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We're a winning business and it's been a great year. Our strategy is simple - placing customers at the heart of everything we do and investing in our people to make O2 a better place. This investment in our people and services is vital to keep us ahead in a mature and highly competitive market. We also recognise our wider responsibilities - to the communities in which we operate and to the environment.
How we behave and how we make decisions is very important.
We never underestimate the huge role we play in shaping people's lives. Listening to our customers, enabling our people and putting our resources and mobile services to good use can build trust and loyalty in communities.
As we maintain the momentum of our business, we will continue to consider our impacts on customer experience, our people and society. This approach to decision-making really works and underpins our success.
We've worked hard to tap into our 16 million customers' demands and to answer their calls for good value, recognition for remaining with us, and improved customer service. Several independent surveys show our customers are happier. Our customer satisfaction scores rose to the top of our market's league table.
In the past 12 months – as in previous years - we invested hundreds of millions of pounds to ensure our customers continue to enjoy the benefits of mobile communications. And every week we hear in the news about how mobiles have helped to save lives. However, we are sensitive to public concerns about the expansion of our network and are committed to communicating openly through our community relations team, dedicated helpline and information leaflets.
The power of mobile communications to make a positive difference to society was clearly shown last year by the award-winning text fundraising schemes for the Make Poverty History Live 8 and Disasters Emergency Committee Tsunami Appeals. And we continue to support research into monitoring health conditions such as cystic fibrosis through mobile phones.
One example of how we address a wide range of issues when taking important decisions is our announcement of a wholesale agreement which will enable Disney to launch a mobile phone service for families. It took us more than six months of consultation with a wide range of stakeholders to make the decision to go ahead. Our conclusion was that as more and more parents are buying mobiles for their children, it is sensible to link with a trusted family brand to provide a service designed especially with families in mind, which will offer parents greater control over their child's mobile phone. We are convinced this is the right thing to do. Our research and dialogue shows that parents and children's charities agree.
Our people are helping to shape the future of O2 through the Better Place programme. We held a summit, inviting employees to have their say about how to make the Company stronger and more responsive. This led to a number of initiatives, including the O2 Blue and Green environmental campaign. We've now put resources in place to achieve some stretching targets over the next couple of years, starting with an internal drive to reduce energy consumption and conserve wherever possible.
I am particularly passionate about our charity partnership with youth organisation Weston Spirit. This three-year scheme supports young people through an innovative three-tier mentoring programme with volunteers in O2 UK helping sixth formers to mentor younger pupils in their own schools. The hundreds of people involved in this scheme have found it a very rewarding experience with over 5,000 events, including face-to-face meetings, drop-in sessions and group activities, taking place since 2004.
We also encourage our people to get involved by creating opportunities for them to raise funds in ways that support their own wellbeing through activities, exercise and a sense of goodwill. This year we launched the Life Line Challenge which seeks to raise £250,000 for Weston Spirit. This will give Weston Spirit's youth workers the opportunity to provide 25,000 new Life Lines to vulnerable young people.
These are just a few achievements that, we believe, are strongly influenced by how we behave as a business. This approach makes O2 a stronger, healthier, more profitable company.Put simply, behaving in a responsible way makes good business sense.
Matthew Key, Chief Executive Officer, O2 UK
O2 UK community involvement by category in 2005/06
Number of customers*
Number of employees**
Waste recycled from offices
Number of customer mobile handsets recycled
* 31 March 2006
** FTE - Full Time Equivalent, 31 January 2006