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.