PwC commit to go 100% renewable in sustainability pledge

06 November 2018 3 min. read
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Global professional services firm PwC has joined the RE100 initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. The commitment will see PwC reduce its carbon footprint to zero through a mix of climate change mitigation methods including renewable energies and carbon offsetting. PwC will join big names in the initiative of businesses taking the lead on climate change including Apple, Google and McKinsey & Company as governments across the world falter on the subject.

As global efforts in energy transition, reforestation and decarbonisation move ahead, the private sector has cottoned onto the fact that positive social and environmental impact go hand-in-hand. This has seen many across industries both advance their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies for the better and some less honourable present themselves through a distorted green lens. 

In an attempt to weed out the greenwashers and crown those leading the transition to sustainable business models, RE100 was born. To date, a total of 154 of the world’s most influential companies including tech companies, law firms, professional service firms, financial institutions and retailers have made the pledge. They include Ikea, Bank of America, Decathlon, Facebook, Nike, and Goldman Sachs.

PwC’s commitment to RE100 draws them into an exclusive group of companies which together will accelerate the transformation of the global energy market and aid the transition to a low carbon economy. The commitment relates to 21 of the PwC network’s largest firms which combined account for the vast majority of emissions (88%).

“By joining RE100 and committing to source 100% renewable electricity for its global operations, PwC makes it clear that renewable power is integral to a future-oriented business strategy,” said Mike Peirce, the Corporate Partnerships Director of The Climate Group. “As a network of firms in over 150 countries, PwC is sending a powerful message that business has a key opportunity to grow demand for clean energy across the globe.”

PwC commit to go 100% renewable in sustainability pledge

Whilst PwC have continued to grow over the past few years, the firm has been focused on reducing its carbon footprint simultaneously. Drawing over 60% of energy usage from renewables across the same 88% of its global network, the firm has already made moves on energy transition. However, now that number will grow to 100% by July 2022. In addition to the renewable energy pledge, for (currently) unavoidable emissions like air travel the firm will offset the carbon through a number of initiatives.

PwC Global Leadership Team member and Corporate Responsibility Board Chair, Colm Kelly, said that even whilst the firm’s carbon impact was relatively low, it is still important to take action and tackle emissions. “Operating efficiently is simply good business and these commitments are a great way of keeping up momentum on embedding smarter ways of working. As we work towards our commitment we will offset unavoidable emissions from air travel by investing in high quality projects.”

The carbon offset programs either prevent, reduce or remove carbon from the atmosphere. Selected from a portfolio of projects, each PwC office has chosen their initiative based on their local priorities and each one has been pre-affirmed and verified by independent third parties. Some of the initiatives which PwC has chosen include a biodiversity reserve in Borneo, a wind farm in Turkey, a cook stove project in China, and a landfill gas project in New York state generating electricity for 18,000 homes and creating 420 acres of new wetlands.

Speaking about RE100 as a whole, Bob Moritz, the Global Chairman of PwC said, “We believe business has a key role to play in solving societal challenges alongside other stakeholders. This commitment is for us a recognition of the need to accelerate the pace of change, and individual business commitments, collectively, will make a critical difference to that.”