Orange: Innovation to Serve

Presentation written by:


Margaux CHARVET,

Presentation supervised by: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Elena M. BARBU,


Figure 1-Orange CSR Image Bank

Corporate Social Responsibility can be defined for companies as a different management of business processes in order to create a positive impact on society. Nowadays, this Responsibility is a new challenge that companies must face so as to produce sustainable activity in a better world.

Regarding the case of Orange Group, the group has already proved its commitment in Social Responsibility, notably by publishing an interactive online report in 2014 where anybody can feel free to analyse their data, no matter who they were. The goal of this new online and original format was to increase the readability, the transparency and the incidence of the data.

The Corporate Social Responsibility politic of Orange is in perpetual innovation. This is why through this analyse, the current politic of this benchmark player in the telecommunication sectors will be detailed and discuss.

  1. Orange Corporation
    1. History

The history of Orange started with the first French administration dealing with telecommunications: the PTT.

Created in 1879, this company was the beginner in telegraphic services and postal area, then in telephone field and finally of tele-broadcasts activities. However, with the creation of La Poste in 1991, PTT stopped their activity in the postal market.

In order to ensure competition for telecommunication services, the PTT telecommunication branch was renamed France Télécom in 1988, becoming in 1997 a public limited company whose only had as the French Government as shareholder.

In parallel, in April 1994, Orange was launched to compete with Vodafone in the United Kingdom. The company quickly showed excellent results on margins and customer satisfaction by wining more and more market shares, both at home country and abroad.

With an important desire to internationalize, France Telecom bought Orange in August 2000. The identity of the brand was changed with orange added colours. Finally, on the 1st of July in 2013 the operator changed definitely the name of the group for Orange SA, with the corresponding logo.

    1. Orange Corporation in 2018

Figure 2-Evolution of the logo

Nowadays, the company has more than 155,000 employees worldwide, including 96,000 in France. The turnover amount was arround 40 billion Euros for 2016. The Group is present in 29 countries and has more 263 million customers, all offers included. Given that nearly the users of fixed internet worldwide will reach 3 billion and the users of mobile internet will reach the 4 billion by 2019, Orange must be ready to face an increasing demand and adapt their offers to the different segments of customers.

Figure 3-Key Figures about Orange

The activity of the company is divided into three areas “Residential” services (fixed telephony and internet), Mobile telephony services and Services for businesses, under the Orange Business Services brand. Currently, 82% of the budget is dedicated to telecommunication for private individual, 15% is for the company and 3% is engaged regarding the international market.

The ambition of Orange Group is focused on five actions levers:

      • offering enriching connectivity
      • reinventing the customer relationship
      • combining the human with the digital
      • supporting the transformation of corporate customers
      • diversifying by capitalizing on their assets

Regarding financial statement, the turnover is decreasing for the last four years.

Between 2012 and 2016, a decrease of -6% has been recorded.

Figure 4-Net profit of Orange

Nevertheless, the net profit has been multiplying by 3 during this same amout of time.

Concerning the shares, the French Government is the main shareholder with 13,39 % of shares, following by the Bpifrance Participations (9,56%) and the employees (5.37%).

The current CEO is Stéphane Richard. Thanks to him and different strategies, Orange has an important Research&Developement department for the group with the Orange Labs. R&D is a key motor for

growth. More than 3500 experts work each days in 10 countries in order to achieve to perform the better solutions possible for the future world. Currently, Orange owns 7800 patents regarding digital and telecommunication field.

This is why innovation is so important in Orange strategy and philosophy. However, for the Group, innovation doesn’t represent a end in itself. What the Group wans to focus on is to offer innovation as a service for human being, as a way to improve the daily life of everybody. More accurately, Orange is working for innovation that will help everybody to deal with their full personal potential, to increase one’s responsibility concerning the digital devices and to offer an environment respected so as to offer an harmony life with nature.

As human reprensent the core of the strategy of the Group, Orange logically tries to offer the best leadership management for this employees. The program “Orange Campus” launched in 2010 is a way to renew perpetually the managerial culture and to improve the managers’s skills. Nowadays, 3 Orange campus are available in France, in Spain and in Poland. More than 20 000 managers are concerning by this training. This is way to improve the Orange leadership techniques and team bulding at the same time.

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility of Orange

At Orange, the corporate belief is that the CSR policy is based on creating shared value and even more, on generating value to benefit as many people as possible. Furthermore, CSR is a tool that makes the company more human, innovative and able to meet the demands of every stakeholders and customers.

Indeed, Orange considers that digital technology is a powerful tool for economic, social and environmental change. This is why the four drivers behind the CSR approach are the economic and social development, the trust in the digital world and the ecological transition; combined with a top employer conscience and a consideration for the stakeholder request.

    1. Contribute to economic and social development
      1. Actions

The basic philosophy of the Orange group is to use digital technology in order to improve the world we are living in. Indeed, Orange considers digital technology as a catalyst for socio-economic development. This is why the Group supports for social innovation and supportive entrepreneurship.

