Our carbon emissions are relatively low compared to many sectors, as we set out in our statement on climate-related financial risk. However, they’re our biggest environmental impact, and we want to play our part in contributing to the UK Government’s targets of cutting greenhouse gases by 37% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, against 1990 levels.
Having reduced our total carbon emissions by 29% between 2007 and 2017, we set new targets to go further by 2022, compared to the same baseline. These are:
These also support the targets for PwC globally.
We’ve seen a 35% reduction in our total emissions since 2007 (scope 1, 2 & 3) and are making good progress towards our 2022 target. This includes a reduction of 90% in our combined Scope 1 & 2 emissions, which has also helped us to save an estimated £30m in operational energy and carbon costs over that period.
Our carbon management strategy involves:
We follow a rigorous process to calculate our carbon emissions, using GHG Protocol and Defra guidelines, and we report them transparently each year in our annual scorecard, which is published with our Annual Report. We’ve held the Carbon Trust standard since 2009, for measuring, managing and reducing our carbon emissions; and we hold the Carbon Trust Supply Chain level 2 standard. We also support the global PwC network response to the CDP.
While we’ve significantly reduced our carbon emissions since 2007, the remaining emissions we produce still contribute to climate change, so we offset them to achieve carbon neutrality, by purchasing credits from carbon offsetting projects.
In 2017, using our Total impact framework, we estimated the societal impact of our total greenhouse gas emissions at £65m. However, only 0.1% of it was attributable to our direct operations, down 45% from five years earlier. The vast majority fell outside of our own operations, and we’re continuing to try to understand ways to reduce this impact with our key suppliers.
Each year we ask our key suppliers to provide us with information which allows us to assess their environmental performance. We have a target for 80% of our key suppliers to have carbon emissions targets by 2022 and 47% reported that they had these in place by 2019. We also host a sustainability forum each year, to upskill and encourage suppliers to decarbonise. This year our focus was on net zero emissions and was favourably received.
Chief Sustainability Officer, PwC United Kingdom