Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has announced that it is on course to plant 1 million trees by the end of this year as part of efforts to grow 5 million trees.
The telco on Friday planted 10,000 trees in Kieni forest, adding to a similar number planted there on World Environment Day and bringing the total planted area in the forest to 250 hectares, with 160 more hectares to be completed in 2022.
Safaricom has already planted 700,000 trees covering 700 hectares in South Marmanet, Kieni Forest and Nandi South.
“We recognize that environmental considerations are not separate from our core business because they are an integral part of our overall business sustainability and success. Our original plan was to grow one million trees in South Marmanet over five years. In response to our calculations of what we require to offset our carbon emissions, we have since expanded the target of the project to grow five million trees across the country over the period” said Steve Chege, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Safaricom
Kakamega Forest and Lamu are the next sites in the plan with 500,000 seedlings targeted for mangrove forests in the coastal county. These tree planting exercises in partnership with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) are in line with Safaricom’s ambition to become a net-zero emitting company by 2050.
Safaricom estimates that the initiative will offset 26% of its carbon emissions once the trees have grown to maturity and stimulate economic growth in the local community who can generate income from sales of tree seedlings, eco-tourism and beekeeping.
The telco has also installed air quality sensors in 10 of its sites as part of a pilot project with the UN Environment.