Health & Environment

Zain embarks on key corporate sustainability strategy

Zain Group, a leading telecom innovator, is focused on providing meaningful connectivity and driving equitable systematic change, centered on a five-year corporate sustainability strategy.
 
Announcing the publication of its 11th consecutive annual sustainability report, entitled ‘A resilient journey across a challenging year’, Zain, which has presence in seven markets across the Middle East and Africa, summarises its sustainability-related activities during the year based on its new five-year Corporate Sustainability strategy that is grounded on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
 
The report showcases how Zain continues to improve and adapt its activities to align to international best practices and reporting that follows the GRI Standards Framework. Zain is also implementing the Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB) framework for Telecommunications Services. 
 
Driving equitable systemic change
Commenting on the report, Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain Vice-Chairman and Group CEO, said: “Throughout 2021, Zain remained unwavering in its determination to drive equitable systemic change in the communities in which it operates by providing access to meaningful connectivity, especially in the face of many socio-economic and environmental challenges, and lasting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which hindered development across the globe.”
 
“Nevertheless, 2021 was a significant year for progress with respect to Zain’s sustainability agenda, underscored by the many initiatives successfully implemented across our footprint, and highlighted by the upgraded A- score received from CDP indicating our regional leadership in addressing climate change.”
 
Duncan Howard, Zain Bahrain CEO, commented: "We are proud that our many sustainability initiatives have been recognised through this upgraded CDP score.  Our commitment to Sustainability and Inclusion covers many areas, including social innovation, climate change, and inclusivity, as well as creating shared value. During 2021, Zain Bahrain expanded its Sustainability efforts and established a dedicated function to achieve the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to align with Bahrain's vision 2030.”
 
Qualitative and quantitative progress
Zain’s five-year Corporate Sustainability strategy formulated in 2020 is centered on four pillars: Climate Change; Social Business; Inclusion; and Generation Youth. It is based on the UN’s SDGs, aiming to establish purpose-driven activities anchored in meaningful connectivity to drive equitable systematic change. The vision is to reduce inequalities, safeguard the planet, foster innovation, and build prosperous communities
 
Highlights from Zain’s 2021 Sustainability initiatives 
•Most of the sustainability programmes implemented by Zain in 2021 addressed the challenges wrought by the pandemic and the company’s response to them; 
•Through its value chain, Zain was able to maintain 80,116 jobs; 
•The annual Zain Ramadan commercial in partnership with UNICEF entitled, “No one is safe, until we are all safe”, addressed the challenge of vaccine hesitancy across the region, with the 2.55-minute-long video going viral and exceeding 10 million views on YouTube, as well as on regional satellite and local TV networks; 
•Fostering the development of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Zain launched the Women in Tech initiative undertaking 256 mentorship sessions across its operating markets;  
•Launch of BE WELL, a Group-wide diversity and inclusion program aiming to foster the mental well-being of employees across operations; 
•Zain began to measure its water consumption across operations, implementing water reduction initiatives aiming to eliminate plastic consumption in addition to reducing waste in its warehouses by 50% by 2025; and
•Zain’s climate actions saw the company upgraded to A- in latest ‘CDP Score Report – Climate Change 2021’, ranking it first in-region and among leaders globally. This ranking is higher than the regional average for Asia of B-, and higher than the Media, Telecommunications & Data Centre Services sector average of B. Additionally, Zain took a major step in expanding its Scope 3 emissions inventory to report more accurately. 
 
Zain’s Bahrain 2021 Sustainability initiatives 
•Organised a training course in partnership with Bahrain Deaf Society on sign language to over 9% of Zain employees as part of its diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives to instill a diverse, equitable culture that makes Zain service more accessible to all;   
•Completed the Girls for Tech initiative 2.0, where 100 Bahraini girls aged 8–14 years were trained in an advanced STEM programme. 100 Girls were selected from the 1,000 girls to maintain knowledge and impact sustainability;                                                    
•Established “We Able” hotline to serve People with Disability along with their care takers; 
•Contributed to the afforestation national project to green Al Istqlal highway; 
•Continued to support Deena Kanoo School with 15 data lines to Children with Cancer to continue to their education; and
•Continued with eWaste initiative (Zee Waste) to the consumers by introducing information and direction throughout our digital channels.-- TradeArabia News Service