Founded in 1853, Telia is a telecommunications company headquartered in Sweden. It provides mobile and broadband services in the Baltic and Nordic regions and had over 18 million wireless subscriptions at the end of 2021.
Telia has initiatives in various countries for enhancing digital opportunities for vulnerable groups. For instance, it offers lower-cost subscription options to consumers who are facing income challenges across Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. Telia Lithuania has joined the Women Go Tech mentoring programme, and through that offers the initiative Discover Technology, which equips women with basic knowledge about the IT and engineering sector and increases their opportunities in the digital economy. Additionally, the company has launched the Telia gaming centre, a rental service that can be customised for people with disabilities and is available for all companies, municipalities and associations that want to start their own gaming centre – regardless of size, location or area of activity. The company also reports the taxes it pays and its employment in its main countries of operation.
Telia’s Digital Senior initiative teaches digital literacy to approximately 10,000 senior citizens in over 30 municipalities in Sweden and Norway. The programme also has an ambition to reach one million individuals, expanding from seniors to immigrants, women, children and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Further, its Bli Digital (Become Digital) initiative works with municipalities to help entrepreneurs learn digital skills such as using cloud services, organising remote meetings, e-invoicing and other ways of integrating digital solutions in everyday work. Telia Finland has also partnered with the Startup Refugees network to create a mentoring program to help refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants gain employment in the IT industry.
Furthermore, Telia demonstrates leading practice in promoting child online safety. It commits to upholding child online safety in accordance with the UN Global Compact (UNGC) Children’s Rights and Business Principles in its human rights policy and also partners with several actors in this area.
Telia supports open-source initiatives and start-ups and sustainable development research. Through its venture capital arm Telia Ventures, the company invests in start-ups across Northern Europe and selected innovation hubs globally. Additionally, Telia demonstrates commitment to ethical artificial intelligence (AI) by having an ethics committee and publishing an official policy commitment, which includes human rights considerations. Together with Ericsson, Telia has supported the Global System for Mobile Association’s (GSMA) work to develop an emissions reduction pathway for the telecommunications sector. The company also has services to reduce environmental impacts. For instance, Telia’s Travel Emission Insights enables municipalities and regions to better understand citizens’ travel patterns and calculate C02 emissions and guide policy decisions accordingly.
While the company has several digital skills programmes, it can provide greater transparency by reporting participation metrics, and its financial and non-financial contributions to these programmes and commissioning third-party assessments. These assessments can help the company and its stakeholders better understand programme outcomes and identify areas of strengths and improvements.
Telia commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights. It also 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, Telia identifies, assesses and takes action to address the salient human rights issues in its own operations.
Telia publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety and places the same expectation on its business relationships. The company also requires its suppliers to pay their workers a living wage, although it does not disclose how it determines living wages. Telia does not disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers to work more than regular and overtime hours, though it does place this expectation on its business relationships. Moreover, Telia does not disclose the proportion of its global workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements.
Telia does, however, commit to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by age group and gender. However, it does not disclose employee breakdowns against other indicators of diversity.
Telia has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it 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. However, Telia does not have a global tax strategy. Moreover, though the company specifies that it does not make political contributions, it does not have a publicly available policy statement regarding its approach to lobbying and political engagement.