Better connections. Better opportunities.
We aim to make a positive impact in the communities where we operate, by helping improve the quality and availability of the communications infrastructure that enables an increasingly connected world. Our investment in telecom towers seeks to help connect individuals, businesses and governments to each other. As telecoms connectivity gradually reaches more and more people, it creates more jobs, and more opportunities for people to thrive and prosper. In short, better connections lead to better opportunities.
Our impact goes beyond simply the benefits of connectivity, through our commitment to the four pillars of our sustainability strategy:
These four pillars align our sustainability strategy with broader global efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
- Education and Economic Growth
- Ethics and Governance
- Our People and Communities
- Environment and Climate Change
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Enabling mobile access, to help increase the number of people benefiting from connectivity.
Our focus is on strengthening education opportunities and supporting enterprise development.
We seek to help increase the number of people who can access and benefit from education by improving connectivity. In addition, much of our community activity focuses on projects that aim to enhance educational opportunities, whether offering scholarships, providing teaching resources, or refurbishing school buildings. We also focus on supporting the connectivity and development of businesses.
Education and empowerment lie at the heart of our community engagement. The importance of teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects is well documented, and IHS Towers has made great strides towards improving this in Africa. In 2018, we launched Nigeria's first Teaching STEM app and a mobile 'School on Wheels'. Together, these initiatives help enhance the country's ICT curriculum, while introducing 21st century skills - such as robotics, animation, website creation and coding - to teachers and students. Over 8,000 students at 44 secondary schools in 13 Nigerian states have already benefited from the project.
Building A Future
Throughout emerging markets, education is key to social and economic development. We have embarked on school building projects in all our countries of operation, to improve education by offering a healthy and conducive learning environment. We have upgraded schools’ infrastructure and provided modern learning aids. Over the past three years, we have refurbished close to 40 classrooms in 14 schools and provided sanitary facilities such as water supplies, lavatories and drainage systems.
Being a best-in-class responsible business, promoting the highest standards wherever we operate.
Our focus is on promoting fair business and highlighting the global sustainability agenda.
Honesty And Integrity
Honesty and integrity are vital to the long-term success of our business and the ethical wellbeing of us all. We strive for the highest standards of integrity and accountability and aim to be a best-in-class responsible business. We promote conducting business fairly and have systems and processes in place to ensure we comply with anti-bribery and corruption laws.
Improving Skills And Conduct
To help ensure our employees and vendors demonstrate our values and integrity, we created the IHS Academy, IHS Towers’ online training platform. The Academy offers over 1,800 online training courses and resources, covering a broad range of topics - including technical skills and leadership development - from which employees can create personalized training plans. For new employees, courses include a Global Induction Program and our Code of Conduct. The platform is also accessible to select vendors and offers many bespoke courses, including on our Vendor Code of Conduct. Over 40,000 courses have been completed since The Academy launched in October 2017.
Promoting Thought Leadership
We subscribe to the principles of good governance, accountability and transparency to ensure responsible, effective and sustainable development. In 2018, IHS Nigeria worked with Thistle Praxis Consulting to host a thought leadership forum: Mini-grids, bridging the electricity gap through renewables. The forum considered ranges of options for how an affordable and reliable renewable energy mix could be available to every Nigerian by 2030. Delegates came from public and private sector organizations, with a large proportion from energy companies. Following the debate, IHS Towers presented a white paper to the Ministry of Power and held a follow-up meeting at the Rural Electrification Authority. As a result, we are now working with mini-grid operators in Nigeria on a 'proof of concept' project.
Building a diverse and inclusive workforce, contributing to the success of the communities they live in.
Our focus is on helping our employees, and the communities in which operate, thrive.
Equality And Diversity
We advocate for gender equality and are building a diverse workforce to create opportunities for our people and their communities to prosper. The wellbeing of our people is of utmost concern, and we work to provide a safe, healthy working environment, where opportunities to develop professionally and personally are part of every working day. We will not tolerate discrimination, bullying or harassment. The wellbeing of the communities in which we operate is a key priority, and we have developed sustainability programs that aim to improve the daily lives of those within them.
A Powerful Source
Access to electricity is a key development indicator as, among other benefits, it offers improved lighting and phone charging to support learning and working opportunities. We launched our Group-wide Generator Recycling Program in 2016, which helps serve a community and reduce the number of generators sent to landfill. Whenever we upgrade a hybrid power site, we donate working generators to institutions in need, such as schools, orphanages, NGOs, hospitals and community centers. IHS Nigeria have worked with SOS Villages to donate generators, diesel and servicing to eleven orphanages and, with Pathfinder International, replicated the same for ten community hospitals. We have donated over 250 generators, helping organizations care for over 100,000 people throughout our five countries of operation.
Medical Support For Remote Communities
In rural areas in emerging markets, a significant proportion of people's health remains in jeopardy due to the widespread lack of access to primary healthcare. Our Nigeria and Cameroon teams support medical outreaches in several remote communities through our mobile health clinic, Wellness-On-Wheels, also known as WoW. The program helps create awareness about preventable diseases and family planning. It also provides immunization, malaria diagnosis and treatment, HIV counselling and testing, tuberculosis testing, and diarrhea (safe water) services to communities that are hard to reach or have limited medical services. Over 12,000 people have already benefited from WoW health services in Nigeria and Cameroon.
Minimizing the impact of our operations and protecting our shared environment.
Our focus is on investment and innovation to deliver cutting-edge engineering solutions and operational excellence, and to raise awareness of environmental issues.
It’s our duty to minimize the impact our operations have on our shared environment, to safeguard the wellbeing of our communities and to protect the wider world. We take pride in investing in innovative technologies that help reduce carbon emissions and noise pollution. We work to decrease our use of diesel, using renewable energy wherever possible, and we manage every aspect of our environmental risk carefully. We also help raise awareness of environmental issues across our local communities.
We have invested over $500 million in hybrid power systems that partly use solar power. Not only do they improve network availability, they reduce our CO2 emissions and our dependency on diesel. We've also developed cutting-edge operating centers to monitor our tower sites - such as power, access and diesel supply - in real time, to ensure our diesel deliveries are as efficient as possible. Through these new hybrid power solutions, we saved over 450 million kilograms of CO2 emissions in 2017 and 2018.
Cleaning Up The Community
To promote good health and strengthen relations within our communities, our employees periodically clean up our local operating environments. To make an extra impact, we run these programs on the United Nations World Environment Day across all our markets of operation. In addition to cleaning up our immediate environment, we also clean other areas such as internally displaced persons' camps.
These efforts will lead to more shared prosperity, stronger community relations and ultimately make us a better business.
Sam DarwishChairman & Group CEO