• Richard Threlfall, Leadership |

When the history of the world is written in 2100, and the world is neither underwater nor dying of heat exposure, I believe the first half of 2020 will be hailed as the turning point.

Through circumstances that few foretold, and no-one would have wished for, humanity was suddenly confronted with its vulnerability. 

And as planes stopped flying and road traffic volumes plummeted, our skies cleared of pollution. As families were forced to stay at home, we become reconnected with our immediate communities and environment. As we saw colleagues and friends directly affected, either by the virus itself or by being on the front-line of essential services, we rediscovered our ability to support and care for each other. We were shown how the world could be better.

We could have gone back to how things were before the pandemic. But we didn’t. We didn’t because a critical mass of voices in society were now determined to bring about positive change to build a more sustainable, inclusive, fair and resilient future. Those voices were no longer only scientists and campaigners. They were joined by the voices of business and political leaders, and more importantly by women, men and children all over the world wanting things to be different.

I am proud to be taking on the leadership of KPMG IMPACT at this pivotal point in the future of the world. Like so many colleagues and friends I know, I want to make a difference. And I want KPMG as an organization to be leaders, not followers, in making the world a better place. 

KPMG IMPACT could be just another part of this organization. Another network amongst many. Another layer in the matrix. But I don’t see it like that. I see it as permeating everything we do – relevant to all the advice KPMG firms’ professionals give to the clients we serve. Because the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are not a product line. Environmental, Social and Governance is not a bolt-on. Economic and Social Development is not a nice-to-have. Failure to decarbonize is not an option. KPMG IMPACT is about putting all of these at the heart of KPMG. It is for all of us.

And it is for all of you – anyone who is reading this. KPMG IMPACT is about how KPMG professionals can contribute to the things you are trying to do. We want to be at the table, exploring how we can help. We want to use our convening power to draw together the individuals who can get things done.

We want to work with any organization and any individual who shares our sense of purpose, to build a better future for everyone, everywhere.