In 2020, PwC announced our worldwide science-based commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. This includes making energy efficiency improvements in our offices, halving our scope 1, 2 and scope 3 business travel emissions from a 2019 base year by 2030, and switching to 100% renewable electricity across our network.
In addition to taking these steps, we will support carbon removal projects, including natural climate solutions. For every remaining tonne (CO2 equivalent) that we emit, we will remove a tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, to achieve net zero climate impact by 2030. Our projects will be selected on the basis of quality criteria and verification of the carbon reduction impact, and will also support broader local economic and social development co-benefits.
In 2018, PwC set a commitment to offset all scope 3 air travel emissions, our largest single source of emissions, by 2023, this will include scope 1 and 2 residual emissions. To continue to actively reduce the climate impact of our operational footprint as we reduce our emissions towards net zero in 2030, we will continue to offset our emissions through high-quality carbon credits that help address the climate crisis alongside other sustainable development goals. At PwC, we believe that to reduce the amount of GHG in the atmosphere we will need to deploy a full range of solutions and our current carbon offset portfolio focuses on both larger markets and developing economies where projects support significant co-benefits such as protecting critical ecosystems and the health and livelihoods in rural communities.
Since 2018, the projects PwC supports have helped create and sustain sustainable landscapes, support local economic and social development, renewable markets and the development of a mature voluntary carbon market. This year the projects we, and others, have supported have collectively impacted over 77 million people, protected and restored over 510,000 hectares of land and created over 134,000 new full time jobs.¹
To further our support in reducing GHG in the atmosphere and protecting existing biodiversity, we recently joined the LEAF (Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance) coalition, to support what is expected to become one of the largest ever public-private efforts to protect the world’s tropical forests.
Source: 1. Natural Capital Partners
Air travel is an essential part of how we service our clients, but it is also one of the largest sources of our carbon emissions. The ongoing international and domestic travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that in FY21, we saw a 92% decrease in our scope 3 air travel emissions from the previous year. As the world emerges from the global pandemic we will leverage progress already made in addressing our air travel emissions such as:
With support from our major supplier, Natural Capital Partners, PwC firms select carbon offset portfolios to reflect local priorities. Underpinning our approach is a set of strict quality criteria, including verification by an independent third party to market leading standards or protocol.
The carbon offset projects that we support all adhere to at least one of the below global verification standards.
Is a voluntary carbon offset programme focussed on progressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It focusses on projects that provide sustainable social, economic and environmental solutions and benefits.
The Climate Action Reserve is committed to transparent processes, multi-stakeholder participation and rigorous standards to help earn confidence that registered emissions reductions are real, additional, verifiable, enforceable and permanent.
The Verified Carbon Standard ensures that credits are additional, measurable, conservative, permanent, independently verified, unique numbers and transparently listed.
ACR project requires methodology approval, project validation and verification and all undergo public comment and blind scientific peer review.
ERF methods ensure projects are additional and specify the type of emissions avoidance or carbon storage.