After recording new milestones in 2023, VFS Global maintains sharp focus on sustainability agenda




VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions, achieved new sustainability targets according to the Integrated Sustainability Report 2023, its fifth edition launched on 18 April 2024.

Among key achievements in 2023 include a 35% increase in the number of visa applications processed worldwide and other markets globally, as well as expanded service portfolio by securing seven global contracts, including the UK Visa and Immigration, the Department of Home Affairs in Australia.

In 2023, global travel bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Middle East, EU region, and Africa emerging as the top performers, according to the UNWTO’s tourism sector report. Kenya witnessed a notable surge in arrival numbers from 1,483,752 in 2022 to 1,951,185 in 2023, representing an impressive growth of 31.5%. The extent of recovery in 2023 was at 95.24% from the 2019 international arrival levels, this is above the pre-pandemic global recovery levels of 88%. The arrivals generated tourist inbound earnings of Kshs 352,544,008,170 representing a growth of 31.5%, according to the country’s Tourism Sector Performance Report  2023.

The VFS report follows the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, one of the most widely used and recognised global sustainability reporting frameworks. The report is also aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) for the Professional and Commercial Services Sector.

VFS Global’s sustainability strategy is based on five fundamental pillars – Contributing to Sustainable Economic Growth, Good Governance, Nurturing Colleagues, protecting our Environment, and Supporting our Communities.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, VFS Global steadfastly continued its efforts to embed sustainability into its business practices, organisational culture, and strategic goals. Our ability to make a measurable difference every year has been the primary factor that sets VFS Global apart. We remain deeply committed to continuously enhancing value for all our valued stakeholders, including the society at large, and in an efficient, secure and sustainable manner,” said Zubin Karkaria, founder and CEO, VFS Global.

“The launch of the 5th Integrated Sustainability Report is a testament to the collective efforts of our workforce, partners, and stakeholders driving positive change. This report details the impact of our ESG initiatives and serves as a roadmap for our continued progress towards a more sustainable future,” said Shireen Mistree, Head – ESG, VFS Global.

VFS Global Visa Application Centres contributed significantly to job creation in 2023, employing a total of 10,976 individuals worldwide. Regional employment figures include 1,429 nationals from the Middle East and North Africa region, 686 from Africa, 403 from the Americas, 1,376 from the Asia-Pacific region, 1,295 from Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, and 3,968 from South Asia.

ISR 2023 Highlights:

Sustainable Economic Growth

  • 25% YoY growth in the revenue from our contracts with our customers
  • Increased accessibility by serving 149 countries across five continents
  • 35% increase in the number of applications processed
  • Expanded service portfolio by securing seven global contracts, including the UK Visa and Immigration, the Department of Home Affairs in Australia
  • Overall customer satisfaction score of 95% 

Delivering Good Governance

  • Data protection training completed for 100% of our global workforce ensuring long-term sustainability and data security while demonstrating exceptional governance 

Nurturing Our Colleagues

  • Expanding the global workforce by 24% from 8,883 in 2022 to 10,976 in 2023
  • Maintaining a healthy woman-to-men ratio of 54:46
  • Employee training hours of 338,023 recorded in 2023, an increase of 86% over 2022
  • Maintaining a diverse and inclusive global workforce comprising 129 nationalities

Protecting Our Environment

  • The company was certified under ‘ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management Systems, focusing on reducing its environmental footprint through energy efficiency, renewable energy adoption, waste management, and water conservation
  • In support of its one million trees campaign, the company made significant progress by planting 200,000 trees and furthering its reforestation efforts
  • Switching 76% of electricity to green energy

Supporting Our Communities

  • A 60% increase in CSR spending compared to 2022, and an 88% increase in the number of CSR projects
  • Expanded CSR programmes in countries including South Africa through strategic investments in targeted community programmes
  • Over 3,000 volunteers cumulatively clocked more than 7,400 hours of community service
  • More than 21,000 direct beneficiaries of CSR initiatives across 74 countries

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