Among the many images of lockdown, perhaps some of the most profound and lasting are streets empty of traffic, skies free of airplanes, and the unfamiliar sound of birdsong returning to our built environment. As a result, by early April 2020, when billions of people were confined to their homes, global CO2 emissions decreased by almost a fifth compared to the previous year’s average.1

1. Source: UN Emissions Gap Report 2020

Not forgetting the human cost, COVID-19 has reminded us of what can be achieved in our quest to save the planet, and forced us to re-evaluate how we respond, as a business and as individuals, to deliver upon the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change. The good news is that a majority (71 percent) of leaders surveyed in KPMG’s 2020 Global CEO Outlook say they want to lock-in climate change gains made as a result of the pandemic. We are no different.

Climate change affects us all and demands robust action. Since we launched our Global Climate Response in 2008, we’ve been actively seeking ways to reduce our environmental impact, globally. Over that time KPMG set ambitious targets for reducing emissions and using renewable electricity, and we have either met or exceeded these goals. We’ve also reported carbon emissions annually and provided additional climate-related disclosures. In Our Impact Plan, we’re raising the bar even higher, in terms of the targets we’ve set and our level of reporting.

Through KPMG IMPACT we’re also supporting our clients to transform their businesses and supply chains to rapidly reduce their carbon impacts. We’re bringing the expertise of KPMG professionals across the globe to help clients reduce carbon emissions, transition to renewable energy and integrate climate risk into corporate strategies. We’ve also advised extensively on green finance and are working with the World Economic Forum to drive systemic change to accelerate the energy transition.

Our Impact Plan represents the collective environmental, social and governance commitments of independent KPMG firms, affiliated with KPMG International Limited. The data represented in Our Impact Plan is aggregated data from KPMG firms for the 12 months to 30 September 2020 unless stated otherwise. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. Where the term “ KPMG,” “ firm,” “ we” or similar references are used without definition, they are meant to collectively refer to KPMG International Limited and the independent KPMG firms.