PwC UK Sets Emissions and Renewables Targets for 2022

PwC UK’s More London office. Credit: PwC UK

by | Jan 29, 2018

PwC UK carbon footprint emissions report

PwC UK’s More London office. Credit: PwC UK

PwC UK published new emissions and renewables targets for 2022. The audit, assurance, consulting, and tax services firm also reported on environmental progress made since 2007.

The report “Acting on carbon: Our 10 year journey” articulates several new targets for 2022 using 2007 baselines. For total carbon, the firm aims to reduce their total operational carbon emissions by 40%. They plan to lower business travel carbon emissions by 33% per FTE. PwC UK also intends to maintain their energy reduction at 50% from the baseline while growing the business.

In addition, PwC intends to purchase 100% of electricity from verified renewable sources within the next four years, eliminating Scope 2 carbon emissions. The firm plans to offset 100% of its total Scope 1, 2, and 3 carbon emissions as reported each year to remain carbon neutral.

Since setting their first carbon emissions targets in 2007, the firm says that it reduced the carbon footprint associated with energy consumption in its buildings by 77% during a time when the business grew by 44%. “Moreover, we’ve reduced our overall carbon footprint, including emissions associated with our travel, waste, and materials, by just under 30% whilst growing our business by almost a half,” the report says.

According to the company, lowering energy consumption and emissions was achieved through these strategies:

  • Operating differently: This included relatively simple initiatives such as turning lights off out of hours and switching to renewable electricity contracts.
  • Redesigning offices: Designing flexible working spaces and “hot-desking” means that less office space is needed, reducing energy needs.
  • Refurbishing offices: Larger offices have been refurbished or built to reach the highest standards in sustainable offices. Three PwC UK offices have been recognized by BREEAM with the first “outstanding” rating in their category.
  • Investing in new technology: The firm has piloted new low-carbon technologies, including using tri-generators in its offices that run on used cooking oil. This has not only helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but has helped to bring these technologies to the mainstream.

Despite this progress, the company acknowledges areas of struggle. One of them has been client-facing air travel.

“We’ve worked hard to incentivize cleaner modes of travel and maximize the use of economy class, as well as making online collaboration possible and more acceptable,” the report says. “However, the geographic expansion of our business has led to more international travel.” By the end of last year, PwC’s client-facing air travel had actually increased significantly, representing 80% of the company’s carbon footprint.

“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,” Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC said publicly. “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.”

PwC UK recently shared those lessons at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

Share This