Compliance with the Corporate Social Responsibility plan launched shortly after its IPO in 2015 stands at 90 percent.
Cellnex aims to continue to be a benchmark for the full integration of sustainable and equality policies after a 2020 that highlighted the fragility of the system and the need for joint actions.
In the recent words of Larry Fink, CEO of Blackstone, the world’s largest investor, which manages over €600 billion: “As we move forward from the pandemic, facing tremendous economic pain and inequality, we need companies to embrace a form of capitalism that recognizes and serves all their stakeholders.”
In his letter to the CEOs of his investees, Fink highlighted the imperative need for companies to apply and report ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) policies in order to continue to be considered by the investment community, which doubled the weight of sustainable assets in its portfolios in 2020.
The study service at Deloitte estimates that in 2025 half of the investments managed in the US will be made in assets with ESG criteria.
Cellnex, which has for years been subject to this scrutiny as a member of sustainability indices such as FTSE4GOOD, CDP, Sustainalytics, Standard Ethics or MSCI, has given a new twist to its sustainable strategy in its ESG Master Plan for 2021-2025.
“The new plan is more than just a CSR plan, and incorporates the entire ESG narrative covering all three main axes of the acronym,” explains Toni Brunet, Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at Cellnex. “The integration of environmental, social and governance factors in the decision-making process is the reason for the company’s existence.”
The plan revolves around six main axes that all seek the same goal: promoting telecommunications connectivity between territories with a common and inclusive culture and seeking to be part of the solution to society’s challenges. Expanding the commitment in the value chain in which it operates, both with customers and suppliers; reaffirming itself as a facilitator of social change and promoting diversity, talent and inclusion or consolidating its vocation for long-term sustainable growth are essential axes of a plan that has internationalisation and reporting as its two basic pillars.
“As a player, we must illustrate what we are made of, and this means not only taking actions, but proving it. The main challenge ahead is to extend our specific plans to the twelve countries in which we operate while demonstrating our compliance with the commitments and making them known.”
While discussions concerning the regulation and standardisation of sustainable results are ongoing, Cellnex already offers the investment community a fully integrated annual report that details its ESG activity. “The income statement is no longer just a financial expression and we have fully integrated ESG into each year’s annual report, including in our 2020 report.”
The plan remains aligned with achieving international goals for reducing our carbon footprint and with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. “The plan is divided into 92 actions to be rolled out over the next five years, aligned with the five SDGs that we consider most relevant: Quality training or education, gender equality, safety at work, innovation, infrastructures and connectivity, and climate change.”
The project involves all business units, with a specific effort to inform and integrate all employees and extend their cooperation with customers or third parties in activities that seek to reduce the digital divide, contribute to the long sought-after efficiency of smart cities or simply improve living conditions.
“The pandemic has brought to light to what extent actions with other parties can catalyse and multiply our imprint on society.”
In 2020 the Board approved the “Cellnex’s COVID-19 Relief Initiative”, a €10 million international pandemic aid fund for a health research project into cellular immunotherapy involving hospitals in France, Italy and Spain and for social action projects with non-governmental organisations to help people and groups in vulnerable situations.
To complete its actions, the multinational group is finalising the details for the creation of the Cellnex Foundation, which promises to be “an element that expresses our ESG commitment and a vehicle for communicating the group’s own activity in these areas.”
Journalist and Founder of Newsbub