For instance, Orange collaborates with ENGIE in order to launch a plan to roll out solar energy kits in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. Given that 90% of the population in these countries haven’t access to electricity, a low-cost and eco-friendly solution have been proposed to increase the development of these areas of the world.

Moreover, Orange is also focused on the Social impact of the Digital. This is why, by collaborating with La Ruche during the Social Good Week, they encourage and advice some starts-up with Tech for Good Project.

As the digital is an important challenge for developing countries such as in Africa, Orange is concentrated on offering solutions adapted to local populations in order to include them in the contemporary world. They guarantee the right to Internet access in some isolate areas, such as the rural one.

      1. The Orange Foundation

The Orange Foundation is dedicated to use digital technology as an integral part of solidarity in the whole word. Indeed, the Orange Foundation in a concrete part of the philanthropy policy of the group. Through this Foundation, Orange encourages initiatives worldwide in order to make the world a better place to live thanks to digital tools. For instance, Orange proposes to use digital technologies to bring populations education, healthcare, or culture in the 30 countries where the group is present.

In addition to that, the Foundation helps developing the Digital Centres for women from disadvantaged backgrounds in 18 countries. In these centres, Orange offers digital education so as to promote autonomy, financial security and professional opportunity for these women.

    1. Empower confidence in entering the digital world

Orange also strongly believes that digital innovation generates shared value and progress both for the companies and for individuals and society as a whole.

      1. Protection of Personal data and Cyber security

Customer data is an important point on ethical current issue in the digital world. Indeed, the idea of sharing data is a compulsory point of the digital fears. However, sharing data is an incredible source of value for both companies and individuals. This is why Orange provides high standards for data confidentiality and security aspects (requirements for governance labels, training, audit methods). Orange manages the 263 million customers data and communication every day around the world.

In fact, according to Orange, the protection of personal data must be based on ethic. It’s mean that the legal framework isn’t sufficient enought. The group has no choice but to offer an improved protection for their customers.

This is why Orange is investing in Research and innovation in order to anticipate the techniques adopted by cyber pirate. For instance, the first trust badge has been launched in France in 2017 and it enables users to control their personal date and choose which they want to share with who.

      1. Digital awareness for Children

Orange Poland is currently developing an adapted search engine for children, by collaborating with the Nobody’s Children Foundation. The goal is to protect children from inappropriate content they can find easily on internet.

Similarly, the #SuperCoders program consists in introducing minors to use properly digital tools and to code some website. There is a SupersCoders festival which takes place in October. Orange has been awarded for this event by the “European Digital Skills Awards” in the “Digital Skills for all Citizen” category. More than 7,500 children in 17 countries have taken part in #SuperCoders workshops since 2015.

      1. Health issued

Radio waves can represent issued. This is why Orange is committed in transparency concerning the potential dangers or troubles anybody can be suffer from. Orange wants to sensitize each one to the radio waves exposure dangers, this is why they develop the Radio Waves Website where all questions can be answered and some studies easily accessible. This website is available in seven languages.

    1. Promote energy and ecological transition

Orange deploys ambitious resources to promote the ecological development and the energy saving; notably regarding the climate change, the waste and the protection of biodiversity. Concretely, Orange is working on different sensible points in order to improve their activity regarding the environment.

      1. The systemic approach

Since 2016, Orange is certified by the norm ISO 14001 for more than 60% of their activity. Many subsidiaries are 100% certified such as the one in France, Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Egypt, Mali, and the Group Head Office.

Furthermore, Orange is fighting for the implementation of a circular economy. Indeed, a circular economy involves an adapted organisation concentrated on new economic model and processes. In other words, Orange wants to involve the company in different projects such as reducing the critical resources consumption, optimizing waste management and giving a second life to some electrical components. In 2016, Orange created a dedicated committee regarding this change with members of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The main goal is to change the business model from ownership to usage focused.

      1. Reducing the Carbon Footprint

Reducing Carbon Footprint is one of the main challenges of the current century. Indeed, digital technology can be an important arm in this ecologic war. This is why Orange is committed, notable since the COP21, in reducing their impact on the environment.

The objective for the Group is to reduce by 50% their carbon emissions by 2020.

Figure 5-Orange CSR figures about reducing the CO2 emissions

Regarding the 2016 figures, a decrease of 48,23% is noted. This was notably achievable thanks to an operation called the Green ITN 2020. This is a major energy plan based on networks and information system. In addition to that, Buildings and travels are rethought in order to also reduce their energy consumption. As a matter of fact, Orange builds new constructions which are more sustainable, for instance regarding energy consumption or materials used. The Group also desires reducing their business trips pollution by choosing more ecological transports.

      1. Sustainable transformation for Mobile

Orange wants to impact the product life cycle of mobiles, by integrating selection of electric components, eco design, and recycling. In other words, a global new scheme is totally necessary in order to change production and consumption habits.

The components of a mobile are currently an important source of pollution in the word. This is why selected these elements can be a first step in a more sustainable path. Moreover, implemented eco design for all products and all services in the company is also a way to reduce the negative effects of the current consumption mode. For instance, a compact design or reducing the use and size of packaging can be considered as eco design actions. Finally, recycling can offer new life for used devices or components. It can also avoid ton of wastes. In 2016, the collection rate of mobile by Orange was 15,3%. The 2020 objective is to raise the 30%.

