Our sustainability culture
Governance, ethics & privacy
At TELUS, we have a long-standing commitment to sound and effective corporate governance and full and fair disclosure practices. We continually review and enhance these practices to achieve higher standards and pursue greater transparency and integrity year after year.
Each year, we set corporate priorities to advance our growth strategy and put our customers first. We also implement initiatives that help us achieve good governance, such as beginning the process to implement the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). For governance initiative details, please see our Annual Report, our 2019 Information Circular and for TCFD, our Annual Information Form.
TELUS believes in the importance of linking organizational sustainability performance to pay. Therefore, we include a sustainability index in our corporate scorecard that includes environmental and social impact metrics, the results of which impact every team member’s compensation. For details, please see TELUS’ 2019 Information Circular.
The TELUS Board of Directors has overall responsibility for our sustainability performance. Our Chief Executive Officer and Executive Leadership Team are responsible for the approval of the overall strategic direction of our sustainability programs and report on these matters to the Board of Directors.
Our Purpose Leadership Team (PLT) is made up of senior leaders from all TELUS business units. They are accountable for integrating social purpose throughout our company in collaboration with our Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship and Communication teams. The PLT also helps to nurture a culture of sustainability, reviews progress against our objectives and assesses new or ongoing initiatives.
The Sustainability and Environmental Compliance Team provides quarterly progress updates to the Corporate Governance Committee of the TELUS Board of Directors and other relevant updates to the Board as required.
Our National Sustainability Council (NSC) is made up of a diverse group of more than 20 employees who dedicate up to 10 per cent of paid working time to deliver on its mandate: to champion enterprise-wide alignment and integration of sustainability initiatives, as well as provide a framework for coordinating local and national sustainability initiatives.
Council members create impact through three resource groups focused on:
- Behaviour change: to reduce natural resource use (i.e. energy/paper/waste)
- Communication: to support sustainability education and training
- Green Team growth and support: to better coordinate and measure volunteer activity and impact
Local TELUS employees have formed volunteer Green Teams across the company. In 2018, our Green Team volunteers hosted 30 events, including 10 shoreline cleanups, a national mobile device recycling initiative and multiple clothing drives. This led to removal of 250 pounds of garbage from shorelines, the recycling of 500 devices and upcycling of more than 1,000 clothing items.
At TELUS, we are committed to our culture of ethical behaviour. We value integrity and transparency. These values ultimately shape the decisions we make as an organization, which are guided by our Code of Ethics and Conduct. Our Code addresses a wide range of critical topics, including but not limited to:
- Avoiding conflict of interest
- Safeguarding our brand and reputation as well as our company’s assets, information and intellectual property
- Protecting our customers’ data and privacy
- Accepting gifts and benefits.
All team members, as well as our suppliers, vendors, community partners and members of our Board of Directors and TELUS Community Boards share this commitment to personal and professional integrity. The Code is updated and shared annually, and can be found on TELUS’ internal and external websites.
At TELUS, we believe in responsibly using data for good. Today's technology provides access to vast amounts of data that could be used to make better decisions in our society. For example, mobility patterns can be used to identify where organizations should be investing in infrastructure, such as how to best evacuate in an emergency. Health data can yield invaluable information on how to optimize healthcare and create better health outcomes for Canadians.
There is great promise in using data for decision making, yet we recognize that data must be used responsibly and ethically.
It is more important than ever to protect customer privacy and rebuild trust in the digital ecosystem as a result of high-profile data security breaches that have occurred in the retail and banking industries. While we look for new ways to deliver on the promise of data analytics, TELUS remains steadfast in our promise to the protect customer privacy. To do this, we have implemented new ethical reviews of data-related initiatives and we believe in the value of strong de-identification of data sets. For more information about some of the data analytics at TELUS, visit our Privacy website.
Privacy by design
TELUS has embraced Privacy by Design (PbD) as an essential component of our privacy management program. PbD is a set of seven principles that the former Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario developed. These principles have become a globally recognized framework for the protection of privacy. PbD seeks to proactively embed privacy into the design specifications of information technologies, organizational practices and networked system architectures.
TELUS is one of only five companies in Canada – and the only telecommunications company – that has secured a Privacy by Design certification. In 2019, we will pursue further certification of our products and services where it will help our customers in feeling safe and respected online. We have developed a Privacy by Design curriculum for our product and service developers and recently added new technical components to that training, with a handbook of considerations when developing advanced technology such as AI, IoT and mobile apps.
Building trust by respecting privacy
At TELUS, we respect our customers’ privacy and take great care to safeguard personal information. We believe that an important part of protecting privacy is to be clear about how we handle customers’ personal information, and to make information about our approach easily accessible and understandable.
To help our customers understand TELUS’ privacy practices, we have created information sources that explain those practices. In 2018, we created our online Privacy Centre that includes extensive information about our data handling practices, our privacy commitments and how we have operationalized those commitments.