• Environmental Responsibility

We continue to take our social and moral responsibility to manage our environmental impact very seriously. We recognise that environmental considerations are not separate from our core business, but an integral part of our overall business sustainability and success. Our environmental responsibility is an issue that continues to grow in importance as the size of our network continues to expand and we do more than just ensure that we comply with evolving environmental regulation and legislation.

We remain committed to operating in an environmentally sound and sustainable way and to managing and reporting our environmental performance in an open and transparent manner.

In response to the SDG strategy, we have aligned our efforts with three of the goals this year and committed to promote the use of affordable and clean energy (SDG7), both within our network and the homes of employees, together with the responsible consumption of resources (SDG12) and to guide efforts towards achieving our ‘net zero’ carbon-emitting aspiration through the development of climate change-related strategies and policies (SDG13).


One of the key ways in which we monitor and manage our environmental impact is through our energy consumption targets (electricity, diesel and water). As the following table illustrates, we consumed more electricity and water during the year, but less fuel. Our fuel consumption (diesel and petrol) decreased by 2.7% to 9,446,251 litres. The reduction in fuel consumption is due to a decrease in generator running time, which is the result of several energy-efficiency initiatives, including the installation of Low Voltage Auto-Phase Selectors and 600Ah cyclic batteries at sites, better collaboration with KPLC in resolving power outages at sites, as well as the conversion of 24/7 generator sites to Grid Sites (KPLC). There was also an improvement in the fuel management process that helped curb fuel losses and false fuelling.

Our water usage increased by 2% to 96,650 m3 and our electricity consumption increased from 107,977 MWh in FY16 to 116,988 MWh in FY17. The increase in electricity consumption is due to a change in the way we calculate our usage. We used to base our calculations on the data provided in utility power bills for individual sites, but data collection challenges and discrepancies in reconciling this underlying data prompted us to change our methodology to improve the accuracy and consistency of our reporting. We now calculate our consumption based on the ‘cost of power’ using the exact amounts as paid by the Finance Department to the Kenya Power and Light Company. It is worth noting that we are comfortable with our electricity consumption rising (and rising in the mix) given the fact that electricity produced in Kenya by the KPLC is mainly from renewable sources, which is aligned with our SDG commitment to using environmentally ‘cleaner’ energy wherever possible. At this stage, we have only recalculated the FY17 electricity consumption based on improved data, but we are working on reviewing earlier data to established clearer trends.

As part of our commitment to SDG7, we also developed an Energy Policy during the year. The policy will guide and focus our ongoing efforts in this regard and has helped prioritise our research of, and investment in, clean energy technologies.


In response to the SDG strategy, we have committed to becoming a net zero carbon-emitting company by 2050. As one of the few companies in Africa to have made this commitment, we are rolling out renewable energy solutions across our network and facilities, as well as considering carbon offset proposals for sources where renewable energy may not be feasible with current technology; for example, planting trees and providing subsidised domestic solar energy solutions. As part of our commitment to meeting the net zero carbon target, we continue to monitor and report our carbon footprint. We have calculated and published our carbon footprint for the sixth time this year.

As the preceding table shows, our overall footprint has decreased to 78,927 tCO2e this year, down from a revised figure of 79,781 tCO2e in FY16. The slight decrease in overall footprint is the result of a decrease in ‘Scope 1’ emissions, which reflects the decrease in diesel consumed in our generators. The increase in ‘Scope 2’ emissions is due to elevated electricity consumption as a result of continued network expansion and an SDG-related strategic shift to using electricity instead of diesel wherever possible because it is an environmentally ‘cleaner’ source of power.


As part of our commitment to SDG7, we ran internal awareness creation campaigns during the year, exposing around 4,000 staff members to numerous domestic energy-efficiency solutions available from our business partners, including Huawei, Broadband, Delta Green Solutions and Knight and App limited. The exhibited solutions were purchased by members of staff for use in their homes. Among the most popular solutions were intelligent light bulbs, which are energy efficient and store energy to provide light should there be a power outage, and domestic solar-heating systems.


A key implementation area driven by SDG12 is e-waste management. During the year, we ran an activation to improve staff engagement with e-waste. Members of staff were educated on the dangers of e-waste and encouraged to collect all of their e-waste for a proper end-of-life treatment. Collections were carried out within the four main Safaricom facilities in Nairobi and supported by a reinforcing social media campaign and, as a result, 202 tonnes of e-waste was collected. In conjunction with the staff collection campaign, we ran a campaign targeting larger institutions in partnership with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Centre. A collection centre was established at the National Eldoret Polytechnic and we agreed to reimburse companies owning land needing restoration with tree seedlings, which, when planted, contribute to carbon sequestration and, hence, towards our ‘net zero’ carbon commitment. Our sourcing department also reviewed the Purchase Policy to include various sustainability indicators, including energy efficiency and disposal cost of equipment, at the tender evaluation stage.


As part of our monitoring and evaluation of our environmental impact, we continued to undertake Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of our infrastructural developments, such as new Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and fibre optic networks, and Environmental Audits (EAs) of our existing infrastructure as required by NEMA. As well as maintaining our exemplary compliance record and completing all scheduled EIAs and EAs during the year, the team successfully audited an additional 200 sites that were scheduled for FY18.


During the year, two workshops were held to help mitigate Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) concerns among the public. Over 500 participants from the Communications Authority, NEMA, Kenya Association of Residents Associations, Ministry of Environment, represented by the Cabinet Secretary, and representatives from Nairobi Residents Associations in two regions were invited to the workshops to discuss their EMF-related issues with environmental experts and to receive a copy of our revised EMF booklet. The workshops were part of an ongoing partnership with NEMA, the CA and the Kenya Alliance of Residents Association.


We partnered with the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) for its Climate Change Hackathon, which focused on young innovators competing to develop applications for Climate Change mitigation and information dissemination

Looking Ahead


  • Mapping science-based targets to milestones.
  • Enhanced weekly water consumption reporting.
  • Develop an end-to-end integrated environmental management programme on paper, water and waste.
  • Implementation of the Green procurement policy across the business.
  • Implementation of the Integrated Waste Management policy across the business.
  • Renewable energy initiatives implemented across the business.
  • We plan to entrench air quality emission compliance in our BTS and MSRs (as per gazetted air quality regulations).
  • Climate change policy developed and implemented.
  • We will develop a communication strategy to support the e-waste management programme by deepening stakeholder engagement to improve on collection and create a platform for developing a sustainable cyclical economic model.
  • Continue to organise forums with residents’ associations and the public to create awareness of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and to address Electro-Magnetic Frequency (EMF) concerns.
  • Carbon offset projects (e.g. tree planting).*
*  Going forward, we shall engage our staff in offsetting carbon emissions, based on contributions of each division. A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere. It is a practical and effective way to address climate change and contribute to sustainable development. We understand that in the short and medium term we are not able to achieve net-zero aspiration through the renewable energy solutions that we are deploying. We, therefore, plan to carry out a tree growing as part of our offset programme. We will also explore other offset programmes and deploy as appropriately.