Vodafone tops a table of most ethical telecoms companies

The telecommunications sector may soon be exposed to corporate social responsibility controversies and expanding ethical programmes to meet these new risks will be its biggest challenge, claimed a new report.

Service sectors, like telecommunications, have not traditionally generated as many intense ethical debates as the automobile or food and beverage sectors. However, the sector may soon have to face new, hidden CSR challenges, noted Covalence, a Geneva based reputation research firm.

The topics likely to pose problems for the industry are access to telecommunication among low-income populations, anti-corruption policies, working conditions, waste management, and product life cycles.

The sector has recently been heavily criticised for poor working conditions and job stability.

Covalence also compared the ethical rankings of several telecommunications companies, Vodafone came top, followed by Verizon and Telefonica SA, while Telecom Italia, Chungwa Telecom and Softbank Corp came close to the foot of the table.

More information on Covalence Telecommunication Report 2009