Experts come together to discuss safe business practices at ‘Safety in Supply Chain’ event

Telenor Pakistan hosted an event on “Safety in Supply Chain”, where industry experts deliberated on critical areas such as policymaking, legislation, and their on-ground implementation in complex multi-layered supply chains. The discussion also revolved around ways to improve best practices across different businesses and industries. Representatives from Nokia, Schlumberger, Attock Refinery, Nayatel, and Engro Enfrashare participated in the first-of-its-kind talk at Telenor Pakistan’s 345 Campus in Islamabad.

Addressing the keynote at the event, Tone Elisabeth Aastveit Skuterud, Head of GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance), HSS (Health Safety and Security) and Sustainability, Telenor Asia, said that Telenor’s Supplier Conduct Principles (SCP) are based on internationally recognised standards, including requirements on human rights, health and safety, labour rights, environment, and anti-corruption.

“We recognise that an advanced Health, Safety and Security (HSS) culture is essential to maintaining a healthy, safe and secure working environment. Telenor’s ambition is zero injuries to employees and business partners which encompass HSS being fully embedded in all aspects of the business. We are committed to raising HSS awareness and culture among employees and business partners,” she said. “For me personally, HSS practices are not just about requirements and compliance, but about showing how you can care for the people around you.”

Khurrum Ashfaque, Chief Operating Officer, Telenor Pakistan, in his opening remarks said that a safety culture is a combination of mandatory practices & procedures, strict compliance, accountability and behaviour development through trainings and communication; these together constitute an organisation’s commitment to health and safety management. As safety standards and best practices evolve with technology and better risk awareness, organisations must also extend their sustainable safety performance management across their supply chains.”

“Telenor Pakistan aims to become a practice leader and a driver for improvement by initiating this dialogue to highlight common challenges and share experiences to build on each other’s learnings,” he added.

According to the panellists, workplace incidents often result from a combination of underlying causes, such as governance gaps, deficient legislative frameworks, insufficient knowledge and resources, unsafe business practices, and the absence of a proactive safety culture at national and workplace levels. Moreover, they were of the opinion that the government needs to collaborate with the private sector to understand the dynamics of domestic, regional, and global supply chains and how they are interconnected.

Most organisations are unaware of Occupational Safety and Health risks and hazards and often do not see the importance and urgency of addressing those risks and dangers. According to the International Labour Organization, 2.2 million people die yearly due to work-related accidents or illnesses, more than 270 million workers are injured, and an estimated 160 million suffer work-related diseases.

At Telenor Pakistan, supply chain sustainability is a key focus. The organisation seeks to create a competitive advantage by setting high requirements for its suppliers and following up with inspection and risk mitigation. Telenor Pakistan’s ambition of “making zero possible” intends to bring down the number of serious incidents, injuries and illnesses to zero through concentrated efforts and progressing towards a proactive safety culture.

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