Safaricom has committed to planting 5 million trees over the next 5 years to help the telco’s efforts to become carbon neutral. In partnership with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Safaricom will be planting trees on gazetted forests across Kenya, as well as supporting work to restore original forest cover and improving habitats that store carbon. Therefore, helping Kenya achieve the 10 percent forest cover by 2022.
Stephen Chege, Safaricom’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer said, “We are making a commitment. The government cannot do this alone. As a corporate, we want to stand out to be counted.”
We also know that at 7.2 % of forest cover, Kenya is lagging behind a global benchmark of at least 10%. Yet this is a target we could hit by simply growing more trees than we cut down.
He was speaking when Safaricom launched its 8th ‘Towards Reducing Inequalities’ 2019 Sustainable Business Report. Chege said the Memorandum of Understanding signed with KFS is part of Safaricom’s carbon offset programme.
“The project is expected to offset over 300,000 tonnes of carbon once the trees have grown to maturity,” said Chege adding that “Additional benefits from the forestation project, will include providing jobs and stimulating economic growth in the local community, generating income from sales of tree seedlings, ecotourism and beekeeping.”
He said, one of the biggest challenges the world is facing today is climate change. “In recognition of this, we made the bold commitment to become a net-zero carbon-emitting company by 2050.”
In 2017, Safaricom announced to become a net-zero carbon-emitting company by the year 2050. In 2018, it introduced targets aligned to the science-based targets initiative, in line with climate science to future proof its growth towards achieving the goal.
“We continue to implement our green procurement policy across the business and partner with organisations committed to combating climate change such as the B-Team and UN Global Compact,” said Sanda Ojiambo, Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact at Safaricom.