This year saw COP26 come to Glasgow and some real steps taken towards delivering on ESG commitments
Lynne Baber, Head of Sustainability
Carl Sizer, Head of UK Regions
UK Annual Report 2022

This year saw COP26 come to Glasgow and some real steps taken towards delivering on ESG commitments

Lynne Baber, Head of Sustainability Carl Sizer, Head of UK Regions
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A time for action

Action on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues is a central tenet of our global strategy - The New Equation - and key to delivering on our purpose. This year, we’ve continued to build trust in the climate transition by identifying and implementing strategies that create responsible change. And through our work with our clients, our people and our suppliers, we are accelerating action on a fair and sustainable transition to net zero. We kept the spotlight on how to achieve net zero through our Net Zero Economy Index, and the role technology will play in getting us there with our Net Zero Future 50 report, which revealed the UK’s position as the leading climate tech hub in Europe. Additionally, the launch of our Green Jobs Barometer illustrated the scale of opportunities in the labour market. The pace of change is accelerating but it must move quicker still. That’s why over the last year we continued to upskill our people, launching online training for all staff, along with a Climate in Action course to give those with foundational knowledge further skills to build ESG into the heart of our client services. Ensuring our people are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need means we can meet the demands of our clients, and bring wider societal benefits in line with our purpose.

Getting fit for a decarbonised future

As Baker Hughes embarked on executing an ambitious strategy to become the leading energy technology company, they turned to PwC to help with the transformation.

Energy technology company Baker Hughes faced an industry-wide challenge of helping to meet the world’s increasing demand for energy while accelerating towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Setting the scene

Baker Hughes is an energy technology company operating in more than 120 countries. For more than a century it has developed transformative technology in a world increasingly reliant on energy.

In 2017, the company merged with GE Oil & Gas before separating from GE two years later. Operating in an industry grappling with the challenge of the energy transition, the demerger gave Baker Hughes an opportunity to focus on a decarbonised energy future. This led to an ambitious transformation project to improve efficiencies while using savings to invest in new technologies to help reduce emissions.

The first aspect of this critical project was internal transformation, and the development of new products and services to support a reduction in emissions.

“Working alongside PwC has been fundamental in giving us the tools and methodologies to help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and identify cost savings in our operations.”
We worked with energy technology company Baker Hughes on a carbon reduction programme to meet a 2030 target of reducing its operational emissions by 50%

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How we helped

In 2019, Baker Hughes became one of the first companies in the industry to publicly commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. With a well-established relationship already in place, Baker Hughes turned to us to help deliver its ambitious plans.

In 2021, with the strategic direction approved by the board and the cost-reduction programme delivering results, our work took on a new focus: carbon reduction. We had a clear aim of enabling the company to rapidly implement a carbon reduction programme and meet its 2030 target of a 50% reduction in operational emissions.

Essential to the success of the project was ensuring the PwC team was firmly embedded within Baker Hughes to enable close collaboration. The client needed fast, sustainable change so we set up a central team to define and drive the plan.

This team then developed an assessment model to measure ESG strategy and maturity, based on a net zero framework co-created by Microsoft and PwC.

This enabled Baker Hughes to understand the scale and impact of the carbon emissions produced by its operations. Combined with a Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) analysis, the company quickly understood the benefits and opportunities of embracing a clean energy future.

Key components of the framework included operational cost - and carbon - reduction, risk identification and net zero commitment targets, all backed with a focus on reporting accuracy.

23% 50% 23% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions A target of 50% operational emissions by 2030

Making a difference

As a result of the projects, Baker Hughes saw more than $500 million in cost savings in 2020. The company is also developing new products and services, and helping customers and suppliers decarbonise their own operations.

Baker Hughes has achieved a 23% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions since 2019. Its leadership and wider workforce are now clear about which parts of the business emit the most and what they should focus on reducing first. Employees also have a structured process to support emissions reduction, helping the company meet its interim 2030 reduction target.

Aligning with our purpose, we continue to support the client with its transformation from an oil & gas services company to a leading energy technology player for the post-carbon era.

Supporting low carbon projects

Our work supporting Government and international bodies continued with the likes of CASA (Climate Ambition Support Alliance), which strengthens the capacity and supports the engagement of climate-vulnerable countries in international climate negotiations, and the Climate Finance Accelerator Programme, which supports low-carbon projects across eight middle-income countries.

We’ve also continued to support the UN High Level Climate Champions, with two of our experts taking their years of climate experience on secondment to help deliver the hugely important work connecting the initiatives of governments around the world with voluntary and collaborative actions. Bridget Jackson (Director, Sustainability) leads business engagement for the High-Level Champions and Kiran Sura (Senior Manager, Sustainability) provides geopolitical and strategic advice to inform country engagement.

Our carbon bubble, which represents one tonne of carbon, was on display at Westminster Cathedral Piazza in the summer, before returning to Trafalgar Square in October. These displays were part of our work with Westminster Council and Count Us In to raise awareness of climate change and our individual impacts.

