An assessment carried out by KPMG in 2015 using KPMG’s True Value methodology demonstrated the significant impact Safaricom has on the Kenyan economy, society and environment. The findings from the report were encouraging, but as a company which takes its commitment to sustainability seriously, Safaricom wanted to do more.
Safaricom exists to ‘Transform Lives’. This purpose statement permeates every decision made by the company, and drives it to push the traditional boundaries of doing business in order to create value for society. Safaricom believes that the role of business extends far beyond making profits, which is why the company sees mobile telecommunications and its related products and services as a unique opportunity to improve the quality of life and contribute to sustainable livelihoods for people throughout Kenya.
The assessment carried out by KPMG in 2015 using KPMG’s True Value methodology demonstrated the significant impact Safaricom has on the Kenyan economy, society and environment. The report concluded that the ‘True Earnings’ of Safaricom were more than ten times the value of the company’s financial earnings.
The findings from the True Value Report were encouraging, but as a company which takes its commitment to sustainability seriously, Safaricom wanted to do more. In the words of the CEO, Bob Collymore:
“I wanted us to ‘walk the talk’, integrating sustainability in a way that enhances our strategy and helps our business to deliver against our targets and mission. Iwanted every employee, from my Senior Leadership team to our shop floor colleagues to understand and embrace sustainability.”
In order to do this, Safaricom decided to engage KPMG to support in integrating the values that drive sustainability at the core of every business decision.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in September 2015 with a view to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. They follow on from the Millennium Development Goals, and articulate an agenda for the next 15 years (to 2030) which requires input from all sectors of society across the globe, including corporate actors who are key in the achievement of the targets.
A key stakeholder and contributor in the achievement of the SDGs is the private sector. Although Safaricom appreciated its role in delivering this agenda, the integration of 17 Goals and its 169 Targets felt like a daunting task. On one hand, Safaricom saw this as an exciting opportunity to drive sustainability into the core of the business, but on the other hand acknowledged that this was a difficult task and that the success of this endeavour would largely be dependent on the degree to which the team would have been able to illustrate clearly the business value that the SDGs could create.