The large global consultancy firm, Accenture, has released figures in its corporate citizenship report showing it has cut its carbon emissions per employee by 36% compared to its emissions in 2007. It says this has largely been achieved by increased use of video conferencing rather than flying, and also green procurement standards. Accenture says its CO2 emissions per person have now fallen from 4.0 metric tons to 2.6 metric tons per year, and over 80% is from flying + use of electricity. They champion “sustainable growth” [oxymoron] by using virtual collaboration technologies and exploring alternative travel arrangements. The company’s total carbon emissions have risen by 26% between 2009 and 2013, as the company grew. The proportion of total CO2 emissions from flying is around 51% and has been that level (51% – 56%) since 2009. The carbon savings by Accenture mirror the savings achieved by companies working with the WWF-UK “One in Five” campaign which encourages a number of large UK firms to cut their flying by 20% over 5 years. Many far surpassed this target.
Accenture press release at Accenture Releases 2012–2013 Corporate Citizenship Report
This report says, on air travel:
“To make our work less travel intensive, we have made significant investments in virtual collaboration technology, focused on staffing locally where possible and developed and leveraged our Global Delivery Network. These actions have helped our employees work effectively with a reduced need for travel, and they generated reductions in per employee carbon emissions from air travel during fiscal 2013 by more than 5%, compared to fiscal 2012.
“We recognize that the need to travel by air for client work is often difficult to forecast, which may lead to year-over-year fluctuations in our total carbon emissions performance. Therefore, we will continue to pursue our current target of achieving a 35% reduction in per employee emissions by the end of fiscal 2015. We remain focused on growing our business in an environmentally responsible way, by coordinating efforts closely with our global network of employees, clients and suppliers.”
Chart showing the total carbon emissions for Accenture worldwide at http://www.accenture.com/us-en/company/citizenship/environmental/Pages/environmental-performance.aspx
This shows that between 2009 and 2013, the total number of employees rose from 177,000 to 275,000 (55% increase) and the the total carbon emissions rose from 541,552 to 683,751 tonnes (26% increase).
In 2013 the proportion of total carbon emissions from flying was 51%. It was 51% in 2009; 54% in 2010; 56% in 2011; and 53% in 2012.
By BusinessGreen staff
1 Apr 2014
Global consultancy giant Accenture has revealed that it has slashed its carbon emissions per employee by 36% against its 2007 baseline, primarily through increased use of video conferencing and green procurement standards.
The company yesterday published its annual Corporate Citizenship Report, confirming that emissions per person have now fallen from 4.0 metric tons to 2.6 metric tons of CO2.
“More than 80% of our environmental footprint consists of carbon emissions our people generate from air travel to see clients and from the use of electricity,” the report stated. “We have been steadfast in addressing both… Our people continually champion sustainable growth by using virtual collaboration technologies, exploring alternative travel arrangements and encouraging our suppliers’ sustainability effor
Most notably, the company said that it in an average year Accenture’s employees log 43 million minutes of video conferencing.
The company also revealed that it is increasing pressure on its supplier base to meet environmental best practices, with 99% of the Requests for Proposals issued by Accenture Procurement department including environmental questionnaires in fiscal 2013.
“This report marks the next chapter in our long-standing commitment to fueling sustainable economic growth,” said Adrian Lajtha, Accenture’s chief leadership officer. “Our focus on corporate citizenship remains a cornerstone of our character and our business purpose, and our success is, more than ever, a product of the passion and dedication of our people around the world.”
WWF-UK has had a programme to help companies cut their carbon emissions from flying for several years. (It is now managed by Global Action Plan).
Launched in 2009 the One in Five Challenge helps companies and government cut their costs as well as their carbon emissions from business travel. From 2014 the challenge is being run by Global Action Plan.
Participants commit to cut 20% of their business flights within five years.
The Challenge is a guided programme and award scheme which suggests practical ways to cut flying and use lower-carbon ways of staying connected.
The latest three-year results are impressive: members have, on average, cut their flights by 38%, saving £2 million and 3,000 tonnes of Co2.
The 3rd Annual Report for the One in Five Challenge is now available showing the latest results for the Challenge. The One in Five Challenge Toolkit, showing how successful organisations have achieved the Challenge, is also available.
One in Five Challenge Members
The following companies & organisations have been members of WWF’s One in Five Challenge:
Balfour Beatty, BSkyB, BT, Capgemini, Lloyds TSB, Marks & Spencer, Microsoft UK, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Government, Skanska, Vodafone UK and WWF-UK.
The following members have achieved the One in Five Challenge Award:
New figures from WWF UK show that some of the UK’s leading companies, including Lloyds TSB, BSkyB, and Marks & Spencer have reduced their business flights by 41%, as part of WWF’s One in Five Challenge scheme. The scheme aims to help companies and government departments to cut 20% of flights within 5 years, reduce their reliance on business flying and transform the way they meet and travel. Member companies have used a variety of measures such as questioning the need for travel, including flights in corporate carbon reporting and increasing their use of rail travel as well as video and audio conferencing. Members say less time is being spent out of the office, and there have been benefits of productivity gains and increased collaboration.