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Global Climate Response

Global Climate Response

KPMG’s Global Climate Response was launched in 2008 with the aim of significantly reducing our environmental impact across KPMG firms globally. Now in its third phase, it has an emission reduction target of 10 percent net per full-time equivalent (FTE) between 2016 and 2020. To meet our climate targets, Phase 3 also includes a global renewable energy target of 60 percent of purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

KPMG has made significant strides in environmental sustainability. Since 2010, the organization has collectively reduced net carbon emissions per FTE by 27 percent. Additionally, in 2018, 46 percent of our purchased electricity was from renewable sources. KPMG firms in Ireland, Brazil, Spain and the Netherlands have achieved carbon neutrality and 100 percent renewable energy, with many large KPMG firms, including KPMG in the US, setting clear objectives of 100 percent renewable energy by 2020.

We recognize, however, the need to do more, particularly to reduce the impact of business travel — which makes up about 75 percent of our reported global emissions. Amid business growth and higher travel demands, our emissions increased for the first time since 2011. In response to our 2018 increase in carbon emissions, we have developed an action plan to accelerate our transition to renewable energy and to reduce our net carbon emissions per FTE in line with our target. We have also enhanced our governance of climate-related issues in accordance with our reporting to CDP and our support of the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

Global Emissions
Global Renewable Energy

Eradicating single-use plastics

Throughout our organization we continue to eliminate single-use plastics. To share a few examples from this year, KPMG in India has eliminated single-use plastics — bottles and cutlery — in all offices. This initiative has prevented approximately 100,000 bottles from going to landfill sites and introduced environment-friendly disposable cutlery.

KPMG Australia is on track to eliminate all single-use items — including more than 250,000 coffee cups annually — from its supply chain by 2020. Plastic bottles have also been eliminated from catering and events nationally, preventing more than 50,000 plastic bottles from being consumed annually.

KPMG in France has removed more than 1.5 million single use plastic cups from its offices in Paris La Défense through its work with social start-ups Newcy and UtopiHa, which also provide employment opportunities for people living with disabilities.

KPMG in the UK, a leader in plastic reduction with its campaign Waste in Our Time, ran a series of inspiring events around the UK for KPMG employees with Blue Planet II producer Mark Brownlow. The events highlighted the need to reduce single-use plastics that cause devastating pollution to oceans and marine life. Attendees were asked to make their own #plasticpledge and commit to reducing plastic consumption at work and home, and more than 1,000 pledges were made.

Through the GCR, KPMG member firms are also committed to reducing their impact on the environment, addressing local environmental challenges and working with clients to advance environmental sustainability.

Actions include:

  • developing new approaches to account for natural and social capital
  • supporting collaborative projects with partners such as the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • serving as leading providers of climate change and sustainability services for clients.

Climate-related financial disclosures

KPMG recognizes that climate change will have significant impacts across many business sectors and we support stronger disclosures of climate-related risks and opportunities. Such disclosures are an important step in using market forces to drive more efficient allocation of capital and the transition to a low-carbon economy. KPMG participated in the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climaterelated Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and we believe climate-related risks, like other risks, should be an integral part of our reporting.

Governance - climate-related risks and opportunities

Since 2010, the Global Board of KPMG International has received an annual update on KPMG's GCR, detailing progress in reducing emissions. In light of the TCFD recommendations, the update has extended to include potential risks and opportunities on climate-related issues for KPMG member firms. In addition, we have developed guidance for KPMG member firms to share with clients to help them better consider the financial impacts of climate change, including the challenges and opportunities.

Climate-related risks and opportunities

We believe KPMG's biggest contribution is through member firms helping clients in understanding the potential effects of climate change, in determining the impacts of certain climate scenarios, in establishing management, reporting and monitoring systems and in appropriate disclosure of the financial risks of climate change.

We also anticipate potential new services to be an opportunity for member firms to support clients. While these climate-related services will be very relevant for the future, the financial results from new services will likely be limited in comparison to our combined global revenues.

As a result of our review of the potential impact of climate-related risks and opportunities, we have considered a number of aspects as being potentially material to the network. These include disruption to operations, reputational risks and operational improvements, which are being managed through member firm facilities and IT departments as well as efforts to reduce impacts on climate change.

We report carbon emissions annually (see above) and provide additional climate-related disclosures in our annual response to the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project).

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