Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has recorded a nine per cent increase in the number of jobs sustained in the last financial year, both directly and indirectly, to 979,000.
According to the company’s 2019 Sustainable Business Report, these jobs were supported by an 11 per cent increase in the telco’s contribution to the economy, which rose to KES 601 billion; 9.6 times the profit earned in FY2018-2019.
The 8th annual report, whose theme this year is “Towards Reducing Inequalities”, seeks to illustrate how Safaricom is using a sustainable business model to address society’s needs, and goes beyond the company’s financial performance to give a more intimate and accurate description of its business.
“Our business continues to contribute towards successfully improving the quality of life for Kenyans across the country, creating sustainable livelihoods and delivering a wide range of products, services and initiatives that support businesses, and families,” said Mr. Stephen Chege, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer – Safaricom.
These initiatives included a sustained focus on increasing the number of people with disabilities within Safaricom’s workforce from 1.7 per cent in FY2017/2018 to 2.1 per cent last year, and growing the number of women-owned women-led businesses within the company’s supply chain as part of the Safaricom Women in Business initiative.
This resulted in the telco increasing its expenditure on goods and services supplied by these business from KES 1.9 billion to KES 2.4 billion within the period under review, contributing to growth in the number of jobs sustained by Safaricom by over 80,000 from the previous year, and setting the record as the highest number of jobs the telco has supported both directly and indirectly in one year since 2016.
“As the nature of our business has evolved over the last 18 years, so has the way we approach business. Last year, we focused on the theme of Shared Value and highlighted how we had continued to expand our business approach to generate greater returns for a broader range of stakeholders. Building on this theme, we deployed a more advanced approach to our sustainability agenda in 2019, by focusing on activities aimed at reducing inequalities, as envisioned by Sustainable Development Goal 10,” said Mr. Nicholas Nganga, Chairman of the Safaricom Board of Directors.
In recognition of the role that climate change plays in deepening inequalities, Safaricom has committed to plant five million trees in gazetted forests across the country over the next five years. This will be done in partnership with Kenya Forest Service and Community Forest Associations, as part of a carbon offset programme designed to help the company achieve net zero carbon-emitting status by 2050.
“We know that climate change remains one of the biggest challenges we face today. In line with our bold Net Zero commitment, we have pledged to do more to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, whose burning contributes to global warming, and reduce our carbon footprint. In addition to restoring forest cover, this carbon offset programme will help build resilience to climate change and sustain livelihoods within the community,” said Mr. Chege.