Statement from the President & GCEO
I am pleased to present to you Axiata’s Sustainability and National Contribution Report 2015, which sets out our contributions towards Advancing Asia. In 2015, Axiata realised its vision of being a regional champion with presence in nine countries, a subscriber base of approximately 275 million* and revenue close to the RM20 billion mark.
Axiata’s sustainability programme is built into our role as a long-term investor in our footprint in Southeast Asia and South Asia. Our programme is designed to develop sustainable business activities as part of our broader vision of Advancing Asia by providing affordable connectivity, developing innovative technology and nurturing talent.
Our Sustainability Report is focused on Axiata’s four sustainability pillars (4Ps): ‘Beyond Short-Term Profits’; ‘Nurturing Our People’; ‘Process Excellence & Governance’; and ‘Planet & Society’. The report examines each of these four pillars and discloses the Group’s progress and value-adding initiatives in each of these areas
Commitment to Beyond Short-Term Profits
We are proud of our track record as long-term investors and are committed to continue building value in the countries where we operate. We have proven that we are in it for the long haul having invested and maintained a presence in Bangladesh for 21 years, in Sri Lanka for 20 years and in Cambodia for 18 years. We are ranked amongst the highest foreign direct investors in these countries, contributing USD12.1 billion in combined GDP across seven countries in 2015.
We have extended connectivity to over 275 million* customers and pioneered the delivery of new technology such as 4G LTE and 3.5G in emerging markets to connect the unconnected and help our subscribers bridge the digital divide.
In 2015, leveraging on synergies throughout the Group, we brought our award-winning eZ Cash M-Money product pioneered in Sri Lanka to Bangladesh and Cambodia. With this, we brought our total number of mobile banking customers to 10.7 million across our countries. Our Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF), Mobile Internet Fulfilment Exchange (MIFE) and IDEAmart enablement platforms grew extensively, supporting the growth of innovation in our OpCos’ local communities.
In our bid to reduce the gender gap in mobile Internet access and unlock commercial and socioeconomic opportunities in low- and middle-income countries, Axiata is now part of the GSMA’s Connected Women Initiative. Two of our own OpCos, Dialog in Sri Lanka and Robi in Bangladesh, have made great strides in terms of increasing the proportion of their female customers, contributing towards closing the gender gap in mobile phone ownership and usage in the developing world.
Commitment to Nurturing Our People
Axiata continues to build and nurture talent, and to develop skilled employees for the Group as a whole. Our leadership programmes are aimed at creating the next generation of leaders, who will play instrumental roles in our companies and their communities.
Towards this end, we strengthened our internal leadership programmes, such as our Group Accelerated Development Programme, which saw us filling a significant number of vacancies internally with candidates who have received enhanced levels of training and development. Today, internal candidates fill more than 60% of our top-level management positions.
Axiata is also committed to a culture of inclusivity, ensuring equal, fair and compassionate treatment of all staff, regardless of their background or gender. We have therefore strengthened our diversity agenda, by appointing more women into top management positions in our OpCos. By the end of 2015, 24% of all senior leadership positions across the Group were staffed by women. The Group also engaged its first female CEO in 2015 after appointing Dian Siswarini as the President Director of XL Axiata in Indonesia. Further to this, the Group will appoint more females to the Boards of Directors at our OpCos.
Commitment to Process Excellence & Governance
Axiata is committed to process excellence in every aspect of our business as we believe that it is a key determinant of business success. Our commitment to process excellence covers our entire operational value chain, from our dealings with our suppliers to our relationships with our customers.
Axiata extends its commitment to process excellence beyond the confines of our own business. We expect our vendors and suppliers to adopt best practices in their dealings with us, and hence work together with them to ensure that they meet our expectations.
We also strive to improve our customers’ experience levels by innovating and enhancing our digital infrastructure to boost their reach and capabilities. Dialog’s Self Care App, which was recognised globally as the best mobile network solution for serving customers, is a good example of the way that Axiata is leading the way in terms of serving our customers.
In line with our commitment towards protecting our customers’ data and security, Axiata will be formulating Group-wide data privacy and security policies and frameworks to govern implementation across the Group. We intend to inspire digital trust and confidence in our customers through robust data privacy and security policies, frameworks and management.
Our commitment to process excellence also encompasses the governance of our Group. Good corporate governance and the highest levels of integrity are key traits that we embody throughout our business operations and processes. As we grow larger and continue to diversify as a Group, we remain committed to continue upholding the highest standards in compliance, ethical practices and transparency that we have set over the years.
