How Can We Achieve Shared Value In Businesses? A Case of #SustainableSafaricom

The Safaricom Sustainable Business Report, now in its 7th year, is more or less a tracker of the progress that the company has made in its commitment to transforming lives through relevant products and services and responsible business operations. This is in line with their purpose of transforming lives and being a purpose-led business.

Two years ago, Safaricom identified nine SDGs to integrate into their business operations. They have since developed their products and services in line with the SDGs and this year all Safaricom staff had to set objectives aligned with the SDGs.

This year’s theme is Shared Value, which has a special focus on deepening their emphasis on SDGs in their products, solutions and services.

Head of Corporate Responsibility, Safaricom, Sanda Ojiambo said, “While philanthropy & CSI focuses efforts focus on “giving back” society, shared value focuses company leaders on maximizing the competitive value of solving social problems in new customers & markets, cost savings, talent retention, and more.”

More companies are now building and rebuilding business models around social good, which sets them apart from the competition and augments their success. This is how Safaricom is creating shared Value for their business and this is how Kenyan businesses can borrow from this management strategy:

Reconceiving Products and Markets
Meeting societal needs through products and addressing unserved or underserved customers. By leveraging Safaricom’s mobile technologies to transform lives by improving access to quality and affordable Healthcare services, over 916,000 low-income earners are now able to save towards their healthcare expenses using M-TIBA; a low cost health insurance which mostly brings transparency and accountability to all stakeholders involved, from the patient to the government.

Redefining Productivity in the Value Chain
By changing practices in the value chain to drive productivity through better utilizing resources, employees, and business partners, Safaricom has managed their operations responsibly, thus decreasing their environmental impact and promoting responsible behaviour among all their stakeholders.

This was done by:

  • Replacing over 7 million retail plastic bags with eco-friendly, reusable carry bags.
  • Recycling 97% of the waste generated within their administrative buildings in Nairobi through their Zero waste to landfill programme.
  • Creating 20 ‘green’ jobs through their integrated waste management program.
  • Collecting over 855 tonnes of e-waste since 2013

Enabling Local Cluster Development
By improving the available skills, supplier base, and supporting institutions in the communities where a company operates to boost productivity, innovation, and growth, Safaricom is providing decent work within its borders and it’s broader ecosystem by ensuring all employees are empowered and able to thrive.

Examples of their contribution include:

  • 102,337 merchants trading using their payment platform during the year
  • Their business partner network is currently comprised of 1,164 suppliers, 440 ‘active’ dealers and 156,000 M-PESA agents. Through this network, they have created jobs, generate income and unleash additional social and economic value.
  • Over 20 million customers making an average of 11 transactions per month using their M-PESA mobile money platform
  • All guarding contracts receive a living wage
  • They continue to work with their local suppliers where feasible and are satisfied with the weighting towards Kenyan companies achieved during the year, with an 8% increase of spend with local suppliers and 83% of their providers as remaining local companies.

In addition to this, Safaricom is continuously building a diverse and inclusive workforce that is committed to their promise of creating shared value and transforming lives.



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