Our world is more interconnected than ever, and businesses can no longer consider the economy as separate to society, nor climate-related risks as a fringe concern. Customers, employees, investors, policymakers and other stakeholders are increasingly looking at how companies are addressing their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) responsibilities when making decisions about which organizations to support and which to penalize. In other words, not only is acting with purpose and accountability when it comes to ESG the right thing to do, it’s also good long-term business sense.
As a global network of multidisciplinary professional services firms, few organizations in the world have as much potential influence on the business sector as KPMG does – which means that though our activities may not have the largest direct impact on the environment, our indirect impact through the services we provide to other businesses is still significant.
We also recognize that addressing these challenges takes a collective effort - both through individual, everyday actions, such as reducing plastic and paper waste, and through strategic corporate decision-making, such as the vehicles we choose to include in our fleet or the source of energy we use in our buildings. With our latest KPMG Impact Plan, not only are we renewing our existing commitments to good ESG practices, we’re also expanding our approach.
Read on to find out more about KPMG’s commitments in Belgium.
Decarbonization is one of the most critical pillars of any approach to reducing negative impact on the climate, protecting our environment and our wellbeing. No serious corporate ESG strategy can afford to overlook the importance of addressing emissions caused by business activity.
That’s why, at KPMG in Belgium, decarbonization is a core priority that underpins our broader impact plan. In line with our purpose-based approach (see above), we also firmly believe that we should lead by example, taking actions that are rooted in evidence, with realistic, measurable timelines for achieving our goals.
KPMG in Belgium is therefore committed to actions that contribute to achieving the global 1.5°C science-based target laid out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 12).
In practical terms, this means improving our impact on climate change through more sustainable consumption and allocation of resources, as well as conscious emissions-reducing initiatives, starting with:
We will achieve these targets by taking the following actions:
Taking a circular approach to resource consumption is one of the most efficient ways to improve resource efficiency and reduce waste.
This includes attention to details such as the interior decoration of our offices. For example, the flooring in our Zaventem HQ is made from 100% regenerated ECONYL® yarn, which is sourced from recovered fishing nets and other waste materials. The carpet tile backing also includes recycled material, and KPMG ensured that the total production of the carpet tiles was made CO2 neutral by participating in modulyss' CO2-reducing CO2RE carbon capture initiative.
As standard practice, we actively recycle all paper, cans, plastic and glass in all our offices. We have also replaced all our plastic drinking cups with reusable mugs and water bottles. This action represents a reduction of approximately 100 thousand cups per month and over 1.2 million cups per year. We will be further looking for ways to improve our recycling approach with a new internal campaign to be launched this year.
We also recycle our printer toners and ink cartridges and give our old ICT equipment a new life, such as by donating laptops to schools so that children who do not already have IT equipment at home can continue to learn remotely during Covid. Similar previous initiatives include working with organizations such as Close the Gap, which provides high-quality, refurbished IT equipment for social and educational projects in emerging and developing countries and coordinates the supply chain to ensure the IT projects are implemented successfully.
Did you know that Belgium is actually a water-scarce country? Due to high population density and large percentage of artificial ground coverage (concrete, paving etc.) fresh, potable water is in increasingly short supply, meaning that water is a precious resource that needs to be used thoughtfully. That’s why we’re recommitting to finding new ways to improve the efficiency of our water usage in all our KPMG offices in Belgium.
We’ll do this through measuring and analysing the water usage throughout the different spaces of each office - from common areas and kitchens to bathrooms and other areas - monitoring and identifying ways to improve our overall water efficiency performance and then implementing solutions accordingly.
In terms of wider impact, KPMG has also contributed to the Flemish government’s plan to reduce the impact of drought through smart water planning and control measures.