One of Nigeria’s leading energy conglomerates, the Sahara Group, has released its 2020 Sustainability Report which further reiterated its commitment to creating shared value for its various stakeholders through economic development, protection of the environment and building a sustainable society.
The report highlighted the Group’s economic, social, and environmental performance across seven operating entities within the Group including the Sahara Foundation.
With the theme: “Leveraging Disruption for Growth and Innovation,” the report underscored how Sahara continued to leverage innovation and technology in achieving its corporate goals and sustainability ambitions across its businesses in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
In 2020, the Sahara Group navigated through the global economic and health challenges, thereby ‘Leveraging Disruption for Growth and Innovation’.
The Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, Pearl Uzokwe, said the Group had continued to foster partnerships and initiatives that have co-created a desirable future through innovation.
Uzokwe said: “We navigated through the global economic and health challenges with continued attention to creating shared value for our stakeholders. Our proactive response to the pandemic ensured business continuity.”
She said the Group’s COVID-19 response work included the launch of Abuja’s only isolation, recovery and treatment centre with 300 beds for patients; providing and sustaining oxygen supplies for hospitals in Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, providing dry and cooked food to over one million beneficiaries, face masks, hand sanitizers and relief materials to communities where our power affiliates (Ikeja Electric, Egbin Power and First Independent Power Limited), upstream and other Sahara affiliates operate across Africa.
“In Zambia, Asharami Energy Limited Company donated tens of thousands of hand-made fabric/ Chitenge masks to shore up access to PPE and slow the spread of the virus. The company also published materials in English, Bemba, and Nyanja to facilitate the dissemination of information about the pandemic. “In Kenya, Asharami Synergy Limited donated thousands of 5 litre jerrycans of hand sanitizers, whilst oxygen was donated to hospitals in Nigeria, (through Egbin Power), Ghana as well as Cote d’Ivoire to boost life support operations. Our commitment is to make an impact on 1.3 billion Africans as the continent recovers from the pandemic,” it added.
According to Uzokwe, Asharami Energy Limited, a Sahara Group Upstream Company, recorded an improved performance in responsible procurement with 92 per cent of our suppliers assessed for environmental risks in 2020.
A foremost operator in Africa’s upstream sector, Asharami Energy also achieved zero fatalities and loss time injury in the reporting year.
Sahara’s trading arm has committed to total compliance with IMO2020 regulation on keeping Sulphur content in shipping fuels at 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) for emission control.
Furthermore, a commitment of $44million for the construction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities within West African region was made as well as the purchase of two additional LPG vessels to ensure the availability of cleaner energy sources for our global market.
“Our commitment to host communities enabled our investment of US$742 million in community development with a focus on COVID-19 relief support. We also fixed all cables and panels for the rural electrification project in Ajoki community. A project we plan to deliver by 2022. These demonstrate our progress on the sustainability journey,” Uzokwe added.
In spite of the challenges faced in 2020, the Sahara Foundation realigned its focus areas to address two new pillars- promoting access to clean energy and fostering sustainable environments as we execute the Group’s Personal and Corporate Social Responsibility (PCSR) initiatives.
In 2020, we launched a flagship project, the Sahara Impact Fund, aimed at boosting the UNSDGs in Africa with over $100,000 capacity.
It stated that Sahara Group’s 2020 Sustainability Report reflected its economic, social, and environmental activities from January 1 to December 31, 2020.
The report was the energy conglomerate’s sixth sustainability report, and the fifth report written in line with the GRI standard.