to include financial and in-kind contributions to its programmes for improving access to digital connectivity and supporting digital inclusivity for women and girls. Although it reports on the total economic value it creates and distributes, it should also disclose economic value distribution among stakeholders in its significant markets.
Orange has several digital skills initiatives, but it has scope to report its financial and other contributions. The company could also arrange third-party impact assessments of its skills programmes to measure their effect on the targeted groups and provide guidance on whether to scale up such programmes.
Through its membership in various industry associations, Orange has an opportunity to share its leading practices and advocate for broader adoption of open, sustainable, inclusive and ethical innovation.
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71.26% free float, French State 13.39% (21.26% voting rights), 9.56% Bpifrance participations, 5.42% group employees