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 have an impact on our overall commercial sustainability and success. We acknowledge the effects that our activities have on the environment, and 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.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the SDGs and to the environment, in particular, we are committed to maximising our positive impact and mitigating our negative impact through the continued alignment of our efforts with three of the goals this year: promoting the use of affordable and clean energy (SDG7), both within our network and the homes of employees; advocating for, implementing and promoting the responsible production and consumption of resources (SDG12); and guiding efforts towards achieving our ‘net zero’ carbon emitting aspiration through the development and implementation of climate change-related strategies and policies (SDG13).


• Net zero by 2050 initiatives
(monitoring our emissions and introducing science-based carbon reduction targets)
• Continued compliance
(compliance with regulations regarding plastics, air quality and noise levels)
• Waste management
(e-waste collection initiative and internal end-to-end waste management programme)
• ISO 14001 recertification
(upgrades to Environmental Management System (EMS) and successful transition to ISO 14001:2015 version)


We have committed to becoming a net zero carbon-emitting company by 2050. The current scientific consensus is that global carbon emissions need to be reduced by 80% by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change and we are determined to play our part. Our bold pledge has focused our thinking and efforts across the entire business, from improving energy efficiencies and reducing the energy consumed across our network and facilities to deploying renewable energy solutions and exploring carbon offset projects*.
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 seventh time this year.

* ‘Carbon offset projects’ are carbon dioxide and/or greenhouse gas reducing initiatives in which companies (or individuals) can invest in order to counteract emissions produced somewhere else. Popular examples of such projects include tree growing and capturing methane gas at landfill sites. Offset projects allow companies that are dependent on carbon producing technologies to lessen their carbon footprints by investing in diverse carbon reducing projects that might not otherwise attract funding.

This year, we changed the electricity emissions factor we use to calculate our footprint, based on the latest world carbon dioxide emission factors for electricity generation and fuel combustion developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA Data) © OECD/IEA 2016. The IEA has revised this fi gure downwards for Kenya, based on the current energy generation mix (for Kenya) that is mainly renewable from geothermal and hydro sources. For the purposes of easy comparison, we have revised the fi gures for FY17 as well.

We are pleased to note that our Scope 1 emissions (which include the diesel consumed in our generators, the fuel used in our fl eet vehicles and the fugitive emissions associated with our air-conditioning systems) reduced by 4 percent as a result of the decrease in diesel use and fugitive gases replaced across our network. We expect this trend to continue as we roll out renewable energy initiatives and improve our energy effi ciency through upgrades like the fuel management system. Scope 2 emissions (which are the indirect emissions associated with our consumption of purchased electricity) increased by around 21 percent, nonetheless, because of the continued expansion of our network and the accelerated connection of national grid electricity to new sites (instead of being powered by diesel generators). Our Scope 3 emissions (which include other indirect sources, such as air travel and taxi hire) also increased slightly from 2,863 tonnes in FY17 to 3,813 tonnes in FY18. Looking ahead, we intend to offset our carbon emissions through a comprehensive mitigation and management plan.

For more detailed information regarding the methodology/guidelines and processes we use to calculate our emissions, please see the About our reporting Appendix to this report, which has been published online at https://www.safaricom.co.ke/sustainabilityreport_2018/

Introducing science-based targets*

We introduced science-based carbon reduction targets this year to help us plot our progress towards becoming ‘net zero’ by 2050. Using our FY17 carbon footprint as a baseline, we have adopted an ambitious decarbonisation scenario that will lead to the earliest reductions and the least cumulative emissions (using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) pathway and Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) interpolation method).

* Carbon reduction targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep the average global temperature increase below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures. (IPCC)

As the following bar chart describes, we have calculated milestone targets of a reduction of absolute carbon emissions (scope 1 and 2) of 15 per cent by 2020, 30 per cent by 2025, 43 per cent by 2030, 53 per cent by 2035 and 74 per cent by 2050. We intend to compensate for the remaining 26 per cent through our programme of carbon offset projects*.

Our next step is to submit these targets for official validation by the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi).


One of the key ways in which we monitor and manage our environmental impact is through our energy (electricity and diesel) and resource (water) consumption targets. As the following graphic illustrates, our electricity consumption increased by 21 per cent during the year, as a result of the continued expansion of our network and the accelerated connection of national grid electricity to new sites. Conversely, our fuel consumption decreased by 18 per cent, from 11,483,978 litres in FY17 to 9,432,788 litres in FY18.

