While we deal holistically with our impacts, our priority is to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and, as a result, help reduce our contribution toward climate change. We have taken this approach because we recognize the effects that a changing climate will have on society and on the environment around us. In addition, we know there are specific risks to our clients' businesses and to the communities in which we operate, including supply chain disruptions, severe weather, and rising costs of natural resources, food, and other commodities.
At the same time that climate change presents risks to our firm, it also presents us with opportunities to more fully support our clients. As a trusted advisor to many of the world's largest companies, we are uniquely positioned to help companies work through strategic issues related to sustainability. Strategy creation; employee engagement; GHG footprinting; and tax, auditing, assurance, and related reporting issues are just a few of the areas in which we help our clients manage risks and opportunities. Further, not only does our work in the area allow us to leverage our expertise in support of our clients, it is a tangible example of how we live our values, and thus an advantage in competing for talented people to work at PwC. In addition, in our own operations, we are finding cost savings associated with our environmental stewardship program.
In FY07 we measured and analyzed our carbon footprint for the first time. As a result, we set a carbon reduction goal and developed programs to cut our GHGs by 20% by FY12, compared to an FY07 baseline. We also committed to address other environmental aspects of our operations, such as paper use and office waste. While paper and waste reduction do not have a material effect on our GHGs, they are daily reminders of our impact and they help our employees stay engaged with the bigger issues.
In FY11 we reached our reduction goal ahead of schedule, and we are currently developing a new set of goals to challenge ourselves. Importantly, we will continue to set our goals in terms of absolute GHG reductions. However, we also continue to monitor our normalized emissions, measured in emissions per employee (CO2/FTE). As we continue to grow our business organically and via acquisitions, it is crucial that we operate ever more efficiently, and the normalized metrics help us to monitor that.
Our overall progress in terms of CO2/FTE has been heading in the right direction, declining from 9.2 in FY08 to 7.3 in FY11 – an indication that we’re operating more efficiently. However, in FY11 we saw a rise in our absolute GHG emissions, due to increased air travel, and we are looking for new ways to limit that impact while continuing to deliver the excellence for which we are known.