KPMG launches multi-year program to accelerate global solutions for Environmental, Social and Governance issues

KPMG plans to spend more than US$1.5 billion to focus on the ESG change agenda.

KPMG plans to spend more than US$1.5 billion to focus on the ESG change agenda.

  • KPMG Regional ESG Hubs to be established in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas to support clients on their ESG journey

  • KPMG Emerging Markets Accelerators to deliver region-specific support and financing expertise to help developing nations

  • Collaborations with University of Cambridge Judge Business School and New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business Executive Education to provide comprehensive ESG training for all colleagues

  • KPMG firms will co-create and deliver ESG services with an ecosystem of world-leading alliances

As part of its ongoing multi-billion-dollar investment program, KPMG plans to spend more than US$1.5 billion over the next three years specifically to focus on the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) change agenda. The ESG strategy is designed to support KPMG firms’ clients in making a positive difference. Importantly, this strategy is underpinned by KPMG’s recognition of its responsibility to improve its impact on the world and the ESG commitments outlined in KPMG: Our Impact Plan.

The collective investment will focus on training and expanding KPMG’s global workforce, harnessing data, accelerating the development of new technologies, and driving action through partnerships, alliances and advocacy. The key to the transformation will be embedding ESG in the organization and client solutions to drive measurable change.

The new global ESG strategy focuses on five priority areas:

Solutions

Five newly dedicated Hubs are to be established to provide world-class expertise and solutions on key ESG issues, these will focus on:

  • Global Decarbonization, helping large multinational businesses meet their net-zero commitments and plan their decarbonization journey, and
  • Global ESG Advisory, backed by Advisory teams from KPMG firms, offering market-leading ESG expertise including leadership on societal issues and solutions.
  • Three KPMG Regional ESG Hubs will also be established in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas to allow clients easy access to world-class insights and expertise across the ESG agenda.

KPMG will invest in its leading climate and ESG solutions and technologies, including Climate IQ, a digital tool that helps clients identify opportunities and risks arising from climate change. To complement the technological investments, the global organization will also expand its workforce, both for ESG advisory work and to provide assurance on ESG disclosures. Additionally, KPMG will develop its proprietary audit workflow technology to enable delivery of ESG assurance with the same quality and rigor that KPMG firms apply to financial audit work.

Talent

ESG training will be provided to all of the KPMG organization’s 227,000 people to ensure that everyone is empowered to be an agent of positive change. As part of this training, KPMG is working with two leading global academic institutions, University of Cambridge Judge Business School and NYU Stern Executive Education:

  • The University of Cambridge Judge Business School partnership will build ESG skills including the development of a learning framework and solutions to be applied across the KPMG global organization, led by the business school faculty and other experts associated with the school, beginning with hundreds of business leaders and with the ambition to reach all KPMG people around the globe.
  • The NYU Stern Executive Education collaboration will see the co-creation of a sustainability program for KPMG in the form of executive education.

Supporting developing nations

KPMG will launch KPMG Emerging Markets Accelerators for developing nations in the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The goal of these Emerging Markets Accelerators is to ensure areas of the world lacking expertise and resources will have a trusted advisor to support their economic and social development in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Collaborations and Alliances

KPMG recognizes that the world’s issues will not be solved by any one organization alone, which is why the global organization is building on its collaboration with external organizations including UNESCO, Enactus and the Global Reporting Initiative.

Through alliances with Google CloudMicrosoftSalesforce and ServiceNow, KPMG is co-creating new tools and solutions that will provide critical insights based on data that clients can use to map their ESG journeys and implement vital changes to meet their commitments.

Listening and taking action

To help support the engagement pillar of its global ESG strategy, KPMG is also launching a new campaign called ‘Voices for a Sustainable Future’, offering a platform to amplify the views of established and new thinkers, giving voice to critical issues — from climate change to gender and race equality. The program will generate actionable insights to help accelerate the journey towards a more sustainable future.

Bill Thomas open quote

How you grow matters, and what worked for us and other businesses in the past will not work in the future. The world faces crises on multiple fronts, which is why we’re putting the Environmental, Social and Governance agenda at the heart of everything we do. ESG will be the watermark running through our global organization; from empowering our people to become agents of positive change, to the services with our clients and our partnerships with critical stakeholders. KPMG has the global scale, expertise, technology, and relationships that give us the ability and responsibility to use our position to provide solutions and services to overcome the challenges facing our planet and society.

