EE publishes first responsibility report, pledges to improve digital skills of one million
- EE outlines commitment to be the most trusted communications company that shares the power of connectivity with everyone in the UK
- EE announces three primary 2015 goals: to improve the digital skills of one million people, to develop the workforce of the future by offering 500 apprenticeships and to reduce carbon emissions and waste to landfill by 50%
17th April, London - EE, the UK's most advanced digital communications company, today published its first Responsibility Report and announced three primary goals in the areas of improving digital skills, developing the workforce of the future, and minimising the environmental impact of its operations.
The report outlines EE's responsibility commitment to be the most trusted communications company that shares the power of connectivity with everyone in the UK, and its strategic approach to managing responsibility issues. The announcement coincides with Business in the Community’s (BITC) Responsible Business Week during which EE debuted with a Silver ranking in BITC's Corporate Responsibility Index.
Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: "It is an absolute top priority for us to run a responsible and sustainable business. We are particularly focused on improving digital skills since the 16 million people across the UK with limited or no online skills are at a disadvantage. As part of our role as a founder partner of Go ON UK, we are today pledging to help address digital exclusion by improving the digital skills of a million people by 2015."
Sharing the power of connectivity with everyone in the UK
As part of its commitment to share the power of connectivity, and its role as a founder partner of Go ON UK, the UK's digital skills alliance with other key organisations including the BBC, Post Office, Age UK and others, EE has pledged to build the digital skills of one million of people. EE formally launched initial programmes to support this goal including:
- EE Digital Champions – EE will train 300 employees by the end of the year and more in future years to volunteer in the community to show thousands of people how the internet can make a difference to their lives.
- EE Digital Skills Volunteering – EE is focusing its employee volunteering and fundraising on digital skills development and plans to organise more than 50 "Techy Tea Parties" this year alone for its employees to show older people how to use digital technology.
- EE Digital Living portal – EE has launched a Digital Living section on its website at www.ee.co.uk/digital-living that provides downloadable resources for anyone to inspire colleagues, friends and family to get online and make the most of it.
"EE's first Responsibility Report takes an innovative approach to building trust with its customers and is remarkable for its ambition to share the benefits of connectivity by improving the digital skills of one million people," said Baroness Lane-Fox, Chair, Go ON UK. "It's great that EE is planning to put that commitment into practice, developing new content and tools to encourage people and businesses to improve their digital skills and recruiting 300 EE Digital Champions to take technology to non users on the high street."
Developing the workforce of the future
Last month, EE announced the launch of its apprenticeship scheme which aims to recruit 500 apprentices into its business by 2015. In addition, the company has launched its EE Fast Track programme that allows high performing frontline employees to work in different functions across the business. Recently EE ranked 18th in the Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For survey. The company employs more than 15,000 people often in some of the UK’s most challenging areas of unemployment.
Reducing its carbon footprint
EE has committed to significantly reduce its environmental impact, with a target of reducing carbon emissions and waste to landfill by 50% based on its 2010 baseline.
Key to achieving this target is EE's three-year network optimisation programme. EE is continuing the integration of the T-Mobile and Orange networks, resulting in significant reductions in its energy use, estimated at 79,000 tonnes of CO2, or 150,000 Mwh across the three years. The company is also delivering a number of other activities including installing more efficient network equipment and improving recycling facilities. In 2012, EE reduced its energy use by 7.9% and its carbon emissions by 5.19%.
Being the most trusted communications company
The report outlines the company's approach to managing responsibility and its key issues. EE is committed to building customer and stakeholder trust, through initiatives that focus on 12 priorities issues including child safety, supporting customers with disabilities and sustainability in the supply chain. The EE Responsibility Report shares the company's performance on these issues, and its plans and targets for the future. This week, EE was awarded a Silver ranking in the BITC Corporate Responsibility Index in 2013 and achieved a score of 82%.
To read EE's first Responsibility Report, visit www.ee.co.uk/being-responsible
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Notes to Editors
Research has shown that 10 million people in the UK aren't using the internet at all and six million more have limited digital skills. Research shows that being connected improves the educational outcomes of young people and can play a major role in countering social isolation and depression among the elderly.
For more information, please contact the EE press team on:
0845 373 7070
EE is the most advanced digital communications company in Britain, providing mobile and fixed-line services to 26 million customers, and is the first company in the UK to provide 4G mobile services alongside fixed-line fibre.
EE is the company that runs the Orange, T-Mobile and EE brands in the UK.
Its 4G service covers a third of the population, and EE continues to improve the speed and reach of the UK's first 4G network. Its fibre service already covers 50% of the population.
EE's mobile service currently provides coverage to 99% of the population with 2G and 98% of the population with 3G.
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