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In the past year, the geopolitical landscape continued to change and with it the demands on business, governments and civil society. The issues that come with global volatility are high on the agenda of business leaders, as articulated by participants in the 2019 Global CEO Outlook: Trade wars, technology wars and political tensions are challenging the fabric of our systems1. Alongside our clients, we need to respond to deliver a positive impact in our communities, and use our skills to help meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Despite significant advancements in reducing poverty, 1.3 billion people today experience multidimensional poverty — poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standards, disempowerment, poor quality of work, the threat of violence and environmental hazards. Two thirds of these people live in middle-income countries and territories and are vulnerable to political and economic instability. In 2019, world leaders called for a decade of action to meet the SDGs by 2030.2

We believe that quality education and lifelong learning, as an enabler to economic growth, social mobility and well-being, is the best way we as a global organization can contribute positively to the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.

Bill Thomas
Global Chairman and CEO
KPMG International

Cyber Day
Kids with letters spelling Cyber Day

During 2019, we also solidified our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals through responsible business, investing in our communities and putting purposeful business into our strategy. We are particularly excited about working with other stakeholders on innovative programs that better align capital with long-term, sustainable value-creation. 

We’ve continued to invest in our relationships with Enactus and One Young World to provide next-generation leaders with new skills — and the confidence that success depends on their ability to learn, adapt to an ever-changing world and make values-led decisions. 

We also held our annual Global Cyber Day across 45 countries and territories. The initiative, led by our cybersecurity professionals, is aimed at educating young people about the importance of cybersecurity and internet risk. The classroom sessions, part of the globally-recognized International Cyber Security Awareness Month, included guidance on safe use of personal data, social media, cyber bullying, online gaming and smartphones. 

Investing in our communities

KPMG is committed to improving the communities in which we work through active involvement and ongoing investment. In 2019, KPMG and its people invested more than USD115 million in local communities, including approximately 550,000 hours, of which 100,000 were pro-bono professional services.

Investing in our communities gives us the opportunity to drive positive, social and impactful change. We encourage all our people to dedicate time, skills and energy to causes that are important to them.

quality education sdg icon

Education and lifelong learning

Education — one of the most-powerful drivers of economic growth, social mobility and well-being — is key to inspiring the next generation. Our focus on lifelong learning goes beyond the classroom to provide innovative coaching and mentoring and build global relationships that promote skills, learning and progress for life.

KPMG in South Africa and Youth Managers Foundation

KPMG in South Africa has been in partnership with Youth Managers Foundation (YMF), a non-profit organization involved in high school youth leadership development, since 2013. We provide financial support towards YMF leadership programs and participate in the YMF program in which they mentor and inspire more than 43,000 young leaders from 44 disadvantaged schools.

“Growing up in a township with few resources, there was less room for improvement from generation to generation. When I joined YMF I was at a stage in high school where I was training my mind to accept whatever comes my way — bad marks, poor emotions, not being able to handle situations or problems at home. I was, in a way, preparing myself to accept the mindset of the young people in my community. YMF presented me with a challenge to fight a battle I never knew I was facing through mentorship, leadership, guidance and problem-solving skills. I am proud of my achievements, five distinctions in high school and currently studying medicine at the University of Pretoria.” 



Buitumelo Molefe

Boitumelo Molefe, Student and YMF beneficiary

Ana Keyla Santos

Ana Keyla Santos, Audit Senior, KPMG in Brazil

KPMG in Brazil's Little Citizen's Project

For more than 20 years, KPMG in Brazil has supported Pequeno Cidadão (Little Citizen Project), benefiting 200 disadvantaged young people every year, investing in curriculum and lesson design, mentoring and pro-bono services. 

“I was a student in the Little Citizen Project from 2004 to 2006. The first time I visited KPMG, as one of the Project’s students, I was only 12. I remember well the sensation I felt that day — visiting a large company for the first time." 

"Being part of this project significantly changed my view with respect to opportunities. For me, and the other 199 students served by the Project at the same time, we knew what our future might have been had it not been for the Project. From the encouragement to study harder to a closer contact with arts and sports, each activity planned by the coordinator helped change our futures." 

"Through participation in the Project, and a commitment to learning, I was admitted at the Federal University of São Carlos on a full scholarship where I studied finance by PROUNI (a federal government’s program for scholarships). In 2016, I joined KPMG in Brazil as an audit trainee and today I am an Audit Senior, in the São Carlos office. I would like to thank KPMG, which, for 15 years, has changed my life, and the way I see opportunities.“

Global NGOs we worked with during 2019


This year saw us continue our collaboration with Enactus — one of the world’s largest experiential learning platforms dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of leaders with a head for business and a heart for the world — and our support for its World Cup hosted in San Jose, California. KPMG colleagues have dedicated their time and skills in more than 30 countries and territories to support national Enactus programs and mentor student-led, purpose-driven businesses.

