Head of Sustainable Business
About Dorothée D'Herde
Dorothée leads sustainable business at Vodafone Group. The sustainable business team drives the delivery of Vodafone’s Purpose agenda and contribution to the SDGs, as well as ensuring sound responsible business practices and transparent reporting.
She took up the role in August 2019 after 10 years at McKinsey & Company where she most recently was Director of sustainability and social impact, with responsibility for the firm's responsible business practices and its contribution to society. Dorothée joined McKinsey in 2009 as head of external relations for the Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practice.
Before McKinsey, she worked in politics, public affairs and communications: for the Belgian deputy prime minister, in the European Commission's spokesperson service and at public affairs agency GPlus Europe (Omnicom Group).
She studied literature and linguistics in Ghent, Madrid and Nijmegen and European Studies at the College of Europe. She speaks English, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian and basic German, and loves spending time with her daughter, exploring new places, teaching and dancing.
Vodafone’s Head of Sustainable Business, Dorothée D’Herde, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss building a digital society that leaves no one behind and protects the planet.
Vodafone Group is one of the world’s leading telecoms and technology service providers – covering such things as connectivity, convergence and the internet of things. They also have strong expertise in mobile financial services and digital transformation in emerging markets. They mainly operate in Europe and Africa, with mobile operations in 24 countries.
Dorothée explains how the role of the sector in society is crucial. The nature of the products and services they’re involved with means they have the potential to leverage digitisation to enable the speed and scale needed to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At Vodafone, their drive is about connecting for a better future; it’s about building a digital society that leaves no one behind and protects the planet.
We explore what it takes to embed a sustainability mindset within the organisation. Dorothée notes that it’s very helpful that, at Vodafone, sustainability is a CEO-led agenda and it can be found throughout the whole organisation, including in functions such as Vodafone procurement, Vodafone business, brand and commercial.
Dorotheée’s key takeaway for those working in sustainability within a corporate environment is (1) Purpose: really finding that genuine articulation of why you exist as a company; and if that exercise hasn’t been done yet, try to make that exercise happen at the highest level; and (2) Pace: the window to avoid a climate catastrophe is closing. There’s a drive and energy and a passion to go very fast and go where we need to go. But sometimes this doesn’t work in a big organisation, and sometimes you need to take a step back and bring the organisation along.
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