ESG (environmental, social, and governance) isn't about ticking a box. It's about making a difference for the world and for your business. And we're determined to play our part.
Sustainability is an inherent part of our business. As a firm we are committed to playing a leading role in achieving a sustainable future. This means that we are accountable for our actions and promote responsible business practices in the marketplace. The business community has a key role to play in society and creating value for the common good. We need to ensure we create a positive impact for society and nature. It is no longer just about the E of ESG, but also the S and the G.
To ensure we are part of the solution, we are working to:
The success of our global commitment rests upon the progress that territories will make towards net zero. PwC Ireland has established a net zero team and governance structure, with responsibility for the planning and execution of the net zero objective and local territory action plan.
We have committed to reducing our total greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. This will involve investing in energy-efficiency improvements in our offices and halving the emissions associated with business travel and accommodation.
In FY 2019, emissions associated with flights alone represented approximately 85% of PwC's total carbon footprint. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to remote working and demonstrated the feasibility of new client delivery models, as part of a long-term transformation of our services.
We will also invest into carbon removal projects and have committed to this for FY 2022. Such projects will be selected on the basis of quality criteria and verification of the carbon reduction impact, and will also support broader local economic and social development co-benefits.
In July 2021, our targets were independently validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). SBTi's validation affirms PwC's approach and timeline to achieve its net-zero 2030 commitment. Importantly, PwC's targets go beyond scopes 1 and 2 emissions to include our largest indirect scope 3 emissions. Additionally, PwC has committed to the United Nations Race To Zero campaign and Business Ambition for 1.5°C, which aims to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy.
Reducing carbon emissions is critical to our net zero commitment. Continuous improvements to energy efficiencies and reducing air travel are considered key priorities.
Our priority is to minimise our carbon impact, offsetting is an important component of our Territory Action Plan to mitigate the impact of unavoidable emissions.
Communicating our net zero commitment to our people, clients and stakeholders is a crucial part of our Territory Action Plan.
We are looking to empower our people to make informed decisions around mobility and sustainability. We will bring our people on the net zero journey through engagement and upskilling.
We plan to engage with our clients and supply chain in a way that encourages them to decarbonise their own operations.
We have had the Green Team for a number of years. This has now evolved into a new Sustainability Council, which will encourage greater engagement and action across the firm.
PwC Dublin moved into One Spencer Dock in April 2007. Given the scale and nature of this construction project, a key objective throughout the building planning, design and fit-out stages was to ensure it was as energy-efficient as could be achieved at the time. These measures included:
Within five years of moving into Spencer Dock and with the development of improved technologies considerable improvements were identified within our heating, cooling and ventilation and lighting systems resulting in further reductions in energy consumption. These improvements included:
We also now install LED lighting and VRF heat pump air conditioning systems in new office developments.
In retrofitting more energy-efficient plants and equipment, we have cut our primary utility consumption by almost half since 2008.
More recently, significant progress has been made in the area of renewable energy with all PwC Ireland offices availing of 100% renewable electric energy, resulting in zero emissions.
Our Sustainability Council continues to engage with our people through awareness campaigns and local events and are the driving force behind many of our environmental and behavioral change initiatives within the Firm. Some notable achievements to date include;
On average we recycle approx 79% of our total waste with the remaining 21% of our waste recovered as solid fuel or within a waste-to-energy plant. As a result, none of our waste is sent to landfill.
In 2018, we replaced all plastic bottles from our in-house catering vendors with greener alternatives i.e., cans or glass bottles. This achieved an annual reduction of 22K plastic bottles from entering PwC waste streams.
In 2018, we introduced biodegradable coffee cups to our Spencer Dock coffee docks and in 2019 extended our biodegradable offerings to all takeaway containers and cutlery. Since, we have reduced our general waste by 7%.
We rebrand and refresh our waste stations on a regular basis and introduced designated coffee-cup waste stations.
In 2019, we removed all hardcopy newspapers, replacing these with online subscriptions for employees.
In 2020, we moved to 100% recycled photocopying paper.
The Sustainability Council also runs various events throughout the year. These include; WEEE Recycling Days, Bicycle Servicing Weeks and awareness campaigns such as Stop Food Waste, Water Conservation.
All of the above has contributed greatly in enabling PwC Ireland to achieve an International Organisation for Standardisation Accreditation; ISO 14001 Environmental Management and The Business in the Community Business Working Responsibly (BWR) mark in 2017 and again in 2020.
PwC is a signatory of the BITCI Low Carbon Pledge. We have also recently signed up to "The Green Pledge" which aims to be a tool to encourage and support firms in the Irish Funds industry and to reduce carbon emissions, and take action on sustainability issues.