Zain publishes fifth annual sustainability report entitled "Building the Future"

Zain publishes fifth annual sustainability report entitled "Building the Future"


 

Available exclusively online, report details Zain’s triple bottom line approach and its humanitarian, social and environmental pursuits and achievements.

For the first time, the report is aligned with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) .

Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator with a presence in eight markets in the Middle East and Africa, announces the publication of its fifth annual sustainability report, entitled ‘Sustainability Report 2015: Building the future’. The availability of this latest report makes Zain Group one of the most consistently transparent mobile operators in the MENA region given the detail of information it shares in the publication.

>Available exclusively online through an interactive interface that is user-friendly and minimizes the company’s environmental impact, this year’s publication has a number of new developments including a section dedicated to detailing Zain’s engagement in human rights issues that are related to the company’s activities and business relationships.

For the first time the report is aligned with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP), given the UNGP Business and Human Rights Reporting Framework was published in 2015 as the first comprehensive guidance for companies to report on their most relevant human rights issues.

Zain’s 2015 report also details the company’s sustainability agenda, highlighting key partnerships and commitments with global entities such as the World Economic Forum, Business Backs Education, Child Helpline International (CHI), and REFUNITE.

The report illustrates Zain’s ongoing commitment to align its policies and activities with the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and the document communicates Zain’s triple bottom line approach (social, environmental and economic) to all stakeholders. The report is a tool to measure success, and to chart Zain’s adherence to universal principles such as human and labor rights, as well as the company’s engagement with the general public.

Commenting on the release of the report, Zain Group Chairman, Asaad Al Banwan said, “The value of sustainability reporting can be witnessed in the transparent nature in which we report on Zain’s impact on the wider socio-economic landscape, the company’s governance structure, and its relationships with various regulatory bodies. By taking the lead in the region on sustainability reporting, Zain is attempting to transform our communities and raise the bar with regards to private sector involvement in achieving broad socio-economic progress on the national and regional level.”

Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO said, “Zain is one of the leading mobile operators in the MENA region and as such we continue to lead the way on transparency and sustainability. Our detailed reports help us to gauge where we are across a number of important indicators aiding the planning and implementation of future sustainability and capacity building initiatives.”

Key highlights of the latest report include the fact that Zain was able to reduce its 2014-2015 emissions in Sudan by 24%; in Jordan by 6%, in Saudi Arabia by 5%, and in South Sudan by 2%. The company also reported that the number of hybrid solution installations had grown to include 193 diesel generator battery solutions, and 30 solar hybrid solutions. During 2015 the Group reached a total of 604 hybrid installations, an increase of 59% between 2014 to 2015.

Zain’s long list of humanitarian efforts in 2015 included the development of a prepaid package by touch in Lebanon to enable connectivity for over one million Syrian refugees present in the country. The Al Tawasol line offers discounted rates for Syrians in Lebanon for voice, SMS and data, as well as discounts for calls and messages to Syria.

Zain also established the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Assistance Project during the course of 2015, adopting a multilateral approach aimed at providing relief and assistance to the displaced in Iraq. The project was launched during Ramadan 2015, and has impacted a total of 19,700 internally displaced persons in Iraq so far.

Zain’s efforts to protect the most vulnerable members of society have been well-chronicled over the years, and in 2015 the company launched a Group-wide comprehensive effort to raise awareness about child abuse. This topic is often considered a taboo in the Middle East region, and showcases Zain’s resolve to cast the spotlight anyway it sees injustice and exploitation.

The report also highlights Zain’s material actions to leverage and drive efficiencies in procurement across all operations by undertaking a Group-wide optimization process during 2015. This program saw the centralization of many innovative technologies that the company invests in, a significant exercise that will result in Zain saving in excess of US $100 million over the next three years.

Jennifer Suleiman, Zain Group’s Head of Corporate Sustainability commented, “We are very serious and proud of the work we do in this area, and in many ways have become the regional telecom benchmark with regards to the disclosure of many of the activities we undertake and the feedback we offer regarding their implementation and development.”

Mrs Suleiman continued, “Zain is committed to forging better living circumstances for people in the communities in which we serve and beyond, and this is reflected in developments such as Zain’s expansion of the alignment of its business and corporate social responsibility activities with those of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals as developed by the United Nations. We also signed up for membership of the World Economic Forum in 2015 as a Strategic Partner Associate. Such initiatives reflect Zain’s ongoing drive to address development challenges in the region and beyond.”

To read the 2015 report, please visit: www.zain.com/en/social-responsibility/sustainability-reports/