Orange Backs Green Goals In Light Of Pandemic


Orange CEO Stephane Richard told shareholders the Covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis highlighted the need for the social and environmental policies in its latest five-year plan, while also creating opportunities around adoption of next generation connectivity.

Speaking during its annual shareholder meeting, held remotely, Richard said the Engage2025 strategy “resonates particularly well in the light of current events” despite being developed before the pandemic.

The plan, presented in December 2019, contained a range of cost-cutting measures, cash generation projects and ambitious sustainability goals. Among the aims were to beat industry targets on carbon emissions by ten years while stepping-up digital inclusion efforts.

“Our responsibility towards society and the environment has taken on a new meaning during this crisis as it becomes increasingly clear that we must now build a more sustainable and more ecologically responsible world,” Richard said during the shareholder meeting.

“The crisis will also accelerate certain trends, starting with the adoption of very high-speed broadband, and will create new opportunities. We are well positioned and have the means to seize these opportunities and, despite the crisis, Orange is well prepared to tackle the challenges ahead with serenity and ambition.”

During the meeting shareholders also cleared a cut to its 2019 dividend, announced in April, approved the appointment of two new board members and were given an overview of group’s response to the pandemic.

Richard added the company had met all its responsibilities during the public health crisis despite unprecedented pressure on its networks, noting its “adaption” of its dividend policy would allow it to better cope with ongoing uncertainty.

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