KPMG began World Environment Day today by hosting a series of events around the UK with the award-winning producer of BBC’s Blue Planet II, Mark Brownlow, to raise awareness of the environmental issues effecting the globe. The events also aim to encourage individuals at the firm to think about how they can make a difference.
During the events, colleagues will be able to gain further insight into KPMG UK’s environmental programmes. These cover KPMG’s plastics commitment, the impact they are having on the business, the individual, and the wider environment, whilst making their own personal pledges to improve their environmental footprint.
“At KPMG we know that to be a responsible business we need to take positive action towards the issues we are seeing in today’s environment, and not just pay lip service,” said vice chair of KPMG UK, David Sayer. “We are working hard to reduce our environmental impact by operating in the most efficient way possible, and we are proud to have reduced our carbon emissions by 27%, exceeding our target of 20% reduction by 2020,” he added.
Following on from the launch of the firm’s “Waste in our Time” campaign, which was introduced last year, KPMG has provided all of its UK staff with re-usable water bottles to make their plastics commitment a reality. Through the removal of plastic water cups, the switch to metal cutlery and replacing more than 3 million plastic vending cups with compostable and paper alternatives, the firm has so far successfully removed 7.4 million items of single use plastics from all national offices.
“Through the firm’s “Waste in our Time” campaign we have seen a number of positive changes both on an individual and an organisational level. We have saved approximately 225 trees and 1000 bags of general waste each month through replacing paper hand towels in the toilets of two of our largest offices with energy efficient hand driers,” Sayer said.
“We have saved our staff in excess of £7,000 over the past year through offering 15p discount when utilising reusable coffee cups, and our plastics reduction throughout our UK offices has been phenomenal, this is all down to the commitment of our staff to provide a better place for everyone to work,” he added.
Sayer also acknowledged that being a socially responsible firm is becoming increasingly important to attract the best young talent.
“On a purely business level, our environmental impact is important to both our clients and our suppliers who are increasingly asking us more detailed and sophisticated questions about the work we are doing. We also need to get this right in order to attract the best talent, as we know that millennials and Gen Z are increasingly seeking out socially responsible employers above all others, so the need for continuous improvement on our part has never been greater,” he said.
Dan Thomas, Head of Corporates, KPMG UK added, “World Environment Day is challenging us all on what we can do to help beat air pollution. The corporate world has a huge role to play and promisingly, five firms a week are now setting sustainability targets.
“Where we are starting to see real momentum is around the use of plastics; in addition, to creating a cleaner, safer environment, this will help the problem of air pollution too. Global plastic production emits 400megatons of greenhouse gases each year – that’s more than the UK’s total carbon footprint.