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GSMA moves to make ESG reporting metrics consistent

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The GSMA has released a whitepaper that specifies 10 key performance indicators (KPIs) for mobile carriers in the areas of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG). 


The GSMA estimates that roughly 600 distinct ESG reporting standards are presently in use across the mobile sector. This diversity not only makes assessing the level of success on an industrial scale challenging, but it also puts a great load on operators, who often invest significant time and effort in data gathering and detailing progress, only to generate a report with little value. 


The KPIs are divided into four groups, with the GSMA explaining why these divisions were made:


Environment – Reporting against environmental KPIs can aid internal decision-making, such as how to develop decarbonization policies and deploy cash to increase energy efficiency. Emissions, energy and waste reduction are the KPIs in this area. 


Digital Inclusion – Tracking success against the basic KPIs will assist operators in demonstrating that they are making an attempt to reach out and to underserved and vulnerable populations. Network coverage, affordability and digital skills are the KPIs in this category.


Digital Integrity – Building trust and brand awareness with clients and customers will be the most compelling use case for KPIs connected to data integrity. Data privacy, digital rights and online safety are the KPIs in this area.


Supply Chain – Two use cases for supply chain KPIs are particularly appealing. Firstly, the disclosures will aid internal decision-making, and secondly, the ESG story will be supported by the disclosures. Sustainable supply chain is the only KPI in this category. 


John Giusti, GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer, commented: “By aligning around common metrics, the mobile industry can accelerate both the pace and impact of ESG. Increasingly, ESG performance is a key consideration for investors, customers and employees. By developing this harmonized framework, we’re placing the mobile sector at the forefront of meaningful ESG reporting. These metrics will help deliver informed, data-driven decisions around ESG, build trust, and allow the mobile industry to clearly demonstrate its positive impact on society.”