PwC sets carbon reduction and business growth targets

Professional services firm PwC has targeted a 40% reduction in carbon emissions and a switch to 100% renewable electricity while continuing to expand its business.

The company had cut its carbon footprint by 29% over the last decade in the UK, including a 77% reduction of the carbon footprint associated with building energy consumption, all while expanding business growth by 44%.

As well as sharing a report on how the company achieved those reductions – edie will be covering the strategy in-depth in the coming weeks – PwC has now announced new targets for 2022. PwC has committed to shrinking its carbon footprint by a further 40%, procuring 100% renewable electricity and reducing travel.

PwC’s chairman Kevin Ellis said: “By setting clear targets we’ve been able to make a significant difference to our carbon footprint over the past 10 years. Along our 10-year journey we’ve learnt a lot and have been able to pioneer new, environmentally-friendly technologies, which are now used more widely across the industry.

“Reducing our carbon footprint has also had financial benefits, showing that economic success and doing the right thing can go hand-in-hand. Our people and clients expect us to continue to lead the way, which is why we’re announcing new ambitious targets to reduce our carbon footprint further in the next five years.”

Going Circular

PwC exceeded its 25% carbon reduction target for 2017, which was set against a 2007 baseline. Through energy savings measures, the company has also generated £20m gross savings over the 10-year reporting period. In fact, the firm’s energy consumption is 50% lower today than it was in 2007.

By cutting the number of internal flights and improving online connections, PwC also exceeded a target to hold business travel levels flat, achieving a 4% reduction since 2007. Other initiatives that helped the firm drive efficiency include sending zero waste to landfill since 2012, and waste represents 0.21% of the company’s carbon footprint.

One of the main drivers behind PwC’s impressive waste standards is the company’s Going Circular behaviour change initiative. Through divergent thinking, far-reaching awareness campaigns and the creation of unofficial closed-loop mascots, PwC has been able to embed circular thinking across key waste streams.

The new goals were launched in the same week as the company’s annual chief executive survey. With climate change high on the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos, PwC’s survey found that 57% of UK chief executives view climate change as a threat to company growth.

Matt Mace

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