Safaricom has announced that it plans to plant one million trees by the end of the year. The plan is part of a five-million-tree initiative that the company initiated. So far, the telco has planted 700,000 trees totaling 700 hectares in South Marmanet, Kieni Forest, and Nandi South.

As part of this year’s World Environment Day, over 100 Safaricom employees planted 5,000 trees in Kieni Forest.

The next sites in the plan are Kakamega Forest and Lamu. 500,000 seedlings have been earmarked for mangrove forests in the coastal county. The tree planting exercises being conducted in collaboration with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), are in line with Safaricom’s goal of becoming a net-zero emitting company by 2050.

Safaricom estimates that once the trees reach maturity, the initiative will offset 26% of its carbon emissions and stimulate economic growth in the local community through sales of tree seedlings, eco-tourism, and beekeeping.

Additionally, as part of a pilot project with the UN Environment, Safaricom has installed air quality sensors in ten of its locations.

Steve Chege, Safaricom’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, said that environmental considerations are not separate from their core business. This, according to him, is because they are an integral part of their overall business sustainability and success. Their initial plan was to plant one million trees in South Marmanet over the course of five years. In response to their calculations of what they need to offset their carbon emissions, they have since increased the project’s target to growing five million trees across the country over time.