PwC is truly green: we don't just talk about the importance of social and environmental issues, we make a real contribution every day

April 2023

How does PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) help save the environment, while building trust and solving important problems in society, as described by the company's mission? Merili Vares, Head of ESG at PwC Estonia, gave an overview of PwC's latest developments.

One of the biggest environmental problems of our time is climate change. As the world's largest business consulting organisation, PwC has made contributing to solving the problem a global priority and has pledged to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 ("Net Zero by 2030"). This strategy includes changing the way we work, promoting voluntary carbon credit projects and much more. But sustainability in the company's mindset is important not only for the company itself, but also for customers and the entire team, including potential new employees.


PwC employees cleaning forest

An office with energy class A 

The current office of PwC Estonia is environmentally friendly. In 2022, the PwC office building on Pärnu road in Tallinn was to be renovated, so we had to start looking for a new location. About ten different buildings in the city centre, the suburbs and in between were carefully considered. Finally an office building that was planned to be built next door to the existing office was decided in favour for. The decisive factor was the location in the well-proven traffic and public transport hub, which allows employees to reduce the use of cars and commute more easily by public transport. The planned environmental friendliness of the new building was also an important factor - the building has a BREEAM certificate in addition to energy class A.

BREEAM is the world's leading science-based validation and certification system for sustainable construction. Since 1990, BREEAM standards have helped to improve the performance of buildings at every stage, from design to construction, operation and renovation.

Smart curtains 

Large windows and high ceilings allow maximum light to enter the offices, thereby reducing energy costs for lighting and heating. In summer, transparent outdoor curtains that automatically descend in front of the windows protect against excessive solar heat, keeping cooling costs low. Partial temperature control is carried out through open concrete surfaces, which, depending on the season, efficiently accumulate both heat and cold. In winter, energy-efficient underfloor heating adds additional warmth. PwC was able to move into the new Kawe City office building at Tatari 1 in the autumn of 2022. 

Some things are different in the new office: all the lights are LED-based and therefore economical. In the common rooms of the building, lighting with motion sensors is used, turning on and off automatically when people enter or exit the room. The solar panels located on the roof of the building help to reduce the overall electricity costs of the building. The office climate is regulated by a central climate system.

Sorting is popular, but the office is digital 

Everyone does not have a trash can at their desk, but the trash is sorted before being thrown away in the waste paper, metal and plastic, bio-waste or general waste boxes in the corridors. The new LED monitors procured for individual workplaces are also more energy efficient. Although there are printers on every floor, they rarely print these days - the office is paperless to the maximum extent. In addition to the greatest possible digitisation of internal work, the greatest possible digitisation of customer workflows is also supported and offered as a separate service. The option to work from a home office is supported, which for those who are suitable for it, saves time and resources spent on commuting. For those who prefer to work in an office, there are offices in the conventional sense as well as open areas where anyone can reserve a desk. Since travelling from Tallinn is more time-consuming and expensive compared to most other European capitals, mostly online meetings are held with foreign colleagues and clients. It is preferred to come to work by walking, running or bicycling: the office has shower rooms for employees to use, while there is a safe place to store bicycles in the garage on the basement floor. In the underground parking garage of the building, charging points are ready for electric cars.

Sustainable gifts 

Other factors also support environmental protection and sustainability. For example, employees have the option of forgoing a birthday gift and replacing it with a charitable donation to an organisation of their choice. In addition, each PwC employee has the opportunity to use 16 paid charity working hours during the year, eight of which have been requested to be used for the purpose of supporting Ukraine. These hours are primarily intended for doing joint good deeds with colleagues, which mostly have an environmental purpose. If the chosen charity incurs costs, the company compensates them to a certain extent. By acting together, the contributions can be combined and thus the good deed can grow quite significantly. When preparing PwC corporate souvenirs, environmental friendliness and sustainability factors are always taken into account and the impact chains accompanying the product are monitored.

Centre for Nature Positive Business 

In addition to all of the above, PwC has just launched a global Centre for Nature Positive Business - a competence centre to even better understand the impact of human activities on the environment and, together with clients, contribute to the preservation of the planet's natural diversity. According to a new analysis by PwC, companies need to change their business models immediately if they want to mitigate their impact on nature, manage risk and achieve sustainable results, not only for the future of their company, but for the planet and society at large. PwC advisors can assist their clients on this journey towards environmental sustainability. 

More information about the competence centre:

Contact us

PwC Tallinn

Tallinn, PwC Estonia

Tel: +372 6141 800

Follow us