More than 2,000 of our people made pledges through the Count Us In initiative, which would save an estimated one million kilograms of CO2.

Managing our
ESG impact
As a firm we’re continually finding ways to address our environmental impacts, drive efficiencies and reduce our carbon footprint.

View all the data

Marking our progress

We continue to try to reduce the climate impact of our business and supply chain, while increasing engagement with our people. We’ve increased the transparency of our performance and progress against our targets with the launch of our Integrated Reporting Hub.

This year saw the conclusion of our latest set of challenging five-year environmental targets, covering carbon emissions; energy, paper and water consumption; and waste/recycling, which illustrated the substantial progress we are making since our baseline year of 2007.

We were awarded a platinum sustainability rating by Ecovadis for the second successive year, who also recognised us as a carbon management leader. We were also the first business to achieve the Advancing tier of the Carbon Trust’s Route to Net Zero Standard, which recognises our progress on the journey to Net Zero.

COP26 and beyond

COP26 came to Glasgow in November 2021 (see story on this page) and our new Net Zero Hub in our Glasgow office became a base for our global presence at the event. From the 750 visitors to our Hub, to our presence at UN-managed Blue and Green zone events and daily firmwide livestreams, we invested in this opportunity to showcase our ESG capabilities and engage our clients and people on the climate agenda.

When COP26 came to Glasgow

COP26, the UN's main annual climate change conference, brought 40,000 delegates to Scotland in November 2021 and was crucial for keeping hopes alive of limiting global warming this century to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

COP26 set a marker for how we are helping organisations across the world improve their impact on the environment by becoming more resilient, agile and sustainable.

Setting the scene

COP26 brought world and business leaders to Glasgow for a crucial two week conference that would shape the climate agenda for the 2020s.

To coincide with the conference launch, we opened our first Net Zero Hub. The facility in our Glasgow office, where more than 400 of our people are based, was established to showcase our Net Zero capabilities, and represented a 73% reduction in the carbon footprint, compared to the previous space.

Our global and UK leadership teams were on site and engaged in conversations with our clients on how we can help them transition to a Net Zero world, while we held daily live streams from Glasgow for our own people to ensure they could be part of the conversation.

“COP26 provided a platform for showcasing how all parts of the global system are beginning to converge around the urgency of increased ambition and action. Business now needs to step up and deliver on the promises set out.”
COP26 came to Glasgow in November 2021, allowing PwC the opportunity to showcase our ESG capabilities and engage our people on the biggest issue facing the world.

How we helped

Throughout COP26 our people were able to engage with our clients on the biggest challenge facing the world. We hosted a number of events with businesses and charities in our Net Zero Hub. while a number of business leaders attended our C-suite roundtable.

The hub was a focal point for business conversations about climate, and we were able to support our clients - public and private - by offering a shared space and a series of themed events. There was also significant interest in Net Zero transformation, and we were able to give clients guidance on regulatory changes.

Fundamentally, supporting a Net Zero transition is an important expression of our purpose. We want to build trust in the climate transition and help our clients meet Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.

Our UK ESG strategy, which launched in September 2021, places an emphasis on helping organisations transform sustainably; building the credibility of their reporting - particularly around non-financial metrics and climate reporting - and supporting skills and jobs to ensure a fair transition to Net Zero.

Making a difference

We welcomed more than 750 visitors to our newly created Net Zero Hub. We also published 22 pieces of thought leadership in the run-up to and during COP26.

Internally, more than 3,100 people accessed our COP26 toolkit and over 10,000 tuned into our daily live streams from Glasgow.

We also encouraged our people to reduce their carbon emissions through the Count Us In initiative.

A number of our people featured in events in the UN-managed Blue & Green zones at the conference, while we also hosted six in-person events with strategic partners in our Glasgow Office. We also hosted two ‘carbon bubble’ events to raise the public’s awareness of COP26 in Trafalgar Square and outside Westminster Cathedral.

750 visitors to the Net Zero Hub 3,100 people accessed our COP26 toolkit 10,000 tuned into our daily Live Streams

Social impact

Additionally, this year we met our target of spending £10m with social enterprises as part of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge. Our supplier forum was focused on climate-tech, and we are continuing to upskill our suppliers with the launch of Net Zero Springboard, a programme to help kick-start our suppliers’ decarbonisation journey, and eventually set a SBTi approved reduction target.

We also established a new Social Value Fund. Aligned to our inclusion and sustainability agenda, the fund supports firmwide and cross-industry activities that will deliver societal, environmental, and economic benefits for the communities we serve - from delivery partnerships with voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises (VCSEs) to supporting disadvantaged groups or communities and environmental projects.

As we embark on another important year enabling the transition, we’ve brought together our Sustainability & Climate Change advisory business with our Sustainability Risk practice to create PwC Sustainability. This new, enlarged practice, led by Lynne Baber, was established in response to growing demand from clients for support on all aspects of the climate transition and wider ESG agenda.

Our Carbon Emissions/Circular Economy/Water and Land Use data to be published in Phase 2 (19 October 2022)

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