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When it comes to environmental sustainability, Accenture follows the same advice we give our clients. We become our own best case study.
Meet Caroline Larose, a manager in our Sustainability & Responsible Business Strategy Practice. She helps clients build roadmaps that tie environmental strategies to concrete actions. She’s worked at the intersection of business and environmental sustainability and driven environmental initiatives for many major corporations.
That’s why Caroline was tapped to work closely with Mike Nicholus, Associate Director of Environmental Management and Sustainability; Lisa Neuberger, Managing Director, Strategy + Innovation, Corporate Citizenship; and other Accenture leaders to help define Accenture’s next level of environmental sustainability ambition.
Caroline shares how leading our high-profile environmental strategy project has allowed her to tap into both her background as a strategist and Accenture experience and see the impact in real time.
Our new net-zero+ goals
Over the last decade, we’ve continually set bigger and bolder environment targets for ourselves. Now, we’re taking our commitment to the next level with three industry-leading goals:
- Achieve net-zero emissions by 2025.
- Move to zero waste.
- Plan for water risk.
These new targets are incredibly important, objective measures through which we demonstrate our commitment to climate action and share our environment strategy story.
In setting our new goals, our first job was to define Accenture’s environmental ambitions and the incremental steps needed to get there. This involved creating open dialogues with dozens of our internal teams and leaders who have been making huge contributions to Accenture’s environmental action.
Our internal stakeholders made it clear that our leadership, employees and clients expect Accenture to serve as a role model for climate action.
Just as we had begun to outline our strategy, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced us to adjust our priorities. For example, we revised our plan to eliminate single-use plastics due to new health and safety concerns and accelerated our path to low-carbon client delivery.
The past months have demonstrated how we can design and adapt to a fundamental shift in our business model and advise our clients’ adjustment to the new normal.
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"Changing the course of our climate requires changing the course of our actions."
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We can all drive meaningful change
Individually, protecting our environment can seem like an insurmountable challenge. But there are clear, actionable steps that everyone can take to make a meaningful difference.
First and foremost, we need to support leaders that advocate for climate action. Now more than ever, we need our leaders to champion a green recovery and prioritize the transition to a low-carbon world. We are fortunate that our Accenture senior leadership is committed to being a leader in sustainability.
We encourage our people to join with colleagues for our Eco Innovation Challenge to build innovation skills and tackle environmental challenges with clients and ecosystem partners. Seek out sustainability innovation challenges or activities such as Countdown with your employer or in your community—or design your own.
We each also have the ability to support climate-conscious companies with our dollars through our daily purchases and, even more importantly, our investments. Climate change already presents a systemic risk to investor returns. We can encourage corporate action and reduce these risks by investing in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) portfolios.
At the most micro-level, we can be mindful of our own resource consumption. Buy secondhand or refurbished products when possible. Instead of replacing items when they break or wear out, try to extend the life of your belongings through repair; find a good cobbler, small appliance-repair shop or tailor, and visit them often.
Finally, magnify your impact by encouraging those around you to follow suit.
Changing the course of our climate requires changing the course of our actions, and I am proud of the new path we have set for our industry.
Learn more about Accenture’s focus on the environment.
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