Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) social impact was valued sh654billion in the 2019/2020 financial year, nine times the financial profit the company earned during the same period.
The telco sustained more than one million direct and indirect jobs in the last financial year. According to the telco’s ninth Sustainable Business Report, it sustained 1,013, 728 jobs up from 979,000 which is a 4 percent increase from the previous financial year.
In the report whose theme is Resilience through transition, the company seeks to show that embracing the ideals of sustainable business, shared value thinking and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is essential to cultivating the resilience necessary to combat large-scale crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peter Ndegwa, the Safaricom CEO said “Our theme highlights how we faced significant disruption during the year, but the fundamentals of the business proved to be resilient and strong. Against the backdrop of the continued disruption we face in the telecommunications industry, we also had to contend with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during the later stages of the year”.
The report also shows that 74 percent of the telco’s total spends in the period under review went to supporting local suppliers up from 67 percent in the previous financial year.
“Since 2012, we have been documenting our sustainability journey because we believe in holding ourselves accountable by sharing our successes, our challenges, and our constraints in a public, transparent and open manner. We also publish this report because we believe that we have a duty to raise awareness of the sustainability challenges we face as a society and to ensure that these remain part of the discussion in Kenya and internationally”, Ndegwa said.
In recognition of the importance of the private sector’s contribution to the SDGs, the telco also launched the Safaricom Sustainable Future thought leadership series. The platform aims to bring together business leaders to discuss how to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of this decade including climate change, gender, inequalities and ecosystem degradation.
The inaugural edition of the series was held during the launch of the report and focused on the role of business in building resilient societies as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. The discussion explored opportunities for supporting small businesses bounce back given the vital role they play in the economy.