Tackling climate change is core to our purpose. This year was set to signal a decade of major action to cut carbon and protect the planet - the UK had become the first major country to set a target of reaching Net Zero by 2050 at the latest. But then the pandemic came along …
We’re now going to talk to Emma Cox, our Head of Purpose about tackling the climate crisis.
Hi Emma, so could you tell us a little bit more about what we have been doing over the last year to help tackle climate change?
That’s a really great question, I’m actually really proud of our record on corporate sustainability. This year, we managed to hit our 2022 target of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a full two years early - before covid struck. And that means, actually, taking account of covid our 2020 results show a 60% drop in our greenhouse gas emissions.
But we’ve also been working very closely with our clients. Helping them address their sustainability challenges and think about low carbon transition and net zero.
For example we are a strong supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, and we’re working with many clients on helping them implement those recommendations.
We’re also working with our key suppliers, and we ran our annual Sustainability Forum on Net Zero this year. Helping over 30 of our key suppliers think about their own net zero strategies.
But we can and must do more. So we’re going to be focusing in the future on continuing to reduce our environmental impact and helping our clients to do the same.
Hi Emma - During lockdown people were spending more time at home, less time travelling and more time enjoying their local environment. We started to see that this had a positive impact on the environment. How can we build on this positive impact?
That’s another good question and you’re right, there’s lots of discussion about how we can lock in some of the benefits. And I know that I really enjoyed the quieter roads,the cleaner air and particularly having a little bit more time, with less time spent commuting.
But we can’t and shouldn’t suppress activity to the levels we’ve recently been experiencing. So we need to think how we do things differently in the long term and I firmly believe economic recovery and a green recovery shouldn’t be competing priorities, but we should work on them together.
Hi Emma - What can we do to support and shape a green recovery?
It’s a big challenge isn’t it. A green recovery needs to stimulate the economy and at the same time create long term sustainable jobs. And I think technology, innovation and skills are all going to play a really important part in this. But also, governments and business have to work together more than ever to ensure that focus on low carbon economic growth.
At PwC we’re going to continue to focus on where we can best use our skills to support a green recovery, building low carbon transition into everything we do, but also really working with our clients to help them focus on low carbon transition and net zero strategies at the same time.
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Corporate Affairs, PwC United Kingdom