Institutional Framework


The United Nations (UN) is an international organisation founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries, which made a commitment to maintaining international peace and security, fomenting friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, quality of life and human rights.
For years now, Telefónica has been collaborating with the entity to encourage corporate sustainability. For example, our engagement with the Global Compact, the United Nations initiative to secure a voluntary commitment by entities with regard to corporate responsibility, through ten principles based on human, labour and environmental rights and the fight against corruption. 
For Telefónica, which subscribed to those principles in 2002, the Global Compact has been key in making us a benchmark company with regard to sustainability.
To promote the progressive implementation of the principles, the Global Compact encourages companies to collaborate with their stakeholders and to adopt transparency as a way of proving their credibility. Telefónica’s management model includes those same components. In fact, each year it informs about its commitment to the initiative and the application of its principles.
Likewise, we also have an active presence in the Local Offices of the Global Compact and we collaborate with Global Compact LEAD on different projects such as the “Board Education Program”.
The International Development Bank (IDB), founded in 1959, is the largest of all the regional development banks in the world. It supports the efforts of Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce poverty and inequality with the aim of achieving sustainable, environmentally friendly development.
Telefónica and the IDB work together to explore initiatives on order to apply the new technologies to priority areas such as education and healthcare services, security, the financial sector, sustainable cities and public administrations. With this spirit, in 2012 we signed a framework collaboration agreement to promote joint technological projects which would contribute to sustainable economic development and favour social inclusion in the countries of Latin America, in which both entities have a presence.
Thus, among other projects, we would highlight the application of ICTs to foster financial inclusion and to increase the levels of access to banking services in Latin America, to foment new, more sustainable and efficient urban ecosystems, and to promote new, more participative learning models.
The mission of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)  is to promote policies which enhance economic development and people’s social well-being worldwide.
Telefónica takes as its reference the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and our Business Principles Office, the body responsible for ensuring compliance with our code of ethics, features as a success story in the “Anti-corruption Ethics and Compliance Handbook for Business”, promoted by the OECD, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Bank.
The document is designed as a business tool to combat corruption and bribery, which, according to the World Bank, generates annual losses of between 20 and 40 billion dollars in developing countries. For this purpose, as a first step, the manual was presented to 1,500 participants – states, civil society, academics, private sector and media – who attended the 5th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (Panama 2013).


The World Bank has been a source of funding and technical assistance for developing countries since 1994. It is composed of five institutions closely linked to each other: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
As a recent example of collaboration by Telefónica with the bank, we should mention the preparation of the report entitled “How ICTs can contribute to improving security in Guatemala”, a country in which violence consumes 7.3% of annual Gross Domestic Product, according to a study by the United Nations Development Programme. In general, in Latin America, insecurity has replaced unemployment as the leading concern since 2007.
The work focuses on three types of ICT solutions: video-surveillance and citizen connectivity; emergency attention and coordination centres; and GPS bracelets for cases of domestic violence. In addition, it provides the keys for a successful citizen security strategy and shows examples of use of the new technologies to combat crime and violence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) encourages companies, governments and civil society to commit and work together to improve the state of the world. Its Strategic and Industry Partners are fundamental to help stakeholders with regard to key challenges such as the building of sustained economic growth, the mitigation of global risks, the promotion of healthcare for everyone, the improvement of social well-being and the promotion of environmental sustainability.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2013, Telefónica presented its proposal to combat unemployment and to reduce the digital knowledge deficit in Europe by 2015. In this way, we reinforced our traditional commitment to social change and economic recovery in the region.
Among the objectives for 2015, we have made the following commitments: to create over 1,000 startups through the Wayra academies in Europe; to develop the Telefonica Think Big community, composed of over 300,000 young people committed to the construction of a more enterprising Europe; to incorporate 50,000 students into the Think Big School, to train them in digital disciplines; and to help 5,000 young people and graduates in their transition from education into work through the Talentum programme.
The ITU is the United Nations agency that specialises in ICTs. In addition to the 193 Member States, it also includes regulatory bodies, academic institutions and around 700 private companies.
The ITU launched the Child Online Protection (COP) initiative in November 2008 within the framework of the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA), as an effort by multiple interested parties. COP brings together partners from all the sectors of the world community to create a safe, empowering online experience for children worldwide. Specifically, it adopts a holistic approach which encompasses these key areas: legal, technical and procedural measures; organisational structures; skills development; and international cooperation.
Telefónica has been collaborating with the different initiatives promoted by the COP in order to foster the proper use of new technologies among children, through guides and information.
INHOPE is a collaboration network of 49 hotlines to report illegal online content, including child sex abuse. Funded by the European Commission, it has a wide presence in Europe, the United States and Asia.
Telefónica collaborates with these hotlines in the countries in which it operates, providing direct links from its websites. In addition, the Interactive Generations Forum, on which we participate, and the Inhope Foundation signed an agreement on the 8th of June 2011 to collaborate in Latin America in the creation of an internet channel for the reporting of illegal contents.
INSAFE is a network co-funded by the European Commission whose main collaborators are the Education Ministers of the Member Countries. Its aim is to promote the use of new technologies in schools.
For some years now, Telefónica has actively collaborated with the nodes of Insafe. Protégeles is the security centre in Spain, a member of INHOPE and INSAFE, with which we have been cooperating for almost 10 years, initially organising talks in schools on the proper use of ICTs, and at present with initiatives to promote channels for the reporting of potentially illegal contents.
EU Kids Online is a multinational research network funded by the European Commission’s Better Internet for Kids| programme, to improve knowledge of the use that European children make of ICTs, thereby enabling comparisons to be made among the different member countries.
Telefónica forms part of its International Panel of Experts. In addition, the network collaborates on our awareness-raising initiative, Familia Digital, set up in order to contribute to creating a better internet.


GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide: it encompasses over 220 countries, bringing together almost 800 mobile telephony operators, as well as over 200 companies in the broadest mobile ecosystem:  telephone manufacturers, software companies, equipment suppliers, internet and media companies and entertainment organisations. The GSMA also organises leading events in the industry such as the Mobile World Congress and the Mobile Asia Expo.
Telefónica cooperates with the association on multiple issues. Thus, for example, Telefónica’s Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Department recently collaborated very closely with the GSMA on the preparation of resources – reports, seminars, etc. – about the response to natural disasters and emergency situations by governments, operators, regulators, NGOs, etc.
At Telefónica, we are aware of the social impact which good management of our networks can have in relation to the prevention, reduction and mitigation of situations of this kind. That is why we established Business Continuity Plans in order to be able to continue offering communication services as normal in emergency situations.
All these plans follow international guidelines and they are drawn up taking into account the characteristics and the risks of each region. Their implementation usually involves the contingency of communication platforms to support the operations and speed up recovery in the event of system failures. In addition, the fact that they are present in different countries enables local operators to support each other if need be.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is the United Nations agency that promotes labour rights, fosters decent work opportunities, improves social protection and strengthens dialogue in order to address work-related issues.
The ILO and Telefónica have joined forces to contribute to eradicating child labour. Thus, in 2011 the Telefónica Foundation and the aforementioned organisation together created the Latin American Network to Combat Child Labour, a space in which to analyse, debate and reflect on the reality of this scourge from different perspectives, such as decent work for adults, quality education, social protection, healthcare and the fight against poverty.
With over 10,500 members in Spain and Latin America, the network is the largest online community in the world focussed on this issue.
In 2012, Telefónica and the Lisbon Council, a think tank based in Brussels, reached a 3-year agreement to create StartUp Europe, a centre of excellence aimed at nurturing and supporting entrepreneurs and the job creation in Europe.
In a Europe which is suffering the highest unemployment rate in almost three decades – especially serious among young people – StartUp Europe aims to become a bulwark to halt the "brain drain" and in this way help young people and foment technological development and a spirit of entrepreneurship.
Telefónica and the Lisbon Council have established that one of the essential mechanisms to reverse this trend is the rapid creation of innovation centres throughout Europe to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship, with the ultimate aim of helping the region to regain leadership in technology and innovation.
One of the objectives of the initiative is to establish a new Entrepreneurs indicator to provide young companies with intellectual leadership, ideas and information about research; it would also be a quicker way of integrating with the business social action programmes already operating within Telefónica, through the technological accelerator Wayra, Talentum and Think Big Young People.
In addition, StartUp Europe will identify the key individuals and organisations to develop an ecosystem in which innovation and business audacity can flourish, and to establish relations with them. And it will set up a high-level advisory board and promote a strategy of awareness-raising aimed at politicians, entrepreneurs and opinion leaders.


The ITU is the United Nations agency that specialises in ICTs. In addition to the 193 Member States, it incorporates regulatory bodies, academic institutions and some 700 private companies.
Telefónica participates in Study Group 5 on the Environment and Climate Change (ITU SG5) to develop Green ICT methodologies and standards on smart cities, e-waste, measurement of the impact and the energy efficiency of Green ICT services, eco-rating, electromagnetic fields, ICTs and adaptation to climate change and energy efficiency in networks, among other issues.
In collaboration with the members of the leading companies and organisations in the ICT sector, the Global-E-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is a source of impartial information, resources and best practices to boost social and environmental sustainability through ICTs.
Telefónica participates in the Climate Change Group of the GESI to contribute to the positioning of the sector worldwide.
GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators globally: it encompasses over 220 countries, bringing together almost 800 mobile telephony operators and over 200 companies from the entire mobile ecosystem.
Telefónica participates in the association’s “Green Power for Mobile” programme, whose aim is to increase coverage of the mobile network beyond the reach of the electricity grid, to reduce energy costs and minimise environmental impacts.
With 50 members and observers in 35 countries, the European Telecommunications Network Operators (ETNO) has been the voice of European telecommunications operators since 1992. The network contributes to creating a regulatory and commercial environment so that its members can continue with the deployment of innovative, high-quality platforms and services for the benefit of consumers and companies.
Telefónica participates in the Energy Working Group, which focuses on three issues: reducing the energy consumption of the ICT sector and its customers, with more efficient data centres and networks; motivating society to make use of the existing possibilities of Green ICTs; and developing new solutions to increase energy savings.
The European Roundtable of Industrials (ERT) is a forum which brings together the 50 largest European multinationals from a wide range of industrial and technological sectors.
Telefónica forms part of the Energy and Climate Change Work Group, which seeks to devise a successful approach to tackling the challenges facing Europe and the planet: energy security, emissions reduction regulations and policies, energy mix, environmental issues, energy efficiency, investment in R&D and the international and European context for the change of policies.