Risk management & business continuity
Effective risk management supports our foundation for sustainability leadership. We define business risk as the degree of exposure associated with the achievement of key strategic objectives in relation to the effectiveness and efficiency of operations; reliability and integrity of financial reporting; compliance with laws and regulations, policies procedures and contracts; and, safeguarding of assets within an ethical organizational culture.
Our enterprise-wide risk and control assessment practices solicit and incorporate the expertise and insight of team members from all areas and levels of the organization, including our Board. We continuously improve enterprise risk governance by:
Assessing perceptions of risk resiliency, risk appetite and risk management integration in key decision-making processes
Assigning executive-level owners for managing and mitigating key risks, including climate-related risks
Integrating information across our strategic planning process and enterprise-wide risk assessment activities
Business continuity management
We recognize the potential of threats that could disrupt our ability to meet our obligations to customers, our team members, the community and our investors. We believe that a robust and agile business continuity program is a cornerstone for delivering on our customer first commitment, providing reliable products and services, and supporting our communities. Our business continuity management program has the following key program elements:
A governance structure with executive sponsorship, oversight at the Board level and engagement at all levels of the organization
A risk-based program and planning framework based on industry-leading practices
Ongoing monitoring and management of threats and projected impacts, and the application of mitigation and preparedness measures to respond to them
A comprehensive emergency management framework with a consistent approach for all types and levels of threat
A crisis management team comprising senior leaders, and direct linkages with key internal and external stakeholders
A culture of resilience that drives business continuity leadership, ownership and continuous improvement, including training and awareness, annual exercises and embedding resilience into organizational processes
Responding to incidents
We have a proven track record of effectively managing the impacts of disruptive incidents, such as wildfires, floods and severe weather events. We have demonstrated support for our communities, customers and team members through these challenges by implementing programs such as:
Providing free voice, text and data services, and waiving monthly payments and late payment charges
Replacing damaged customer equipment at no cost and providing loaner mobile phones
Developing special contact centre queues to address specific needs of affected customers
Providing comfort kits and backpacks for affected community members
Initiating and managing text-to-donate campaigns
Matching TELUS team member contributions through our Team TELUS Cares website
Our commitment to a robust and agile business continuity program has consistently been recognized by premier international business continuity organizations. Most recently in 2019, we were a finalist for the Disaster Recovery Institute’s “Service Provider of the Year” award for our response to the 2017 wildfires in British Columbia.
Supporting communities in need
In collaboration with all levels of government, we support emergency preparedness initiatives by participating in risk assessments, exercises and other planning initiatives. We support emergency operations by providing critical services and equipment, and aligning our response and recovery efforts with government and community priorities. Our support has included:
Emergency mobile phones for first responders and officials
Telecom services at community reception and welcome centres
Comfort items for evacuated residents
Support for community re-entry after major evacuations
In 2019, to proactively inform government emergency agencies on how we can support their operations we developed a “Supporting Your Operations in an Emergency” brochure.
We are also a founding member of the Canadian Telecommunications Resiliency Working Group (CTRWG), which is a national group of telecommunications carriers and federal government representatives dedicated to building resilience. During an emergency, we work closely with the CTRWG to share information and resources.
Property risk governance
The Property Risk Governance Office partners with teams across TELUS to make certain we are appropriately managing risks related to our critical properties that house and support our network. We conduct annual property risk audits to systematically identify, evaluate and monitor mitigation of risks across selections of our critical sites. The audit priorities are based on our TELUS Vital Points List, which categorizes our facilities and identifies critical sites that could experience significant impacts to network reliability or employee safety because of potential adverse events (e.g., fire, earthquake, flood, etc.).