PwC pledges to reach net zero emissions within a decade
Wednesday 16 September 2020
Accountancy and consultancy giant unveils new target to reduce absolute emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and offset the remainder.
PwC today committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2030 as part of a sweeping set of climate pledges that will see the firm slash business travel and increase its use of zero carbon energy.
The accountancy and consultancy giant said it would step up efforts to decarbonise its operations, including its travel activities, before neutralising any remaining climate impact by investing in carbon removal projects.
Built around a science-based target aligned with a 1.5C trajectory, reaching the goal will involve PwC reducing its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent 2030.
The firm said it would switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity, while also undertaking energy efficiency improvements in its offices and embracing new practices that would allow it to halve the emissions associated with business travel and accommodation.
Emissions associated with flights alone currently represent around 85 per cent of PwC's carbon footprint, the firm said, adding that the shift to remote working accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis could help significantly reduce its travel-related emissions in the coming years.
However, the company acknowledged that reaching net zero emissions by 2030 would also involve large-scale investments in carbon removal projects to offset its remaining emissions. As such, the firm will focus investments on nature-based climate solutions, it said, and will select high quality projects that offer verified emissions reduction impacts.
In addition, the firm pledged to better engage its suppliers to help tackle their climate impact.
"A net zero world is within reach," said Bob Moritz, global chairman at the PwC network. "The business community has a responsibility to act and we are determined to play our part, not just in our own operations and supply chain, but also in the way we advise and support our clients to create a sustainable world for future generations."
Further details of how PwC will meet the 2030 climate goal will be debated and shared over the coming months, the firm added. The firm also announced today that it will shortly publish a guide, Building Blocks for Net Zero Business Transformation, that aims to help other business leaders steer their companies through the process of first setting net zero pledges and then engineering the transformation of their business models and operations to ensure ambitious targets are met.