    1. Ethical labour practises

Figure 6-Orange CSR offcial figures regarding environment

      1. Employee protection

The employee program is built around three main policies, which are the work experience, the training talent and equity. This is why the values underlined are autonomy, digitization and professional equality and equal pay.

First of all, Orange is interested in improving the global work experience of their employees. The group is labelled with the “Happy at Work” where Orange was ranked number 1 of the “More of 1000 employees” category in 2017. In other words, Orange defends successfully values such as Professional development, Stimulating environment, Management & motivation, Pay and recognition, Pride and Pleasure.

Indeed, the CSR policy is also based on nurturing and developing talent throughout the organization. This is notably why Orange offers to their employees important training program during all the time they are working for them. Orange is concerned about the development of the employee skills in order to encourage them to improve their potential and personal growth. Concretely, Orange training program is based on 34 hours a year of training per employee around the world, which represents for instance 126,000 employees trained in 2016. Regarding the program in itself, the digital is definitely the point which developed so as to anticipating tomorrow’s needs.

Figure 7-Orange CSR figures about training

Last but not least, Orange encourages diversity and equality in their teams. This is why Orange fights for integrating disabled workers in the workplace or also why Orange pays attention to gender equity. This is why the female recruitment rate across the Group was 34% in 2016. Basically keys areas are: an equal pay, equal representation of men and women in every area of the business and definitely in leader positions, and pay attention to an work-life balance life between personal and professional daily moments.

All these elements seem to be consistent with the Social Responsibility Strategy of Orange. Indeed, according to satisfaction survey, 85% of the Orange employees would recommend their employer.

      1. Awards

Figure 8-Orange CSR employee recommendation

Orange was certified Top Employer Global in 2018 for the third consecutive year. This certification ensures the best policies and practices in terms of Human Resources. Among the 10 companies awarded, Orange is the only telecom operator certified Top Employer Global.

Figure 9-Orange awarded as Top employer in 2017

Furthermore, Orange has successfully renewed its GEEIS (Gender Equality for European and International Standard) certification for the Group.

    1. Meet the expectation of stakeholders

Regarding this aspect of CSR policy, dialogue is the predominant challenge that Orange wants to implement for the whole Group. Indeed, shared the value created by the company with the society, and particularly the stakeholders, is a key factor of the responsibility strategy.

This is why Orange follows the principle of the AA1000 label. In other words, listening and taking in account the expectation of the stakeholders is based on several ideas such as taking in consideration the priorities of the stakeholders, helping them avoid environmental and health risk, identifying opportunities for sustainable innovation relevant with the world social development.

As a matter of fact, the stakeholder dialogue is a strength for Orange because it also a way for them to improve their customer experience. This is why Orange is committed the whole group in dialogue platforms such as human right at Telecom Industry Dialogue and in the Joint Audit Cooperation.

According to figures, this strategy paid off. Indeed, in 2016, Orange organised dialogues in 20 countries with its stakeholders, with women condition and health issued as core subject. For instance, “Diversity and work place” was a theme mentioned during one dialogue in France.

  1. Criticisms and limits

In light of the increasing role of digital technology, Orange is currently imposing their CSR policy through different actions and policies. However, some limits can be highlighted.

First of all, the content of all the CSR rapports are based on some indicators; indicators considered as relevant such as AA1000 or APS (2008). But it can be interesting to focus on more unconventional indicators in order to have a different point of view on the data.

Regarding the environment, the CSR reporting is limited to 11 countries while the Orange Group is present on more than 20. Even these countries represent 81% of the headcount of Orange; the situation in the other countries is as important regarding the environment situation given that it’s a worldwide problem.

Orange wants to be recognized as a Top leader in the telecom industry. However, it is definitely impossible to forget the scandal of 30 employee suicides between 2008 and 2009. Indeed, the explications given by the victims were based on their work in “France Telecom” (formerly Orange). Some individuals talked about “Terror Management”, stifling work pressure and destabilization. In addition to that, between January and March 2014, 10 Orange employees committed suicide. This is an important point to question about the HR policy of the group.

Moreover, as the number of employee is predicted to be reduced by 20% by 2020, the reducing energy goal will be more easily achievable, so the group could increase their objectives in order to improve their policies as much as possible.

Last but not least, the Corporate Social Responsibility is sometimes considering as communication more than a full part of the company. Indeed, notably in terms of Return on Investment, CSR can’t be easily measured. This is why it is sometimes not considered as an important department of the company to develop. In addition to that, some conflicts of interest can appear between financial interest and sustainable measure. Orange has been notably criticized by using CSR as communication tools in order to improve their brand image in consumer mind more than a real interest for sustainable development.


Even if some important progresses have been made, the Group will have to face some important challenges in the few next years. Consequently, the Essentials2020 strategy appears as the path to be followed in order to outperform the competitors.

In order to sum up this plan, this schema is used by the Orange Group to remind every stakeholders of the different improvements which are still needed in the global procedure.

Figure 10-Summary Schema of Orange strategy “Essentials 2020”