Safaricom has today, 22nd August 2019, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) allowing Safaricom to plant trees within Kenyan forests.
The MOU was signed by Director of Corporate Affairs for Safaricom, Steve Chege, and KFS Chairman, Peter Kinyua during the launch of Safaricom’s 2019 Sustainability Business Report.
With the MOU in place, Safaricom hopes to plant a total of one million indigenous trees in the next 5 years in the hope of achieving the current target set by the KFS to have a forest cover of 10 percent in Kenya.
The move by Safaricom in partnering with KFS is a move in the right direction in achieving the 13th Sustainable Development Goal on Climate Change.
Safaricom realizes that as an organization, its carbon footprint cannot be ignored and while it may not be able to reduce its carbon footprint in the medium term, it stands by the saying, “What cannot be eliminated must be offset.”
“We know that climate change remains one of the biggest challenges we face today. In line with our bold Net Zero commitment, we have pledged to do more to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, whose burning contributes to global warming, and reduce our carbon footprint. In addition to restoring forest cover, this carbon offset programme will help build resilience to climate change and sustain livelihoods within the community,” said Steve Chege, Director of Corporate Affairs for Safaricom.
The project by Safaricom to plant the one million trees is expected to offset over 300,000 tonnes of carbon once the trees have grown to maturity.
In time, 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, eco-tourism, and beekeeping.
“We thank Safaricom for this partnership with the Kenya Forest Service and invite other organizations to take part in this great initiative to curb climate change and achieve 10 percent forest cover in Kenya,” said Peter Kinyua, KFS Chairman.