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PwC on net zero journey and ESG pledge

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Science-based climate targets set by international professional services firm PwC have been validated by a leading environmental organisation.

Announcing their validation by the Science Based Targets initiative, PwC said it reaffirmed the firm’s commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The firm added that the SBTi validation affirms PwC’s net zero approach and timeline.

Arthur Wightman, PwC Bermuda leader and ESG leader, PwC in the Caribbean, said: “This is a major milestone in our net zero journey and ESG commitments.”

PwC said the SBTi validated the firm’s targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent in absolute terms from 2019 levels by 2030 “in line with a 1.5 degree scenario”.

In 2018, according to the SBTi, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that global warming must not exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. To achieve this, greenhouse gas emissions must halve by 2030 – and drop to net zero by 2050.

The Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign is an urgent call-to-action led by the SBTi, UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business Coalition calling for companies to set emissions reduction targets in line with limiting global warming to 1.5C.

PwC said its targets go beyond scope 1 and 2 emissions to include its largest indirect scope 3 emissions. With this approach, PwC said it commits to decarbonising the way it operates and decoupling its business growth from emissions.

Scope 1 are direct GHG emissions from owned or controlled sources, while scope 2 are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling, and scope 3 includes indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain.

Bob Moritz, global chairman of PwC, said: “Climate change is one of the most urgent problems facing our planet today. That is why we have committed to be net zero by 2030, and I am pleased the SBTi has validated our emissions reduction targets. Like our clients, we need to build trust with our stakeholders and deliver sustained outcomes - and tackling our climate impact is crucial to both.”

Gerry Mahon, regional net zero leader, PwC member firms operating in the Caribbean, said: “Our net zero commitment is high on our agenda. While corporate responsibility has long been our focus, in recent years this has increased, leading us to this latest initiative which builds on our existing global environmental commitment.

“The business community has a responsibility to act in solving this important problem and we are determined to play our part in both our own operations and supply chain as well as advising and supporting our clients, working towards a sustainable tomorrow.”

Colm Kelly, global leader for purpose, policy and corporate responsibility for the PwC Network added: “As we support our clients and suppliers in transforming their businesses to achieve net zero, we recognise the importance of actively reducing the climate impact of our own operational footprint – including scope 3 emissions. As such, PwC has committed to meet SBTi’s highest level of ambition and our scope 3 emissions reduction target aligns to the 1.5 degree scenario.”

Globally, PwC said its commitment involves four key areas:

• Operations: Reduce emissions, including a 50 per cent reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions and a 50 per cent absolute reduction in business travel emissions from a 2019 base by 2030. PwC will accelerate its transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity and to mitigate its impacts today, PwC will continue to offset its emissions through high-quality carbon credits.

• Clients: Will work with clients to support their efforts to make a net zero future a reality for all.

• Suppliers: Will engage with key suppliers, encouraging and supporting them to achieve net zero. The company commits that 50 per cent of its global purchased goods and services suppliers by emissions will have set their own science-based targets to reduce their climate impact by 2025.

• Climate agenda: Continue long-standing programme of research and collaboration with business, policy makers, and NGOs to accelerate a net zero economy.

Using 2019 levels as a base year, PwC said it will regularly and transparently report on the progress of its operations’ targets, enhancing its GHG emissions reporting beginning in 2023, utilising expanded reporting based on the World Economic Forum/International Business Council metrics, as well as the recommendations of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.

The SBTi is a partnership between the global environmental research non-profit CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

PwC said the SBTi defines and promotes best practice in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science. It provides technical assistance and expert resources to companies who set science-based targets and brings together a team of experts to provide companies with independent assessment and validation of targets.

To read about PwC Bermuda’s ESG commitments, see www.pwc.com/bm/en/publications/assets/pwc-bermuda-esg-highlights-report-2020.pdf

Arthur Wightman, PwC Bermuda leader and ESG leader, PwC in the Caribbean (File photograph)

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Published September 13, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated September 14, 2021 at 8:04 am)

PwC on net zero journey and ESG pledge

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