Climate change is one of the most pressing problems facing our world today. It affects everyone – from families worrying about their children’s futures, to pension funds deciding where to invest. So, it is in the interests of everyone that we see systemic change that averts climate catastrophe and unlocks the potential of green growth.
At PwC, we believe the business community has a key role to play in making that happen. And we’re determined to play our part. That’s why we’re making a worldwide science-based commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Raising our ambition further, faster
Across our network, we commit to reducing our total greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in absolute terms by 2030. This includes a switch to 100% renewable electricity in all territories, as well as energy efficiency improvements in our offices and halving the emissions associated with business travel and accommodation within a decade. In the 2019 financial year, emissions associated with flights alone represented around 85% of PwC’s total carbon footprint. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to remote working and demonstrated the feasibility of new client delivery models, as part of a longer-term transformation of our services.
In addition to taking these steps, we will invest in carbon removal projects, including natural climate solutions. For every remaining tonne (CO2 equivalent) that we emit, we will remove a tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, to achieve net-zero climate impact by 2030. Our projects will be selected on the basis of quality criteria and verification of the carbon reduction impact, and will also support broader local economic and social development co-benefits.
This new commitment builds on our 2018 global environment commitment to drive efficiencies, go 100% renewable, and offset 100% air travel emissions from FY19 and residual energy use by FY22.
Working with our clients to accelerate net-zero transformation
With global reach across 157 countries, broad industry coverage, and 284,000 people that support our clients – from reshaping strategy and transformation, to deals, reporting, audit, and tax – we have a huge opportunity to accelerate the transition to a net-zero future together.
We support organizations as they develop and implement concrete plans for how to get to net zero. This includes re-aligning corporate strategy, governance and accountability, operating models, innovation and research and development (R&D), tax strategy and reporting, and enterprise and supply chain transformation. Other areas include people and talent, partnerships and alliances, and corporate affairs and regulatory engagement.
Building on existing client work in sustainability and net-zero transformation, we will infuse science-led climate analysis into our areas of service. For example, our Advisory practice will integrate climate risks into relevant engagements, providing clients with insights about climate risks and opportunities as well as helping them to transform their business processes. Another major focus area will be integrating climate-related and other ESG-related factors into mainstream corporate disclosures and governance, where PwC’s Assurance practice will support the development of high quality, aligned disclosure and measurement standards and help clients embed these into their reporting and governance. Across our Tax practice, we will be helping clients understand how net-zero transformation will impact tax strategy, transparency and compliance obligations, subsidy and incentive opportunities, and revenue impacts for both public and private sector organizations.
To further scale our capabilities to support clients in these areas, PwC has appointed Peter Gassmann to lead our new global Environmental, Social and Governance practice. In addition, Nadja Picard has been appointed as PwC’s new Global Reporting Leader to drive the network’s support for clients to incorporate non-financial disclosures in their corporate reporting.
Policy and advocacy
Helping shape and accelerate the global climate and policy agenda
PwC supports reform that puts the needs of stakeholders at the heart of the market economy and connects goals, actions and outcomes into desired social and economic results that fuel long-term sustainability. Supporting the net-zero transition is a key part of this process.
As stakeholder expectations rise, organizations increasingly need to report on their environmental and social impacts and demonstrate progress. As a result, there is a greater need for consistent, comparable ESG standards so investors and other stakeholders can clearly see how businesses are creating long-term value for the organization and society. We are deeply supportive of global efforts to develop transparent and robust ESG reporting frameworks and standards, including through work with the World Economic Forum International Business Council, the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), among others.
We will also contribute to a broader understanding of how to achieve net-zero. We will soon launch a new practical guide, “Building Blocks for Net Zero Business Transformation”, which is aimed at helping companies of all sectors and sizes move from net zero pledges to wholescale business transformation. The research has been produced in association with Microsoft, who PwC advises on net-zero transformation, as a contribution to the recently launched CEO-led Transform to Zero initiative.
With a crucial year of global climate action ahead in the lead up to the United Nation’s COP26 climate change negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, PwC will work with the UK Government, other parties and non-state actors to help set the stage for a successful COP.
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