How is KPMG's Sustainability Strategy Powering Net Zero?

KPMG’s Impact Plan details achievements in ESG goals around the four key pillars: Governance, Planet, People & Prosperity

The expectation of large companies to create and hit sustainability goals has increased significantly in recent years. Often with little existing in-house expertise, we have seen the rise of sustainability teams — with the number of companies appointing a Chief Sustainability Officer tripling in 2021 compared to 2020. 

While establishing such essential goals and teams, many companies have also sought external input. The consulting industry – including globally renowned firms such as Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG – has experienced growth, with the average revenue per management consultant reaching US$212,000 in 2023 and market size of the industry reaching more than US$1tn in 2022.

Many of the large consulting firms employ tens of thousands of people and have global reach with offices in multiple continents. As they share their expert insight with some of the world’s largest, most influential countries and governments – what does their internal sustainability strategy look like?

KPMG’s sustainability strategy

KPMG firms operate in 143 countries and territories across the globe, offering audit, tax and advisory services. The company, which is made up of multiple individual firms, goes back 150 years and employs more than 270,000 people. 

In 2021, KPMG released its first Impact Plan, detailing ESG commitments including the goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and has been releasing updated Impact Plans annually since. 

The Impact Plans are split into four sections: Governance, People, Planet and Prosperity. 

Bill Thomas, Global Chairman and CEO of KPMG International.

“'What gets measured gets done' has been the guiding principle behind our Impact Plan and, as with our clients, we are following the available frameworks and standards to ensure we provide clarity to all our stakeholders, including our colleagues,” explains Bill Thomas, Global Chairman and CEO of KPMG International. 

Highlights from the report include:

Governance 

  • Supplier Code of Conduct: KPMG has revised its Supplier Code of Conduct, formalising the requirement for suppliers to support its ESG journey, incorporating language into contracts that underpin the ESG commitments. To date, 92% of the agreements signed after May 2023 have incorporated the Supplier Code of Conduct.
  • Materiality: The company has conducted a robust materiality assessment refresh and, for the first time, is reporting “with reference” to Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidance.
  • Investing: More than US$4bn dollars has been invested into Technology, Talent and ESG.

People

  • Diversity: Representation of women in leadership roles across KPMG firms has increased to 29.4% - up by 3.3% from the 1 October 2020 baseline.
  • T&D: More than 100 ESG learning resources have been launched in collaboration with three leading business universities. Accessible to all KPMG’s people, it underpins the company’s commitment to embedding ESG. 

Planet

  • Carbon emissions: KPMG has reduced CO2 emissions by 22% against the FY19 baseline year.
  • Renewable energy: Global KPMG consumption of renewable energy has increased to 81% in FY23, whilst reporting KPMG firms reached 100% in FY22.

Prosperity

  • Economic empowerment: KPMG’s 10by30 initiatives have supported the economic empowerment of 1 million disadvantaged young people.
  • Community: Support to local communities increased 22% in comparison to FY22, with KPMG investing US$181m

“As the world continues to become increasingly complex and sees even greater fragility, we will continue to bring our skills across all our disciplines to work with clients, NGOs, alliance partners and others to help bring about innovation and transformation to build a better future,” says Bill.

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