Enactus World Cup

KPMG's Family for Literacy

KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL) program goes from strength to strength. In collaboration with First Book, this year KFFL has distributed its five-millionth book — helping at-risk children in low-income communities develop into the next generation of successful young leaders through literacy.

KPMG in Ireland, meanwhile, won the CSR Initiative of the Year at the Irish Accountancy Awards 2019 for their Bold Girls program empowering young women through a love of reading and learning. KPMG in Mexico emulated this success and launched their own program — Niñas Audaces — donating books and organizing workshops to challenge traditional gender roles and helping young women develop the confidence to succeed. 

KFFL is active in Canada, China, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Tanzania, the US and Uganda.

One Young World

Over the last 12 months, KPMG grew its relationship with One Young World (OYW) through our support of LEAD2030. We selected a thriving and impactful youth-led business that’s moving the needle on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa and began a 1-year relationship that includes USD50,000 investment into the enterprise, as well as mentoring its leaders to help it accelerate and achieve scale.

The PhD Project

The PhD Project was founded 25 years ago by the KPMG Foundation in the US, with the goal of increasing the diversity of business school faculty in order to attract, mentor and encourage future minority business students. Having increased the number of minority business professors in the US — to 1,500 from less than 300 — and currently supporting nearly 300 under-represented minorities enrolled in doctoral programs, KPMG in the US has proudly made tremendous strides toward its goal.

three girls looking in google glasses with KPMG logo

Skills for the Future

KPMG Australia’s Skills for the Future program is equipping disadvantaged school children with the skills needed to help them prepare for a successful future. In collaboration with the Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) and its mentoring program, more than 300 of our people participated last year in ABCN mentoring programs nationally, providing more than 2,500 hours of support to 500 students. And 93 percent of students who participated completed year 12 or equivalent — compared with a 74 percent national average and 61 percent from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

National Numeracy Day

KPMG in the UK is proud to be a founding supporter of National Numeracy Day, raising awareness for the importance of numeracy skills at work and in everyday life. Now in its second year, more than 400 organizations have joined the growing movement. KPMG in the UK’s Chairman and Senior Partner, Bill Michael is passionate about this cause — hear why in his video in support of National Numeracy Day in the UK.

Being a purposeful business

Mobility 2030

KPMG in the UK established Mobility 2030 in response to social, technological and economic shifts that are redefining the future mobility sector. Our UK professionals are working across the automotive, public transport, energy, infrastructure, tech and finance sectors to position clients to create new business models, products and services that help the world achieve the UN SDGs.

We are seeing increasing preference from major global investors directing the flow of capital towards companies that are taking proactive steps in this area. Their efforts are poised to reap major tangible benefits going forward as these organizations continue to future-proof themselves and the fashion industry.

Pat Woo
Partner, Business Reporting and Sustainability
KPMG China

Our ambition is for KPMG to play a role at the heart of helping architect cleaner, smarter, connected and more-efficient transport ecosystems in all of our markets.

Charlie Simpson
Partner, Head of Mobility 2030
KPMG in the UK

Sustainable Fashion

Last year, KPMG China, with HSBC and Fashion Summit (Hong Kong (SAR)), launched Sustainable Fashion: Committing to a Sustainable Future through the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. This is in response to the global fashion industry launching the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, an initiative encouraging the industry to take greater steps to address climate change.

Sustainable value creation

Greening the Belt and Road

KPMG, with the City of London’s Green Finance Initiative and the Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking, supported the development of guidance for the Green Investment Principles for the China-initiated Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

The BRI aims to drive major infrastructure and economic development across its international footprint. Financing the initiative requires both public and private investors, with projects having a significant impact on the environment, climate and the prosperity of host communities. Green Investment Principles are designed to align capital with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals, to deliver on the shared vision of inclusive, sustainable, resilient prosperity. 


As an active member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), we have continued to invest in its projects aiming to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. This year we used KPMG’s proprietary Dynamic Risk Assessment tool to enrich understanding of the severity, likelihood, velocity and interconnectedness of environmental, social and governance risks in the food industry. We also powered the development of metrics which businesses can use to measure their progress in transitioning to a circular economy.

SDG icon 12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Global climate response

KPMG’s Global Climate Response was launched in 2008 with the aim of significantly reducing our environmental impact across KPMG 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 graphic
global renewable energy bar graph

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 on an annual basis. 

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.

Our purpose as an organization drives us to make a lasting impact in society, in the communities we operate in and through our collaboration with civil society. 

Read more about our citizenship commitments

1  1 Throughout this web page, “we”, “KPMG”, “us” and “our” refer to the network of independent member firms operating under the KPMG name and affiliated with KPMG International or to one or more of these firms or to KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

Throughout this web page, references to “Firm”, “KPMG firm”, “member firm” and “KPMG member firm” refer to firms which are either: members of KPMG International as a matter of Swisslaw; sublicensee firms of KPMG International; or entities that are owned, managed and controlled by an entity that is a member or a sublicensee. The overall governance structure of KPMG International is provided in the ‘Governance and leadership’ section of the KPMG International Transparency Report.

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