Highlights of Safaricom’s Fourth Sustainability report

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In 2012, Safaricom unveiled its first sustainability report which was a bold step aimed at transparency and integrity. In all subsequent years, Safaricom has launched the report and today, the telco unveiled its 4th report today. The 2015 report covered four key areas Governance, risk and regulation, network quality, innovation as well as environmental impact. The report was prepared independently by KPMG South Africa, KPMG Kenya and other bodies also lays emphasis on stakeholder engagement with employees, regulators, business partners and the society covered under this aspect.

On the area of governance, risk and regulation, Safaricom says it runs its operations in an ethical, transparent and accountable manner by having robust governance processes and structures in place, along with explicit guiding principles and clear lines of responsibility. It also has a risk management division  that conducts bi-annual risk assessments that are supported by in-depth audit reviews of specific internal controls within the organization and fraud reviews of processes that are prone to, or are suspected of being compromised. The Telco also ensures compliance with the current laws and regulations affecting its business practices besides liaising with the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) for regulatory guidance.

On network quality matters, Safaricom has an internal company metric called Best Network in Kenya (BNK) programme, which is a strategic pillar of the company which it corresponds with the regulatory Quality of Service (QoS) metric. Safaricom is continually investing in ensuring availability of energy to run its network as well as reduce the rate at which the networks operations are affected by power failure. The company is also investing in the development of its network capacity which has seen the rate of call drops reduce to 0.3%. To achieve this, the network has invested in a fibre network, is deploying new sites, modernizing its network equipment besides moving in to acquire the spectrum of its competitors. In the new year, Safaricom is looking to increase its  3G coverage to reach 80% of our customers; expanding its fibre footprint to a further 10 towns and connecting our fibre network to 1,020 targeted enterprise buildings and to 8,000 residential homes in 50 housing estates; and upgrading its  4G services to include voice calls.

On Innovation, Safaricom has four target areas social that targets the society at large; financial inclusion aimed at offering formal financial services to the unbanked; targeting the youthful demographic aged 18-24 years as well as developing transformational products and services relevant to different customer segments. Safaricom has an innovation department that develops transformational products and services relevant to different customers. Safaricom also launched Zindua cafe an online ideas submission portal. The portal allows members of staff, application developers and members of the public to share their ideas for new applications or services with the telco easily and conveniently. The submissions are reviewed by the Innovation Department and, if the idea shows potential, the staff member is rewarded with ‘Zindua stars’, which can be redeemed for rewards, and external are offered commercial contracts. Safaricom also launched its venture capital fund the Safaricom Spark Fund that  will invest between KSH 6- 22 Million per start-up, for a minority stake in portfolio companies.

On  environmental impact, Safaricom seeks to comply with evolving environmental regulation and legislation to better manage environmental impact. Safaricom also has an economic policy that commits the organization to operating in an environmentally sound and sustainable and reporting its  environmental performance in an open and transparent manner. The company is also holding e-waste campaigns and awareness where more than 170 tonnes of E-waste (discarded electrical or electronic devices and appliances) was collected during the year. The firm is also seeking to improve its internal water and waste management practices. It is also partnering with Nema to promote awareness on climate change.

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