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%.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
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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