Powerful communications in Africa

Helios Towers is helping to drive the growth of mobile communication in Africa, providing network operators with tower site space, power and related services. Floated on the FTSE 250 Index in late 2019, Helios Towers had already started on their sustainability journey when they approached Flag with supporting them in their goal to be in the top sustainability quartile of companies in the same index.

Listening to the right voices

The challenge

Flag set out to really get to know Helios Towers – who they were, and where they were. We began by carrying out a gap analysis, interviews and desk-based research as well as a deep dive into the company to see what their stakeholders thought. We also looked at their peers, to see where Helios Towers needed to be as a sustainable business, before making recommendations for a strategy that would take them forward.

Designing the strategy

The process

So pleased were Helios Towers with the findings that they quickly came back and asked us to create that strategy. Further research, including an internal workshop to involve various business areas and the buy-in of individual operating companies, enabled us to develop a draft strategy and key performance indicators (KPIs). The latter have since been developed into robust targets that will be communicated in Helios Towers’ first Sustainable Business Report, to be published in 2021.

Part of our work with Helios Towers on their strategy, and its integration with the previously existing corporate approach, has been to focus the targets on their contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on Goal 8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all) and Goal 9 (Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation).

Progressive responses

The solution

By creating a tailored solution to meet the specific needs of a company at the early stages of its sustainability work, we have helped Helios Towers not only develop a realistic strategy, but make great progress towards reaching their top quartile goal within just a few months.

We have also since produced a 16-page strategy summary brochure, giving stakeholders a clear overview of the strategy, targets and governance, and with case studies showing real-life impact in action. We continue to work with Helios Towers on a strategy retainer basis, supporting them through the development of their goals, strategy, stakeholder engagement, internal employee engagement and various communications.

In developing our Sustainable Business strategy, Flag has been there to guide, to advise and to support us at each step of the journey. The team has consistently delivered a superb end product and always on time. Their approach, flexibility and overall quality has meant that it’s always been an easy decision to ask Flag to deliver the next piece of work!”

Nick Summers Director of Sustainability and Organisational Development, Helios Towers

What we did

  • Strategy gap analysis and deep dive
  • Desk-based research
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Materiality analysis and workshop
  • Strategic consultancy on ongoing retainer basis
  • Copywriting and copyediting
  • Creative and concept design
  • Artwork, production and project management of various communications pieces

About Helios Towers

Helios Towers owns and operates telecommunications towers and passive infrastructure in five high-growth African markets. The company owns 7,000 mobile communications towers located in South Africa, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania.

Our work in practice