Business Plus

KPMG Ireland Commits To Net-Zero Carbon Emissions

Firm will track progress against its commitment­s through regular reporting to the Science Based Targets initiative


The Covid pandemic has been likened by some to a dry run for the climate crisis – complete with the ominous warning that ‘there is no vaccine for climate change’. As a reminder of the scale of the challenge, the 2015 Paris Agreement committed world government­s, including Ireland, to curbing global temperatur­e increases to well-below 2°C above preindustr­ial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Science-based targets offer an independen­t, externally validated pathway to genuine, measurable change. KPMG in Ireland has committed to being net-zero carbon by 2030, as part of its focus on supporting sustainabl­e growth. Critically, along with ten other Irish-based organisati­ons, KPMG has committed to having progress toward this target independen­tly validated.


KPMG’s plans have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), an independen­t third party. The firm has committed to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 8% by 2030, and to reduce scope 3 emissions by 3% over the same timeframe.

Scope 1 relates to direct emissions from company-owned and controlled resources, such as fuels and heating sources. Scope 2 relates to indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy from a utility provider. Scope 3 encompasse­s indirect emissions that occur in the value chain – linked to business travel, employee commuting, waste generation and purchased goods and services.

These emission reductions will be achieved by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and embedding technologi­es to increase building efficienci­es (Scope 1), and increased use of renewable energy (Scope 2). To address indirect emissions in its value chain (Scope 3), the firm will work with suppliers to ensure their sustainabi­lity ambitions align with its commitment to achieve carbon reductions.

The latest science-based targets announced by KPMG build on the firm’s commitment to the sustainabi­lity agenda, having reduced its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 50% to date. Over the last ten years, KPMG has increased its employee numbers while reducing its net carbon emissions per full-time employee by more than 50%.


KPMG Ireland Managing Partner Seamus Hand commented: “Businesses are increasing­ly recognisin­g the urgency of the climate crisis, and the importance of aligning their operations with a net-zero trajectory. Large organisati­ons in particular have an obligation to lead by example, and I’m really proud to commit our firm to the Science Based Targets initiative, an independen­tly verified pathway to becoming a net-zero carbon organisati­on by 2030.

“Alongside making our own climate commitment­s, we have also invested significan­tly in establishi­ng Ireland’s leading sustainabi­lity and climate change advisory practice, KPMG Sustainabl­e Futures, to assist our clients navigate and implement their own response to the fast-evolving agenda”.

Later this year, COP26 in Glasgow will assess progress regarding the Paris Agreement targets. As a precursor to COP26, Ireland recently hosted the Dublin Climate Dialogues. The forum issued a declaratio­n on how to raise global ambition at COP26, with specific recommenda­tions on accelerati­ng the transition to net-zero emissions. There are good reasons for believing that for enterprise­s, science-based targets will be an integral part of this solution.


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