Finding value in global sustainability
Using technology and human ingenuity to meet environmental goals and drive a powerful, sustainable future
Three factors—Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)—are central to measuring sustainability commitments within any organization. Accenture is taking a holistic, integrated approach to sustainability and our team plays a vital role as we focus on evolving and inspiring environmental sustainability outcomes, for ourselves and our clients.
Providing business infrastructure and support solutions to complement local cultural and market needs, Corporate Services & Sustainability teams are well placed to provide the rigor and powerful force of change needed to meet our science-based environmental targets. Accenture puts sustainability at the heart of our business—building capabilities and integrating our sustainability targets into everything we do. Working with our Global IT colleagues, Corporate Services & Sustainability plays an important role in bring sustainable innovation to Accenture. We’ve set three clear environmental sustainability goals—to achieve net-zero emissions, to move to zero waste and to plan for water risk.
"We have an opportunity to change the business of business by putting sustainability front and center of our innovation efforts."
MARGARET SMITH / Accenture
As a global company with 721,000 people, we recognize the scope and scale of our environmental impact. Powered by technology, Accenture is already making progress with a suite of solutions in three core areas:
We are committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2025. Corporate Services & Sustainability, responsible for all our locations across the world, is active in our plan to meet our office energy needs with 100% renewable electricity by 2023—at the end of fiscal year 2021, 53% of electricity purchased for our offices and centers is through renewable sources. We are actively sourcing renewable electricity as part of Accenture’s participation in the RE100, the global corporate renewable energy initiative bringing together hundreds of large and ambitious businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity.
We are also engaged in responsible buying practices, both inside and outside Accenture. To address remaining emissions, Accenture has announced investments in nature-based carbon removal projects which broadly align with our geographic footprint. Our projects will reforest land, rebuild biodiversity, make agriculture more sustainable, help to create green jobs and enable natural ecosystems to rebound and thrive—all while removing an estimated 13 million metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.
All aspects of how we run our locations matter, which is why Accenture has committed to reuse or recycle 100% ofour e-waste, as well as all our office furniture, by 2025. To address e-waste, we are working with our global IT assetdisposition partners to implement an asset reuse program and manage our ongoing box program to remotely dispose of personal computers globally.
Data from our enterprise asset management system helps us to further manage our e-waste by spotting trends on specific product lines or locations and determining the effectiveness of a particular local waste management policy. We are working with our offices to eliminate single-use plastics by shifting away from single-use items; using non-plastic items, such as bamboo, when disposable products are offered; and providing water refill stations.
Aware of the broader impact we have on the communities around us, we are particularly conscious of water-stressed locations and have committed to develop water resiliency plans for our facilities to reduce the impact of flooding, drought and water scarcity in high-risk areas by 2025. We use the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Aqueduct tool to identify areas of water risk and impacts to local communities. In addition to developing water resiliency plans, we now measure and report the total percentage of water consumed in regions with high or extremely high baseline water stress.
Although Accenture is not a water-intensive company, we minimize our use of water wherever feasible, including responsible use, reuse, management and discharge across our office portfolio. In fiscal 2021, 37% of our company’s total water consumption occurred in high or extremely high baseline water-stressed regions.
We continue to refine our technology solutions and work with our global locations with the guidance and support of our leadership.
Our progress through the end of fiscal year 2021:
Reduction in total emissions from our baseline.
Reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Reduction in emissions per unit of revenue.
Of our key suppliers* disclosed targets and 60% have disclosed actions to reduce their emissions.
Metric tons of carbon removals expected as a result of investing in nature-based carbon removals over the next 20 years.
Of electricity purchased for our offices and centers around the world is through renewable sources.
* Key suppliers are defined as vendors that represent a significant portion of our 2019 Scope 3 emissions.
Examples of where specific sustainability initiatives are having an impact include:
Thoughtful travel. To equip our people to make climate-smart travel decisions—we launched our beta release aviation carbon calculator which shows our people the different emissions for specific flight alternatives for business travel at the time of booking. To further reduce emissions from travel, we introduced a program to encourage high-speed train usage instead of airplane flights in five countries—Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom—and will expand it to other regions.
Green IT. Our global IT organization is cloud platform-powered first—when we cannot consume a cloud platform and need to write custom code, we use microservice architectures. This helps further reduce the consumption of servers via a traditional infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) approach. For our existing high-end workloads, we constantly evaluate our consumption through deliberate analysis of usage patterns, performance data and new cloud offerings to drive further efficiency that leads to optimal utilization and reduced emissions.
As Accenture continues to build on the momentum that emerged from COP26, Corporate Services & Sustainability is at the heart of how Accenture operates—and will continue focusing on addressing climate change through our actions to help reduce net-zero emissions, waste and plan for water risk. These sustainability improvements will impact our business and bring our commitments to life.
Senior Managing Director and Executive Director – Corporate Services & Sustainability and Business Operations
Managing Director – Corporate Services & Sustainability, Director of Operations
Managing Director – Global Workplace