As we mark World Environment Day in our calendars, it seems timely to share a closer look at what our organization is doing to reduce our carbon footprint. We’re all too aware that time is of the essence, so any actions that contribute to global goals are worthwhile.

Our activities contribute to the broader picture of our sustainability journey shared earlier by our Geographic Service Lead, Margaret Smith. She talked about how we’re doing things not only because they are right thing to do, but also because they are powerful forces of change.

Man walking with his bike

As part of my role as Director of Operations in Geographic Services for Accenture, I’m pleased to lead our portfolio of work supporting our commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025 as well as moving to zero waste and planning for water risk.

Making progress with our targets

We are committed to reductions across the board with particular focus on emission reductions related to Scope 2 electricity usage and Scope 3 business travel. Here’s an update on our progress:

First, running our buildings more efficiently; in the United States we’ve created a state-of-the-art innovation powerhouse where technology tools help us track data to meet our sustainability goals. For instance, several floors of the building measure the heat to determine how many people are in a room. That information helps us identify areas that may be over- or under-utilized for more efficient use of the space.

Second, we plan to meet our office energy needs with 100% renewable electricity by 2023 as part of our commitment to the global corporate renewable energy initiative RE100. We achieved 53% renewable electricity at the end of our fiscal year 2021.

This leaves us with Scope 3 emissions (all indirect emissions that occur in the value chain); for instance, planes, trains, automobiles or hotel stays as we visit clients or different offices and emissions related to our purchased goods and services.

Of course, the pandemic has reduced travel, but looking forward we are equipping our people with information to make climate-smart travel decisions. For example, we launched our beta release aviation carbon calculator which shows the emissions for specific flight alternatives at the time of booking.

To address those emissions we cannot currently avoid, we are investing in our own proprietary nature-based carbon removal projects. All our projects sequester carbon from the atmosphere but, in addition, they will bring measurable co-benefits to the locations and communities where we invest, all aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the last decade, our organization has continually set bigger and bolder environmental goals for ourselves, not only to shape a sustainable organization, but also to help our clients reinvent their businesses, creating business value and sustainable impact.

We are also focused on reducing emissions in our suppliers’ operations. We will require 90% of our key suppliers—defined as vendors that represent a significant portion of our 2019 Scope 3 emissions—to disclose their environmental targets and actions to reduce emissions by 2025.

Alongside these dedicated plans, we also consider other actions we can take involving our people that have a positive environmental impact. For instance, we are planting 674,000 trees—at the time of the announcement, this equated to one tree to represent each person at Accenture.

I am so proud of the efforts to date and progress on our path to net-zero and our all of our environmental commitments. Find out more about how we’re putting sustainability at the heart of our innovation efforts. Watch this space for more about our sustainability agenda and how Geographic Services is working with our Global IT colleagues to bring sustainable innovation to Accenture.

Scott Wilson

Managing Director – Geographic Services, Director of Operations

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