Energy and Resource Consumption

Although electricity consumption has increased, it is part of our focus on
becoming more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly because national
grid electricity is a cheaper and cleaner source of power than the current
alternative, namely, diesel generators. This shift in focus is also the main reason why our fuel consumption has decreased, as we continue to reduce the amount of time our sites are powered by generators. We also continued to upgrade and replace parts of the equipment used to power our sites with more energy-efficient units during the year, and successfully rolled out a fuel management system to help us monitor and optimise our fuel consumption further. We are pleased to be able to report that our water consumption decreased during the year. We attribute this to a campaign to raise awareness of water usage among members of staff; the installation of meters on kitchen inlet pipes to measure water usage more accurately; and the termination of the reverse osmosis process on the bore hole water supply at Jambo Contact Centre (JCC), as we were losing around 45 per cent of the water supply during the process.


E-Waste Collected* (tonnes)

*Cumulative tonnes collected since the inception of the project

We are pleased to report another year of good progress with a record 223 tonnes of e-waste collected. We opened a new e-waste collection centre at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which will serve as a collection point for the wider Nanyuki area, and we continued with the effective format employed in previous years of targeting larger institutions; for example, holding successful activations at the Eldoret National Polytechnic and several government ministries. Our partner, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Centre processes the e-waste we collect.

We have also developed a communication strategy to help promote the collection programme and explain the importance of proper e-waste disposal to a wide audience across the public and private sectors, which will be rolled out next year.

Eco-Friendly Carrier Bags Introduced

We launched our new eco-friendly, reusable carrier bags on World Environment Day in June 2017. The new non-woven bags will replace all single-use polythene plastic bags used in our retail shops. The new bags are eco-friendlier due to their re-usability, cost effectiveness and durability. The carrier bags, which will last for up to 40 shopping trips, will have a signifi cant impact on plastic waste reduction and more than 7 million plastic bags are expected to have been removed from circulation by the end of this year. A reflection of our determination to become a ‘plastic free’ company by 2019, the switch to the eco-friendly bags will also save the company an average of KES 10 million per year, in terms of the cost of procuring bags for our retail outlets.


We successfully launched our internal waste management programme during the year and Safaricom is now recycling or reusing 97 per cent of the waste generated within our administrative buildings in Nairobi. Dubbed ‘Zero waste to landfi ll’, the programme targets plastics, food and paper waste and has been fully implemented at our main facilities (HQ1, HQ2, HQ3, Safaricom Call Centre (SCC) and Jambo Call Centre (JCC)).


A major achievement during the year was our successful transition to the new ISO 14001:2015 Environment Management System (EMS) Standard. The new standard is more robust and better aligned with sustainable business strategies and we are one of the first Kenyan companies to go through the audit process and achieve the certification.


We continued to undertake Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Environmental Audits (EAs) during the year. Part of our monitoring and evaluation of our environmental impact, we conduct EIAs on new and proposed infrastructural developments (from BTS to fibre optic network trenching) and EAs on our existing infrastructure.

All scheduled EIAs and EAs were successfully carried out during the year. The slight increases in numbers of EIAs and EAs conducted reflect the additional structures (predominantly BTS) either deployed or operationalised (i.e. co located) during the year.


A one-day training workshop addressing common public concerns regarding Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMFs) was held for residents of Mombasa in August 2018. Over 200 people attended the event, which was held at the Royal Court Hotel in Mombasa. The workshop was hosted by Safaricom in partnership with the National Environment Management Authority, the Communication Authority of Kenya and the Kenya Alliance of Residents Association. The training greatly improved the knowledge, understanding and perceptions of the participants regarding the sensitive topic of EMFs.All scheduled EIAs and EAs were successfully carried out during the year. The slight increases in numbers of EIAs and EAs conducted reflect the additional structures (predominantly BTS) either deployed or operationalised (i.e. co located) during the year.


FY19 Goals

• Continue evaluating and implementing carbon offset projects *
• Become a ‘plastic free’ organisation by FY19 by eliminating all forms of plastic used within Safaricom facilities (with some exceptions, such as the Safaricom clinic and personal plastic items brought in by members of staff) and minimising the plastic used in retail packaging
• Submit our carbon reduction milestone targets for offi cial validation by the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi)

• Continued implementation of the Green Procurement Policy across the business
• Develop a framework in readiness for release of the first ever ‘green bond’ in the Kenyan market
• 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
• Develop and implement our climate change policy
• Continue to implement renewable energy initiatives across the business