Accenture cuts its CO2 emissions per employee by 36% over 5 years, partly due to flying less

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 

Report at  2012–2013 Corporate Citizenship Report, “Our Communities, Our Commitments

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

accenture carbon

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.


Accenture slashes emissions by more than a third

Consultancy giant publishes latest announce corporate citizenship report confirming emissions per employee have fallen 36 per cent since 2007

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 efforts.”

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).

Join the One in Five Challenge

Helping companies fly less – good for business, good for the planet

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.

Award winners

The following members have achieved the One in Five Challenge Award:



WWF’s “One in Five” challenge has cut corporate flights by their participating firms by 38% over 3 years

24.1.2014New results from WWF’s “One in Five Challenge”, a programme to help organisations cut 20% of flights within 5 years in favour of lower-carbon ways of staying connected, show that some of the UK’s leading companies have cut flights by 38% and flight expenditure by 42% over a 3-year period, saving them over £2 million and over 3,000 tonnes of carbon.  Organisations that have achieved the One in Five Challenge, include BskyB, BT, Capgemini, Lloyds TSB, Microsoft UK, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Vodafone. The Challenge has helped companies to make significant inroads into cutting their costs and carbon from business travel and to change their business travel behaviour in favour of alternatives such as rail and video-conferencing. These results, together with other WWF-UK analysis which shows a significant, long-term decline in business flying in the UK, point to a permanent change in meeting and travel practices, questioning the business case for UK airport expansion. Having developed the One in Five Challenge and run it successfully for over 4 years, WWF is handing “One in Five” to Global Action Plan (GAP), the UK’s leading environmental behaviour change charity helping business to reduce environmental impact.



WWF’s “One in Five Challenge” members are NOT increasing their flying – they’ve cut it by 38% over 3 years

6.2.2014A highly misleading article appeared in the Times on 3 February 2014 suggesting that WWF’s “One in Five Challenge” members are increasing their flying and that they are leaving the Challenge because they need to fly more. The “1 in 5″ challenge is a scheme to encourage businesses to cut their business flying by 20% over 5 years. The Times journalist based his misleading conclusions on data cherry-picked from the 3rd Annual Report from the “One in Five Challenge”.  WWF has set out the actual facts to counter the Times’ errors. Flights have not increased during the Challenge; they have continued to decline. Over a three-year period, the number of flights taken by Challengers fell by 38%, far exceeding the target set by the Challenge.  Even between Years 3 and 4, when the journalist claims Challengers have flown more, they have actually flown less taking 2% fewer flights. Challengers are not leaving the Challenge to fly more as the article alleges. The reason it may appear companies have dropped out of the scheme is because there is more data from Years 1 & 2 than Years 3 & 4 is that several Challengers who have recently joined the programme have not submitted as many years of data as Challengers who joined when the programme was launched in 2009.


WWF scheme helps leading UK companies cut flights by 41% in 2 years


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.