Sama’s 2022 Impact Report: Supporting our People, the Planet, and Responsible AI

Sama’s 2022 Impact Report: Supporting our People, the Planet, and Responsible AI

Today, I am excited to share Sama’s 2022 Impact Report.

This is the first comprehensive report on Sama’s impact since we transitioned to a private entity in 2018. It is also the first report in our 15 year history that shares our expanded vision on how we create a positive impact for our team members, communities, customers,  and the planet.

Since our transition to a private entity we’ve been thinking deeply about what it means to be an impact-focused social enterprise. How do we balance the needs of our stakeholders while continuing to evolve our business offerings in the rapidly changing field of AI and data annotation? How do we best leverage what we’ve learned about impact sourcing and access to job opportunities for marginalized communities to set our team members up for long-term success? How can we address pressing challenges like climate change while continuing to advance our social impact mission?

The result of asking ourselves these questions is a three-pronged approach to impact that covers the following:

  • Our People: Supporting our team members and their communities.
    Sama was founded in 2008 to connect historically marginalized communities to training and dignified digital work. Today, we remain focused on providing connections to work, but have expanded our scope to support our team members and their communities through ongoing learning and career and advancement opportunities, by investing in community entrepreneurs, and by promoting gender equality and wellness in the workplace.
  • Our Planet: Prioritizing climate action and minimizing our impact on the planet.
    We take actions to minimize our impact on the planet through responsible purchasing, creating green office spaces, and, most importantly, by advancing climate action. Using 2022 baseline data, we’ve taken a major step in our climate action journey – setting science-aligned carbon reduction targets.
  • Governance & Responsible AI: Advancing responsible AI through partnerships and good governance.
    We believe strong corporate governance enables us to fulfill our commitments to team members, our planet, and our customers. We partner with independent organizations to support the advancement of responsible practices and global ESG priorities and to push ourselves to do even more for our stakeholders.

Our 2022 Impact Report details our progress and key results in each of these areas. Highlights include the following:

Our People

  • Sama created more than 1,600 new jobs, the most in any single year of our history.
  • Team members completed more than 16,000 courses on our learning and development platform, SamaU. Team members also used other learning platforms, including ALX, Thunderbird, and LinkedIn Learning, which had a 98% utilization rate.
  • Through our nonprofit affiliate, the Leila Janah Foundation, Sama team members volunteered 78 hours as jurors and judges in the Give Work Challenge. The Foundation awarded $34,000 to six impact-driven micro enterprises in East Africa.

Our Planet

  • Sama established its baseline carbon footprint at 4,758 tCO2e.
  • Sama committed to two science-aligned reduction targets to achieve by 2030: 1) to reduce our absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 50% and 2) to reduce our Scope 3 emissions by 50% per employee.

Responsible AI & Governance

  • Sama established an Impact Subcommittee comprised of members of the board and advisors to provide oversight and guidance on ESG efforts.
  • We converted to a Public Benefit Corporation, legally committing Sama to consider the impacts of our business decisions on a range of stakeholders.
  • We created an Ethics Guild to uphold the parameters set in our Service Line Boundaries policies and to review work that could violate Sama’s core values.

In this report, there is much to celebrate – I’m proud of the results Sama has accomplished toward its key impact objectives in 2022. Still there is much more to be done. In 2023, we are focused on the following:

  • Capturing more information to understand the mid- and longer-term impacts of our efforts for our people and building out more comprehensive guidance on career pathways for our team members
  • Implementing strategies to further reduce our carbon footprint
  • Engaging all teams in impact by committing them to at least one impact-focused key result

We are committed to advancing positive outcomes for our team members and their communities, minimizing our environmental impact, and promoting responsible AI through good governance practices. As we progress, we look forward to sharing our progress and what we are learning, and to partnering with our customers and community to accomplish our 2023 impact goals.

Read the full 2022 Impact Report here.

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