Axiata recognises the importance of regulatory requirements in maintaining the sustainability of the industry as a whole, and as a Group we are committed to complying with the regulatory requirements of our OpCos. We have established the Axiata Regulatory Compliance Framework, stipulating the principles and tone with which we will approach and implement regulatory compliance within the Group.
The framework establishes baseline expectations in relation to regulatory compliance, which will help us comply with regulatory obligations and facilitates greater oversight by our Board of Directors.
Commitment to Planet & Society
We take pride in being an active contributor in our various communities where we operate. Our corporate responsibility (CR) activities over the last three years, implemented at both the Group and OpCo levels, have made positive impacts in our communities and we remain committed to dispensing our CR to the best of our abilities.
In 2015, we identified three core CR areas that will be shared by all our OpCos as part of our efforts to harmonise our sustainability practice throughout the group. The three areas are
(i) Young Talent Development,
(ii) Green Initiatives, and
(iii) Disaster Management & Response.
Young Talent Programme
Our flagship CR programme is the Axiata Young Talent Programme (AYTP), which identifies and supports the growth of talented youth by helping them achieve their potential as future corporate leaders. To date, 851 Malaysian students have benefited from AYTP, while 245 students have so far graduated from the XL Future Leaders Programme in Indonesia. Beginning in 2016, AYTP will be run as a Group-wide initiative supported by the efforts of all our OpCos in addition to their existing CR initiatives.
Our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our operations are led by our tower and infrastructure company, edotco, which is focused on creating greener digital networks with a smaller carbon footprints. Our goal, which is being spearheaded by edotco, is to reduce the Group’s carbon emissions by 40% of 2013 levels by 2018. In 2015, we reduced our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average of 19% per site against 2014 levels.
Disaster Management & Response
In 2015, we engaged with key stakeholder groups in our OpCos to identify areas where we could play a greater role in helping communities affected by natural and man-made disasters. Further to these efforts, we will adopt proactive measures to improve network resilience and responsiveness in order to facilitate connectivity before, during and after disaster events. For example, following the Nepal earthquake in 2015, all our OpCos responded by providing zerorated calls to Nepal from their respective countries to help our subscribers reach their loved ones.
We believe that we have a key role to play in helping coordinate national efforts as well as by participating in relief efforts in countries where we have a presence. Meanwhile, we are also working towards developing a more holistic disaster management and response plan involving all our OpCos at the Group level.
MOVING INTO PHASE 2 OF OUR SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORK
We have made significant progress in developing these focus areas as part of Phase 1 of our Sustainability Framework over the last three years. We are now moving into Phase 2 of our journey, which sees us standardising our CR programmes throughout our Group. A more coordinated and standardised sustainability framework will allow us to better coordinate our OpCos and draw on their respective strengths to make a bigger impact on our communities and markets.
In doing so, our OpCos will share in the sustainability identity that we have set for the Group as a whole while retaining the autonomy to conduct projects that address issues unique to their respective countries.
COMMITTING TO SUSTAINABILITY IN BECOMING A ‘NEW GENERATION DIGITAL COMPANY’
In light of the rapid expansion and transformation of Axiata’s core business, we remain focused on the overall goal of embedding sustainability into all our business activities. We have already taken the preliminary steps to build a platform for Phase 2 of our sustainability journey, namely by raising the level of our commitment and disclosure. Through these efforts, we are ensuring that sustainability will remain a core component in our transformation drive towards becoming a ‘New Generation Digital Company’ by 2020.
COMMITMENT TO STRENGTHEN OUR SUSTAINABILITY DISCLOSURE
Axiata has been implementing its sustainability activities anchored on the 4Ps, which collectively represent the Economic, Environmental and Social (EES) areas in which Axiata has an impact. This report is the third volume of our ‘Commitment to Development’ series, which is our inaugural series of reports referring to the Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative G4 (GRI-G4) framework.
We have worked continually on ensuring that our sustainability disclosure structure and vision are embedded throughout our entire organisation, and I am proud to report most of our OpCos have started producing their own standalone sustainability reports.
I am also pleased to note that our efforts to strengthen our sustainability disclosure was recognised as the best sustainability report in Malaysia in ACCA’s Malaysian Sustainability Reporting Awards (MasRA) 2015. Our sustainability practices also received accolades from the Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG), which recognised Axiata with its Excellence Award for ESG Practices.
These awards serve to further encourage us and validate our efforts to develop our sustainability practice. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners and stakeholders, and reiterate the Group’s commitment to sustainable practice in all our markets.
TAN SRI JAMALUDIN IBRAHIM
Managing Director/President &
Group Chief Executive Officer
1Includes Idea and M1