Telecom Italia (TIM), the largest digital group in Italy, was founded in 1994 with the merger of several telecommunication companies. It offers fixed and mobile telecommunication services in Italy and Brazil. The company had around 16 million fixed broadband connections and over 82 million mobile customers in 2021. It operates one of world’s largest internet backbones through its subsidiary Sparkle.
TIM contributes to digital access and inclusivity by offering discounted prices to users with disabilities. TIM also has the program Mulheres Positivas (Positive Women) that supports digital inclusivity of women. Additionally, the company discloses statistics for its employment of people with disabilities and shows efforts to create an inclusive workplace. The company demonstrates best practice by clearly disclosing its economic value generation and distribution among key stakeholders for both the group and its Brazilian subsidiary.
TIM’s programme for digital literacy, Operazione Risorgimento Digitale, is notable for having a target of teaching more than one million seniors in Italy online skills, such as how to navigate, communicate and use online public services. TIM also has programmes aimed at teaching technical skills such as coding.
TIM follows good practice in disclosing how it manages, monitors and reports on information security. The company also has strong measures against child online abuse, including educational programmes targeting the issue. Such practices signify TIM’s responsible approach to increasing digital trust and safety.
The company demonstrates support for open standards and university research on new technologies and sustainability. It supports the tech innovation ecosystem through venture capital investment, a start-up hub and competitions for social entrepreneurs.
TIM has an opportunity to increase transparency by reporting more details, such as its financial contributions and participation numbers, for its programmes to enhance access to technology. It can also carry out third-party assessments to better understand the impact of its programmes. Further, the company can consider incorporating stakeholder feedback to make its products more accessible.
Although TIM has a digital literacy programme for the elderly, the company has an opportunity to support further initiatives for skills development targeting other vulnerable or underrepresented groups.
TIM can make a high-level commitment to open source initiatives and standards and demonstrate this by sharing project source code and public data sets. It also has an opportunity to disclose the number of its women employees engaged in tech roles and how ethics are considered in its research and development (R&D), including its artificial intelligence (AI) activities.
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.
TIM 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. The company has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints. Furthermore, TIM identifies and assesses the salient human rights issues in its own operations. However, the company does not disclose how it integrates the findings of these assessments into relevant processes.
TIM publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety and expects its business relationships to do the same. The company does not disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers to work more than regular and overtime hours, nor does it explicitly state that it requires its business relationships to do this. Furthermore, the company provides no relevant evidence in relation to paying its workers a living wage. TIM discloses the percentage of its employees covered by collective bargaining agreements in Brazil, but not in Italy. The company commits to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment and discloses a time-bound target for this. It discloses the proportion of employees in different employee categories by age and gender, but could also provide this information for more indicators of diversity.
TIM has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its business relationship contracts. Furthermore, 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. TIM has a global tax strategy and discloses its income tax payments for all its individual tax jurisdictions. The company also discloses its lobbying expenditures. However, it can still disclose a policy setting out its lobbying and political engagement approach.