At the heart of Helios Towers’ strategy is a determination to build a genuinely sustainable business across all its facets.
This means a business with a model sufficiently robust to grow with the needs of its customers; that treads as lightly as possible in its environments; and that meets its commitments to people, whether through being an excellent employer or acting as a sensitive neighbour in its various communities.
Our proposition to customers is itself rooted in sustainability, through the efficient use of resources. By enabling tenants to share our towers, we are concentrating multiple technologies and operations onto a single piece of infrastructure.
In turn, this will typically require only one power supply (and therefore lower emissions), and single rather than duplicated maintenance journeys to our tower locations, saving thousands of road miles a year.
For some tenants, consolidating their infrastructure in this way often means that their own towers can be taken down and recycled. For our host landscapes, a single tower also means a lesser visual impact.
No practical or commercial consideration is ever allowed to override the imperative that every employee and contractor should be safe. We aim to be a zero-harm company, and regard every incident as avoidable.
Our principal safety risks are road traffic accidents, working with electricity, working at height, and the manual handling of heavy equipment. None of our employees are permitted to work in any of these areas without dedicated training, and refresher training is regularly held.
As well as measuring, and learning from, lagging indicators such as lost time incidents (LTIs) and injuries needing treatment, we place a heavy emphasis on leading indicators.
We encourage everyone to be our eyes and ears wherever they’re working for us, and to report any near-miss incidents, without blame or criticism, so that we can learn from them and prevent them in the future.
We include both our employees and contractors in safety reporting, to give a true reflection of safety in our business.
Helios Towers is essentially a power/real estate company and, like any industrial power provider, our business causes emissions that contribute to climate change. Principally, these come from diesel consumption to power our generators. We have made it a priority to find technical solutions and innovations that will minimise our impact in this area. In 2017 we continued to roll out a programme to see where technologies can improve on diesel-only power.
In 2017, we have installed solar powered technology in 249 sites; made 375 connections to power grids where available; and created more than 331 hybrid (off-grid) solutions. In 2017, these major environmental investments saved more than 8,250 tonnes of CO2 emissions as well as delivering more than US$3.3 million in fuel cost savings.
In addition, bringing Lean Six Sigma practices to maintenance partners will reduce the frequency of service visits to our sites and, in tandem, cut road miles driven. This delivers both environmental and safety gains.