Being a responsible business in today’s world means doing our part to protect the planet for future generations. We improve the efficiency of our operations, harness the innovative spirit of our people, and develop new sustainability solutions to help reduce our environmental impact.

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Taking climate action

As a professional services company, the most significant aspects of our environmental footprint are the greenhouse gas emissions we generate through travel and the electricity used in our locations. We continue to explore innovative technologies and processes to decouple business growth from emissions growth.

Our environmental journey

In September 2019, we announced our commitment to using 100% renewable energy across our global operations by 2023 as part of the RE100 initiative.

Shifting to renewable energy is a critical step toward achieving our Science-Based Target, approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 11 percent by 2025 against our 2016 baseline. To date, we are the largest professional services company to make this type of commitment.

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BY 2023

we aim to realize 100% renewable energy across our global operations.

BY 2025

we aim to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 11 percent, compared to 2016.

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We are continually working to develop responsible solutions for further sustainable growth and intensify our focus on the efficiency of our business operations. These efforts include reducing our energy use and switching to renewable forms of power, as well as addressing our air travel impact and supply chain sustainability (and responsibility).

We also unveiled three new targets to truly embed responsible business practices in all of our services and across every area of our company. 

  • Achieve net-zero emissions by 2025. We will make actual reductions in emissions by powering offices with 100% renewable energy, engaging key suppliers to reduce their emissions, and equipping Accenture’s people to make climate-smart travel decisions. To address remaining emissions, the company will invest in proprietary, nature-based carbon removal solutions, such as large-scale tree planting, that will directly remove emissions from the atmosphere.
  • Move to zero waste. By 2025, we will reuse or recycle 100% of e-waste, such as computers and servers, as well as all office furniture; and will eliminate single-use plastics in all locations at the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Plan for water risk. We will develop plans for our facilities to reduce the impact of flooding, drought, and water scarcity in high-risk areas by 2025; and will measure and reduce water use in these locations.

All our efforts are the result of our acknowledgment that business must take a leading role in contributing to the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Development Goals

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Progress on emission reduction relative to FY25 target (Source: Accenture).

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Reducing our carbon footprint in the Netherlands

As of 2017, Accenture the Netherlands reached 'Level 5' in CO2 certification. Providing biannual insights into our conscious performance, we're ambitiously climbing up the CO2 Performance Ladder, a tool used to measure the reduction of carbon dioxide release. Please note you can find all CO2 Performance Ladder reports at the bottom of this article.

Our Workplace Innovation Lead Boudewijn Hamersma emphasizes that we truly believe in the power of innovative suppliers and partners to contribute to a positive environmental impact. For example, we collaborate with WasteWatchers and BuurtBuik to reduce our food waste. For some years now, we’ve used the WasteWatchers app, which gives us insights into food waste. With that, we have reduced our food waste from 30 percent to eight percent, a great contribution to our Circular and Zero Waste ambition.

Additionally, we collaborate with many large companies around the Amsterdam Zuidas to scale our zero-waste initiatives through the Green Business Club. Partnering up with other big players to combat and prevent environmental damage is at the top of our priorities list.

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30% TO 8%

food waste reduction realized due to the WasteWatchers app, contributing to our Circular and Zero Waste ambition.

 

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Our CO2 reduction measures

In FY19, we've realized a significant CO2 reduction thanks to changes in our fleet. Frans van der Hoek, Accenture's Mobility Manager Benelux, explains: "We had 725 fewer cars in our fleet than in FY18 because more employees have opted for the FlexBudget. The FlexBudget is a virtual mobility budget that the employee can use to arrange their own mobility, like an annual subscription to public transportation/NS (train) or zoned travel pass, an NS Business Card, a kilometer reimbursement, and a bicycle plan."

We actively stimulate employees to opt for the FlexBudget. For those who do need a car, we offer selected diesel and petrol cars. Besides the popular Tesla, we are adding more—affordable—electric cars to our catalog.

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Compared to our base year FY13, we have reduced our CO2 emissions by 43 percent.

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In FY20, we’ve seen a decrease in business flights because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. We are working on a strategy to keep the number of future business flights below the FY19 figures. And with the Anders Reizen coalition, we’ve co-created the ‘Vliegwijzer’, in which the coalition shares best practices to reduce international travel.

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Some examples of our CO2-reduction initiatives

No greenwashing here though. When you talk the talk, you should walk the walk. That's why we're proud to be first movers in many collaborations to demonstrate what leading by example really means. Some of the initiatives we've set up or joined are:

  1. Contribute to Green Deal Zero Emission Logistics and Zero Waste ambition for companies at Amsterdam Zuidas.
  2. Offer a travel budget instead of a lease car, and for those that do need a car, we offer an affordable electric car option. Also, we are actively involved in the ‘Anders Reizen’ coalition and take part in KLM's Corporate Biofuel Program.
  3. Eco-volunteer through Globe Observer and World Cleanup Day.
  4. Print less or not at all to reduce our CO2 emissions. In case we do need to print, we’ve selected paper made from agri-waste, which is transformed into paper by PaperWise.
  5. Contribute to balanced biodiversity. Bees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. It is estimated that one-third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination. We support biodiversity by leasing beehives through BeeLease.

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How will you push for environmental change? Share your suggestions on how Accenture could reduce its environmental CO2 footprint with Environment Lead Silke Lepée.

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Downloads

Accenture NL | Performance Ladder Certificate

Accenture NL | Performance Ladder Communication | FY20

Accenture NL | Progress CO2 Reduction | FY13-FY20

Accenture NL | CO2 Footprint | FY20 - 1

Accenture NL | CO2 Footprint | FY19

Accenture NL | CO2 Management Plan | FY19

Accenture NL | CO2 Reduction Plan | FY13-FY20

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For more information about our involvement and participation in CO2-reduction programs, we refer you to the SKAO website: https://www.skao.nl/gecertificeerde-organisaties/Accenture.

Laura van den Hurk

Associate Manager – Accenture, Corporate Social & Sustainable Responsibility Lead, the Netherlands


Silke Lepée

Environment Lead and Coordinator – Accenture Belgium, Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands

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