Safaricom Commits To Lowering Its Carbon Footprint As It Unveils Its Sustainable Business Report

Safaricom Executives unveil the Safaricom 8th Sustainable Report at MJC. [Photo/Courtesy]

Safaricom unveiled its 8th Sustainable Business Report with a view to the continued support of its customer base and environmental conservation. The company aims to plant 5 million trees by 2025 through its 5-year carbon offset programme.

The company offers more than 100 different products to its 31.8 million customers. Its continued concern for customer relations and well-being has prompted the company to invest Ksh 38 Billion in infrastructure this year. At the moment, 93% of the population is provided with a stable 3G and 4G network connectivity.

Safaricom’s commitment to equal empowerment of the population has foreseen a rise in the number of jobs created over the years. 979,000 jobs have been sustained, directly and indirectly, over the past financial year. With the increasing customer base, the number is projected to rise in the next 5-year period coming to 2025. The rise in the jobs sustained has been made possible by the company’s considerable increase in economic contribution.

Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Safaricom PLC Steve Chege[LEFT] and Chairman at Safaricom PLC Nicholas Ng’ang’a as they unveil Safaricom’s 8th Sustainable Business Report at MJC. [Photo/Courtesy]
The Sustainable business report documents Safaricom’s belief in accountability and the sharing of success stories for a more sustainable future. It also defines how the company has integrated sustainable business practices and the Sustainable Development Goals into its corporate strategy and business model.

The theme, ‘Towards Reducing Inequalities’ seeks to illustrate the company commitment towards addressing the needs of the society through the provision of products and services, integrating various stakeholder groups into the value chain, stimulating economic and social transformation and providing access to communications infrastructure and products for business growth.

The company aims to cut the total amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. The Financial Year 2019 has seen a considerable increase in environmental pollutants by the company. It is something the company is committed to addressing in the next 5-year period closing 2025. As a direct response, 91 clean power sites have been rolled out. The sites are primarily solar and hybrid power generation plants.

The company consumed an additional 8,378 litres due to the new customer care office in Eldoret. That translates to a 9.2% increase from the previous year. The figure stands at 99, 827 Litres.

Besides that, there was an increase in carbon emissions by 2,024 tCO2e representing a percentage of 3.2 from the previous year. The company is committed to ensuring that this problem is addressed.

Memorandum of Agreement signing between Safaricom PLC and Kenya Forest Services officiated by Chairman of Kenya Forest Services, Peter Kinyua and Steve Chege. [Photo/Courtesy]
As a direct response to the waste problem, Safaricom collected 217 tonnes of e-waste in the Financial Year 2019. A further 258,250 kg of recyclable/organic waste was collected in that same period. The company aims to address environmental pollution by 2025 and contribute immensely to the vision 2030.

According to the report, only about 20% of the global e-waste is recycled. This leaves 40 million tonnes posing multiple risks to the environment. Safaricom has therefore continued to collect wastes in conjunction with its partner, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment [WEEE] Centre. The company has also conducted nationwide campaigns to help sensitize the public on the effects of electrical and electronic waste.

On the issue of plastics, the company has adopted a number of measures towards becoming a plastic-free organization. Environmental consciousness and waste reduction play a key role in supplier selection. Company partners who lack environmental compliance certifications are disqualified. This has helped ensure that the company and all its partners conform to environmental regulations such as the plastic ban that was imposed by the government.

All single-use plastics have been eliminated by the company. The size of plastics used in packaging has also been reduced greatly.

Here are the measures adopted to conserve the environment.

  1. Single-use plastic has been phased out in all company cafeterias across the country.
  2. Company staff are encouraged to carry reusable water bottles.
  3. Single-use plastic tumblers for use by visitors will be replaced with reusable glasses.
  4. The company has reduced the size of the SIM cards. The amount of plastics used in their production has been halved.

The move to become a plastic-free organisation has helped remove 2.52 tonnes of plastic from the organization, conserved 8.64 tonnes of paper and saved Ksh 46.8 million

The company recorded a 9.6% profit from the 2018-2019 financial year, representing a total of Ksh 601 billion according to the Business Report.

Standout initiatives in the 8th edition of the Sustainable Business Report include the inclusion of persons with disability and raising the number of women involved in the company’s supply chain. It is part of the Safaricom Women in Business Initiative [WIT].

Safaricom aims to support and empower differently-abled persons by integrating them into the workforce. The company aims to recruit more differently-abled persons as permanent staff in the technology division and across the business. the company has set a target that 5% of the workforce will comprise differently-abled persons by the end of the Financial Year 2021. Currently, the percentage of differently-abled persons in the workforce stands at 2.1%. The company aims to grow that to 2.9%.

The objectives of integrating differently-abled persons in the workforce include;

  1. Eliminating stigma and discrimination
  2. Economic empowerment
  3. Accessibility and affordability of assistive devices and technologies.

The company’s commitment to gender diversity in technology remains a key area of focus. The outreach programmes in schools and on campuses encourage girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses. A presence of 50 high schools was achieved in the past year with about 2,000 girls benefiting. The WIT is dedicated to inspiring women to advance their careers through internships, mentorship culture and coaching programmes. In the financial year 2019, the proportion of women in the company’s technology division peaked 22%. the target for the 2020 financial year is 25%.

The company’s vision is to achieve the 50:50 gender parity in management by 2021. in the Financial Year 2019, the percentage of women in senior management stands at 34%. The aim is to close the current Financial Year with at least 39% of women in senior management. To drive this, the company conducts continuous gender target tracking at all levels, targeted recruitment of female managers and the Safaricom Women in Leadership programmes such as WIT, Paa Dada and the Safaricom Mowgli Mentorship Programme. Rita Okuthe Talks About Her Journey To The Top And Safaricom’s Investment In Women’s Leadership

From the previous year, Safaricom sustained over 80,000 jobs directly and indirectly. This was the highest number posted since 2016. The expenditure on goods and services supplied by the businesses under the Safaricom Women in Business initiative rose from Ksh 1.9 billion to Ksh. 2.4 Billion.

In a quest to help the company achieve zero carbon-emitting status by 2050, Safaricom is partnering with the Kenya Forest Service and the Community Forest Associations to plant 5 million trees in gazetted forest regions in the country by 2025.

The company plans to significantly reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and reduce the carbon footprint.

The previous year was a challenging one for the company. A number of factors including the prolonged electioneering period and depressed credit growth strained customer budgets. This made real recovery hard. External economic issues and regulatory issues hampered streamlined progress. Increased taxation also meant consumers had problems enjoying company products.

The company remains confident in the continued execution of its strategy for the purpose of transforming lives. This will, in turn, enable the company to remain purpose-driven and profitable as it grows and shares its value with its shareholders.

Safaricom has a commitment to conserving the environment, find out more  Safaricom Foundation Working With Communities For Sustainable Environmental Conservation

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Reuben Wanjala is a Content Developer who is passionate about sharing information. He specializes in Public Relations and is a strong believer in the need for African development through the dissemination of useful information and positive journalism. He trusts in the power of positive thinking.