Kenya’s telecommunications giant sets ambitious clean power goal
5 days ago, 12:29
, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Nov 9 – Safaricom Plc has for long been the vanguard of Kenya’s economic growth. Having worn a distinction as the driving force of East Africa’s economic hub, Safaricom is seeking another pre-eminence – detaching itself from carbon footprint.
The firm, controlling 67 per cent of Kenya’s telecommunications market share and accounting for 6.5 per cent of the nation’s $ 75 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has announced an ambitious target to eliminate carbon emissions arising from its operations by 2050.
In measures geared towards actualizing its de-carbonization plan, Safaricom has already shifted a number of network sites to renewable energy sources with latest estimates putting the number of sites powered by carbon-free energy at 155.
The company which reported emissions of 63,685 tCO2e in its 2018 Financial Review is planning to sustain the momentum by progressively shifting its remaining 4,700 network sites to a carbon-free power grid.
Despite recording a decline in fuel consumption by 2 per cent, Safaricom still faces an uphill task – that of reducing its fuel consumption from the current 9.4 million litres to nil in the next 32 years.
The realization of carbon-free power is not just good for the environment. Safaricom stands a chance to save $467.49 monthly in power bills for each of its 4,700 network sites currently connected to the national energy whose consumption was reported at 141,500 MWh.
However, it is worth noting that the company has made significant progress in promoting the use of renewable energy at household levels by advancing soft asset loans through which over 1.2 million homes have been connected to solar power.
In its 2018 Sustainability Report, Safaricom reported a 128 per cent increase in solar use through its initiative dubbed M-KOPA with those subscribed to it projected to save up to $ 450 over the next four years.
M-KOPA subscribers will enjoy at least 75 million hours of kerosene-free lighting further reducing carbon emissions.
Safaricom has also adopted initiatives geared towards conserving water, as well e-waste management.
Under these initiatives, Safaricom’s water usage declined five per cent to stand at 91,449 m3 with an impressive 97 per cent rate of recycling and reusing of waste generated within the business.
Over seven million single-use carrier bags have since been replaced with reusable eco-friendly bags.
“The introduction of our internal ‘zero waste to landfill’ programme, is already ensuring that 97 per cent of the waste generated within our administrative buildings in Nairobi is recycled or reused,” Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Bob Collymore noted pointing out a 16.5 per cent increase in renewable power usage.
The e-waste programme has since inception in 2013 seen 855 tonnes of electronic waste collected further complementing Safaricom’s replacement of single-use plastic bags at retail outlets.
The mobile service provider is also determined to assert its dominance in Kenya’s economy that has seen it accumulate a solid base of 26.9 million subscribers out of which 20.5 million are registered on mobile money transfer. Each of these listed customers is estimated to make an average of 11 transactions every month.
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