KPMG promotes Bridget Beals to Partner in climate strategy practice

24 December 2020 3 min. read
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KPMG has promoted Bridget Beals to Partner as it looks to strengthen and grow its climate risk and sustainability expertise. The news follows KPMG’s announcement in November that it would target becoming a net-zero firm by 2030.

Last month, Big Four firm KPMG announced definitively that its global organisation would commit to going net-zero by 2030. Underpinning this goal, the global organisation has signed up to a series of new climate actions, including a 1.5 degrees science-based target which will focus on achieving a 50% reduction of KPMG’s direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

As the firm looks to push ahead with its sustainability agenda, Bridget Beals has been named Partner. Beals currently co-heads the Climate Risk and Decarbonisation Strategy team with fellow partner Simon Weaver – who joined the practice in October from the firm’s audit function, further recognising the crucial role that accounting and risk play in driving the firm’s 2021 growth strategy in the climate resilience space.

Bridget Beals, Partner, KPMG

Commenting on the news, Weaver said, “In the last 6 months the climate change conversation in the boardroom has started to turn from being about responsibility to a much more strategic conversation around resilience and opportunity. This is a great first step, but it must be followed by a clear strategy, backed up with analysis and strong scenario planning. Understandably, for many businesses in industries that haven’t thought about climate risk until now, the prospect of taking on such a profound project can be daunting. To meet the regulations and the expectations of investors and wider stakeholders, it’s essential that Boards seek out expert advice and support and take a proactive approach today.”

Beals joined KPMG in 2015, and has worked with major renewable developers, oil majors, a variety of FTSE 250 companies outside the energy sector and a wide range of inward investors assisting them to understand the climate change and decarbonisation landscape.

She previously spent seven years in the public and private energy sector. After five years with Westpac Institutional Bank’s Commodities, Carbon and Energy wing, Beals spent two years as a Commercial and Corporate Finance Advisor in the Commercial Team of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Beals, said of her promotion, “My move into the partnership at KPMG comes at an incredible time for me and the wider Climate Risk and Decarbonisation Strategy team. We’ve never been busier. With COP26 back on the cards for 2021 and an increasing political and public focus on climate, businesses are starting to understand that this goes way beyond a simple sustainability consideration.”

KPMG’s Climate Risk and Decarbonisation Strategy team helps some of the world’s biggest brands to understand the nature and scale of the risks and opportunities their business faces from climate change, focusing on embedding a strategic, transformative response at the heart of their future growth agenda.

With more than 20 specialists on the team in the UK, working alongside KPMG’s ESG and Energy & Natural Resources functions, KPMG has “some of the industry’s most dynamic, innovative levels of expertise and insight on issues that are transforming the corporate world”, according to the firm’s website.