PwC has managed to reduce its carbon footprint by 29% over the past decade and is aiming to reach 40% by 2022, the firm has revealed

Much of the reduction since 2007 has come from cutting energy consumption in its UK offices but the Big Four firm also revealed that it has reduced business travel by 4%, and its recycling policy means it now sends 86% of its waste to reuse or recycling.

Over the same timescale it has increased its business revenues by 44%.

The firm is now keen to pass on its experience to other businesses that are interested in decarbonising their operations. It has published a report, Acting on Carbon: Our 10-year Journey, which explains what initiatives it has taken – including those that failed – to reduce its footprint.

“Along our 10-year journey we’ve learnt a lot and have been able to pioneer new, environmentally-friendly technologies, which are now used more widely across the industry,” said PwC chairman and senior partner Kevin Ellis.

“Reducing our carbon footprint has also had financial benefits, showing that economic success and doing the right thing can go hand-in-hand.”

PwC says that it has halved its energy consumption since 2007, thanks to simple policies of switching lights off out of hours and changing to renewable electricity contracts. The firm has also redesigned and refurbished offices and invested in new low carbon technology, including the use of tri-generators that run on used cooking oil. It has also achieved zero waste to landfill for the past five years.

As a result, PwC has succeeded in cutting its associated greenhouse gas emissions by 77% since 2007.

On the back of its success, the firm has now announced a new series of targets over the next five years. As well as cutting total carbon by 40%, it intends to procure 100% renewable electricity by then and continue to reduce the level of business travel.

PwC’s head of corporate sustainability Bridget Jackson says that the firm does not have all the answers. “But,” she adds, “we hope that our journey helps and inspires other businesses to accelerate their own carbon emissions reduction programmes.”

The report reveals that when the firm first set the original targets in 2007 it was hoping to reduce carbon emission by 25%, hold carbon emission from business travel flat and reduce energy consumption by half.

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