Climate change is one of the most pressing problems facing our world today and, in particular, for the Middle East region, which is vulnerable to the climate crisis. At PwC Middle East, we believe the business community has a key role to play in accelerating the transition to a greener tomorrow - and we’re determined to play our part. On 15th September 2020, we’ve made a worldwide science-based commitment to reducing our total greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in absolute terms, by 2030.
Our net zero commitment is underpinned by a science-based target in line with a 1.5 degree scenario to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, as set out in the Paris Agreement. The commitment includes supporting our clients and suppliers to reduce their emissions as well as reducing those from our own operations.
This bold commitment means we are decarbonising the way we operate, including a 50% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions and a 50% reduction in business travel emissions from a 2019 base. Furthermore, we will accelerate our transition to 100% renewable electricity, which supports our goal of becoming 100% renewable in the Middle East by 2022.
In addition to taking these steps, we will continue supporting carbon removal projects, building on our 2018 environmental commitment. This means that 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. To mitigate our impacts today, we will continue to offset our emissions through high-quality carbon credits. For more information about PwC’s global carbon offsetting portfolio, click here.
At PwC Middle East, we recognise our responsibility to accelerate decarbonization. It is in the interests of everyone that we see systemic change that aims to avert climate catastrophe and unlocks the potential of green growth.
As solar energy in the Middle-East region witness a significant growth in the market, in an effort to achieve ambitious plans in the race to Net Zero, we at PwC Middle East are excited to contribute and be part of this journey.
With more than 26 offices accounting for about 15% of our total carbon emissions, we have made the decision to switch to renewable electricity. As global members for RE100, we are proud to announce that our Egypt, Jordan and UAE offices are now powered by 100% renewable electricity from solar sources.
It is a major step towards achieving our goal of NetZero by 2030 and as countries move closer to embrace clean electricity, we shall continue to look for further opportunities to decarbonise our operations.
PwC supports reform that puts the needs of stakeholders at the heart of the market economy and connects goals, actions and outcomes into desired social and economic results that fuel long-term sustainability. Supporting the net zero transition is a key part of this process.
As stakeholder expectations rise, organisations increasingly need to report on their environmental and social impacts and demonstrate progress. As a result, there is a greater need for consistent, comparable ESG standards so investors and other stakeholders can clearly see how businesses are creating long-term value for the organisation and society.
We were pleased to see the significant support for the IFRS Foundation Trustees proposal to create an Independent International Sustainability Standards board (ISSB) to drive convergence as a global standard setter for comprehensive sustainability reporting. We fully support these efforts to facilitate a coherent approach to standard setting, with interconnectivity between financial and non-financial reporting.
We recognise that some territories may wish to move faster than the ISSB and are supportive of the ‘building blocks’ approach to achieve this. In moving beyond where the ISSB is likely to be, it will be important to leverage the best of existing standards and recommendations issued by existing bodies (e.g. the World Economic Forum Stakeholder Capitalism metrics and the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the Value Reporting Foundation (SASB standards) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)).
We also contribute to a broader understanding of the importance of net zero and how to achieve it. Our Net Zero Economy Index tracks the rate of decarbonisation in each of the G20 economies, highlighting what more is needed to achieve the Paris Agreement. We have also launched a practical guide, “Building Blocks for Net Zero Business Transformation”, which is aimed at helping companies of all sectors and sizes move from net zero pledges to wholescale business transformation. The research has been produced in association with Microsoft, who PwC advises on net zero transformation, as a contribution to the CEO-led Transform to Zero initiative.
With a crucial year of global climate action ahead in the lead up to the United Nation’s COP26 climate change negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, we are working with the UK Government, other parties and non-state actors to help set the stage for a successful COP26. Key to this is helping our clients to set, plan and deliver commitments to reach net zero by mid-century and accelerate near term action towards this goal. Policy, finance, technology and innovation will play a crucial role in delivering a resilient and just net zero transition.
We have prepared our first set of disclosures in response to the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) for the PwC network.
This TCFD report represents an important step as we execute our strategy to deliver trust and sustained outcomes, bringing our purpose to life and leading within the business community on climate-related challenges.