30 January 2018

PwC sets new emissions and renewables targets for 2022

PwC UK has published a new report on the environmental progress it has made since 2007 while also setting new, more ambitious emissions targets for 2022.

The “Acting on carbon: Our 10-year journey” report offers a detailed analysis of the progress the giant accountancy firm achieved since 2007 when it established its first carbon emission targets.

Within 10 years, PwC UK has managed to reduce its energy emissions by 77 percent in absolute terms. By managing its energy consumption in buildings, the company managed to save more than £20 million in direct energy costs over the decade.

Impressively, the company managed to reduce its overall carbon footprint by almost 30 percent whilst growing its business by 44 percent- a tremendous decoupling of growth from carbon emissions.

After having mastered, among other areas, energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and waste management, the company is now focused on non-energy related emissions, and more specifically air travel.

“We’ve worked hard to incentivize cleaner modes of travel and maximize the use of the economy class, as well as making online collaboration possible and more acceptable. However, the geographic expansion of our business has led to more international travel”, the report reads stating that at the end of 2017 client-facing air travel represented 80 percent of its total carbon footprint.

After its 2017 targets expired, PwC set itself new targets- this time with a shorter timeframe. It pledged to reduce its total carbon footprint by 40 percent from the 2007 baseline, procure 100 percent renewable electricity and significantly reduce travel intensity.

As internal travel is now 12 percent the 2007 levels, the focus on travel will be on client-facing trips. To this end, the company will aim to reduce carbon emissions per person by a third in comparison to 2007 levels within the next 5 years.

Kevin Ellis, Chairman and senior partner at PwC UK, said: “Being very clear on what we wanted to achieve has allowed us to challenge ourselves to do things differently — from how we light, heat and cool our buildings, to how we design and use our office spaces, and how we work”.

“We’ve made good progress, but recognize that we’ve also made some mistakes along the way and that’s why we’re keen to share our experience”, he added.

You can read the full “Corporate Sustainability Lessons Learned Acting on carbon: Our 10 year journey” report here

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