Founded in 1993, Tele2 provides telecommunications and television services. Headquartered in Stockholm, its markets include Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The company had over 8 million mobile subscribers in 2020.
Tele2 provides digital connectivity to several human rights organisations across the globe. It also supports digital inclusivity for women by funding organisations that prepare women for careers in technical roles. For both these programmes, the company follows best practice by reporting the financial resources it contributes. Additionally, Tele2 discloses its country-by-country employment figures.
Tele2 demonstrates a high-level commitment and accountability for information security. It follows best practice by disclosing how it responds to information security incidents and by reporting the data breaches it experiences. The company also demonstrates leading practice in ensuring child online safety by providing clear guidance on how to report online content that is sensitive to children. Further, it discloses how it works with the authorities and other third parties towards fighting child online abuse and proactively blocking content containing child sexual abuse material. Tele2 has also conducted a survey since 2017 to assess children’s online habits and uses this as input into its child online protection efforts.
Tele2 promotes the tech innovation ecosystem through its Reach for Change programme, which has supported over 1,200 social entrepreneurs across 18 countries in Europe and Africa since 2010. The company also demonstrates best practice in promoting sustainable innovation. It coordinates a project that studies how artificial intelligence (AI) can help reduce network energy consumption.
Tele2 can commission a third party to conduct an impact assessment for its programmes to support universal access and digital inclusivity of women. The company can also demonstrate how it integrates the needs of people with disabilities into its product offering. In addition to reporting country-by-country employment data, Tele2 can also provide a similar breakdown of its income taxes paid.
Besides its support for Tjejer Kodar, Tele2 provides limited evidence of further initiatives in the area of skills development. The company has an opportunity to support programmes for developing basic and intermediate digital skills as well as for school connectivity.
Tele2 should demonstrate how it promotes open, inclusive and ethical innovation. The company can initiate or partner on projects for advancing open source initiatives and open standards. Further, the company should disclose how many of its women employees are engaged in technical roles and the ethical principles it follows for its artificial intelligence (AI) activities.
Core social indicators
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.
Tele2 commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights. The company also requires its business relationships to respect the ILO core labour rights. Further, Tele2 has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints. The company does not, however, disclose a process to identify, assess and take action on the salient human rights risks in its own operations and in its business relationships. Tele2 describes the 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.
Tele2 publicly commits to respecting the health and safety of workers in a policy statement and places health and safety requirements on its business relationships. The company also provides the percentage of employees covered by collective bargaining agreements. However, Tele2 does not disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours. It is also not explicit about whether it requires its business relationships to make this commitment. Furthermore, the company lacks a publicly available commitment in relation to paying its workers a living wage. Tele 2 publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment and has time-bound targets on the subject. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender. However, it does not disclose this information against any other indicators of diversity per employee category, such as age group.
Tele2 has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption. It also includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in contracts with its business relationships. The company does not disclose any relevant information in relation to tax, such as a global tax strategy or income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. Tele2 discloses its approach to lobbying and political engagement and states that it does not make political contributions. However, it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures.