Professional services giant PwC commits to net-zero by 2030

17 September 2020 3 min. read
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Big Four professional services firm PwC has announced it aims to bring its carbon impact to net-zero by the end of the decade. The firm’s efforts will not stop with its own operations either, with PwC pledging to work with its global clients to help reduce their impacts in turn.

The last few months have seen a plethora of major consulting firms declaring themselves to be ‘net-zero’ carbon, or to be aiming for as much within a short amount of time. MMB firm Bain & Company recently marked its ninth year of carbon neutrality – reducing and offsetting its flights, taxi and train rides and all the energy required to power its 58 global offices, while rival Boston Consulting Group pledged to spend $400 million for climate positive goal by 2030. Big Four giant EY also launched plans for the firm to become fully carbon neutral by the close of 2020, on the back of off-setting measures.

Now, PwC has become the latest consulting giant to commit to reaching net-zero over the current decade. PwC aims to decarbonise its operations, including its travel footprint, and neutralise its remaining climate impact by investing in carbon removal projects, as well as engaging its suppliers to tackle their climate impact. The commitment also includes supporting PwC’s clients in reducing their emissions.

Professional services giant PwC commits to net-zero by 2030

Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of the PwC network, commented, “Whether you look at this through the lens of human need or from a capital allocation perspective, it is in the interests of everyone that we see systemic change that averts climate catastrophe and unlocks the potential of green growth. A net-zero world is within reach. Getting there will take innovation, hard work, collaboration and bold thinking but the benefits will be immense. The business community has a responsibility to act and we are determined to play our part.”

With global reach across 157 countries, industry coverage, and its 284,000 people that support clients at every stage, PwC intends to enable such radical change by building on existing client work in sustainability and net-zero transformation. For example, its advisory practice is integrating 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. Funds perceiving climate change risks to their investments have increased from 14% to 54% in the last year, while the vast majority of schemes now report awareness of risks related to their broader environmental, social and governance practices. In this case, 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 – even amid the current pandemic.

Moritz added, “An important lesson of Covid-19 is that people can find ways to do the impossible when they have to, and we are taking some of that spirit into our efforts to tackle the global climate crisis. The changes we need to make will not be easy, but are nothing compared to the harm that runaway climate change would inflict on society. We are excited about working together, with clients, with partners and all of our stakeholders, to achieve our goals and play our part to support global efforts to help address the impacts of climate change for a more sustainable and fairer world.”