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Bill Thomas
Global Chairman & CEO
KPMG

Richard Threlfall open quote

It is incumbent on all of us — as businesses and as individuals — to play our part in tackling the challenges that threaten the future of our planet and the quality of life of people throughout the world. Our global ESG strategy will help equip our people to make a difference, as well as mobilize data and technology in support. But we also recognize that the changes society is demanding will be realized most effectively through open collaboration based on trust, and we will continue to seek out opportunities to partner with other organizations that share our sense of purpose to enable a better future for everyone, everywhere.

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Richard Threlfall
Global Head of ESG and KPMG IMPACT
KPMG International

KPMG’s global ESG strategy comes less than a year after the organization launched KPMG: Our Impact Plan, which lays out the global organization’s commitments on ESG themes, with the ultimate goal of making an even greater positive impact on the world. KPMG was the first professional services organization to transparently report against the World Economic Forum’s Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics. The plan sets out a range of targets, including a pledge to become a net-zero carbon organization by 2030. The execution and acceleration of KPMG: Our Impact Plan is a key priority for the global organization as it delivers on its commitments to tackle issues — from the climate crisis to social mobility and community engagement.

Jane Lawrie open quote

We know that KPMG and our profession have an important and pressing opportunity to accelerate the change needed for a sustainable future; that change starts with us. Our Impact Plan, launched in January, lays out how we intend to change our actions and commits to report against our progress so we can be held to account. The ESG agenda is as important to our people as it is to clients; these significant changes outlined today further reinforce KPMG’s purpose to Inspire Confidence and Empower Change and act as a north star for how we grow the organization.

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Jane Lawrie
Global Head of Corporate Affairs
KPMG International

Honson To open quote

ESG development in Asia Pacific is in the spotlight. The launch of KPMG's multi-year programme to accelerate global solutions for ESG issues demonstrates our commitment to establish an inclusive and equitable work environment and helps us make a positive impact on the world. It will also allow us to grow our client base sustainably, build trust in capital markets and stimulate innovation. The establishment of a KPMG Regional ESG Hub in Asia Pacific enables us to provide targeted expertise and solutions on key ESG issues to clients in Asia Pacific, which will support companies, governments, social organisations and others to overcome ESG challenges and create a sustainable future.

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Honson To
Chairman
KPMG China and Asia Pacific

Wei Lin open quote

With the introduction of China's '3060' target, ESG is being taken increasingly seriously by Chinese companies and is seen as an important driving force to reach carbon neutrality. For China, this will entail a disruptive transformation of the economy and society as a whole, with a range of challenges and opportunities for the government, companies and even individuals. We are seeing more interest from companies in integrating solutions to social issues into their corporate development strategies, while stakeholders have become more demanding of reporting on corporate ESG issues. Through its global ESG strategy, KPMG hopes to support the ESG transformation of our clients, employees as well as our own organisation, and to address these challenges proactively.

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Wei Lin
Partner, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance
KPMG China

Tracy Yang open quote

To drive change and increase sustainability in both the market and the company internally, KPMG China has established an ESG and IMPACT committee to oversee and guide the strategic development and operation of the company's ESG commitments, in line with the global Impact Plan. We released our first ESG report in March this year, focusing on the areas of Planet, People, Prosperity and Governance. In FY2020, KPMG invested more than RMB 29.4 million in the community, while 866 volunteers devoted 7,939 hours to community service. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, KPMG donated over RMB4 million and piloted a flexible working programme in some offices in China to actively help employees' personal and professional development, at the same time reshape the way people work in the future. In the future, ESG will remain a key focus for KPMG China. By leveraging our KPMG values, we plan to continue to contribute to the sustainable development of our clients, employees and the communities we live in.

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Tracy Yang
Partner, Head of Corporate Affairs
KPMG China

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About KPMG China

KPMG member firms and its affiliates operating in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau are collectively referred to as “KPMG China”.

KPMG China is based in 28 offices across 25 cities with around 12,000 partners and staff in Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Foshan, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Hefei, Jinan, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi’an, Zhengzhou, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR. Working collaboratively across all these offices, KPMG China can deploy experienced professionals efficiently, wherever our client is located.

KPMG is a global organisation of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 146 countries and territories and in FY20 had close to 227,000 people working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

In 1992, KPMG became the first international accounting network to be granted a joint venture licence in mainland China. KPMG was also the first among the Big Four in mainland China to convert from a joint venture to a special general partnership, as of 1 August 2012. Additionally, the Hong Kong firm can trace its origins to 1945. This early commitment to this market, together with an unwavering focus on quality, has been the foundation for accumulated industry experience, and is reflected in KPMG’s appointment for multidisciplinary services (including audit, tax and advisory) by some of China’s most prestigious companies.

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