Sama Releases Annual Impact Report; Highlights ESG Progress


In 2023, Sama, a leader in providing data labeling, supervised fine-tuning, and model evaluation solutions for major AI models, announced the publication of its second annual Impact Report.

This report underscores Sama’s substantial advancements towards its sustainability goals and its continued progress in delivering benefits to all stakeholders. Key achievements include creating 581 entry-level jobs, transitioning its North American offices to 100% renewable energy, and joining the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)—the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.

Progress and Ethical Commitment

Wendy Gonzalez, CEO of Sama, emphasized the company’s commitment to ethically developing AI. “Our commitment to ethical AI development includes being transparent about our governance, operations, compliance, and practices. By participating in initiatives like the UNGC and disclosing our efforts in our annual Impact Report, we highlight our ongoing dedication to doing right by people and the planet,” she said. Sama’s focus extends beyond quality; it actively supports social impact and adheres to rigorous ESG standards, valued by their enterprise customers.

In 2023, Sama created over 500 entry-level positions, providing underrepresented communities with opportunities for formal employment in the digital economy and fair wages. Research by Sama revealed that such employment significantly boosts the financial contributions of new employees to their families’ housing and educational expenses, demonstrating the broader positive impact of stable employment.

Environmental Goals and Global Standards

Sama also made significant progress towards its goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 by switching its North American offices to 100% renewable energy. This initiative not only reduces the company’s carbon footprint but also sets a precedent for similar transitions in other Sama locations globally, including in Kenya and Uganda. These efforts are part of Sama’s broader strategy to halve its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and reduce its Scope 3 emissions per employee by the same year.

As a new member of the UNGC, Sama aligns its operations with the UN’s Ten Principles, which cover human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. The company has identified several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that resonate with its mission, such as No Poverty, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Reduced Inequalities. Sama commits to producing annual Communications on Progress reports detailing its advances towards these goals, with the first report expected later in 2024.

Living the Mission

Kristen Itani Koue, director of impact at Sama, highlighted the company’s dedication to its mission of empowering marginalized youth and women through digital skills training and formal employment. “Our Impact Report goes beyond just stating our mission; it shows how we actively live it out and balance multiple bottom lines as a business. I look forward to further detailing our progress in our upcoming UNGC Communication on Progress,” she stated.

In addition to these efforts, Sama has implemented key governance policies and launched a supplier responsibility program in East Africa, requiring major vendors to adhere to a comprehensive Supplier Code of Conduct. This initiative covers various aspects including health and safety, human rights, fair working conditions, sustainability, and business ethics.

Regulatory Compliance and Future Directions

In 2023, Sama also adhered to critical legislation, such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) in the European Union, reporting on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, climate action, and governance. Additionally, in response to the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (SCDDA), Sama completed multiple disclosures regarding its ESG governance, human rights and labor standards, health and safety, and climate action, supporting its customers in meeting their compliance requirements.

These initiatives reflect Sama’s comprehensive approach to developing AI responsibly and ethically, setting a benchmark for corporate responsibility in the tech industry and reinforcing its commitment to creating a positive impact on both society and the environment.