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KPMG in Canada aims for net-zero by 2030

KPMG in Canada announced it would seek a 2030 net-zero target and take part in KPMG International's $1.5 billion investment into ESG. (Courtesy KPMG in Canada)

KPMG in Canada's 2022 impact plan reports it is now entirely powering its operations via renewable energy, has set a 2030 net-zero target, and is included in a company-wide $1.5 billion investment toward an "ESG change agenda."

The professional services company – a branch of the Big Four accounting firm – says it has 10,000 employees as of 2022 across 47 offices in Canada.

It reports earning $1.9 billion in revenue in 2021, an 11 per cent increase from 2020.

KPMG in Canada says the report, titled 2022 Our Impact Plan: Canada, is its first comprehensive ESG report.

KPMG’s 2021 emissions

The company says it emitted 1,429 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) of Scope 1 emissions, 2,279 tCO2e of Scope 2 emissions and 68,359 tCO2e of Scope 3 emissions in 2021. It totals 72,067 tCO2e.

That's down from the past two years, as KPMG in Canada reports its emitted 85,593 tCO2e in 2019 and 75,359 tCO2e in 2020. It's a 16 per cent decrease in company-wide emissions since 2019.

Net tCO2 per employee also fell, from 11.6 tCO2e in 2019 and 9.7 tCO2e in 2020 to 8.2 tCO2e in 2021.

KPMG in Canada explained part of the drop in emissions as a result of reduced travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel emissions dropped 98 per cent from 2019 to 2021. To increase sustainability, the company revised its travel policy in March 2022 to reduce its flight emissions by at least 50 per cent from pre-pandemic levels.

KPMG International reports annually to Carbon Disclosure Program about its collective performance and management for climate-related issues. The report does not mention a third-party verifier of its emissions.

KPMG’s climate goals

In 2021, KPMG in Canada’s net-zero target for 2030 was validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.

To achieve this, KPMG in Canada said it met its 100 per cent renewable electricity commitment in 2022 through procuring renewable energy certificates to offset its non-renewable electricity. It also took up saving initiatives in its largest emitting offices.

In the future, it will explore opportunities for power purchase agreements to invest in clean energy projects.

In October, KPMG in Canada set a $40 per metric tonne Internal Carbon Price (ICP) to cover its business travel and operations. The ICP will help fund “improvements across our value chain by setting a price on the emissions we generate,” and "influence investment decisions while incentivizing and, in some cases, providing the funds for us to invest in new technologies and solutions.”

To reduce supply chain emissions, KPMG in Canada says it “increased our focus on quality assurance, supply chain engagement and further assessment of climate risk.”

It also established a global procurement ESG working group to ensure suppliers are helping KPMG in Canada fulfill its commitments by developing and enhancing the work of its firms to “deliver a net-zero supply chain.”

To align with KPMG International, the Canada branch has joined the Carbon Disclosure Program’s Supply Chain Program, which will rate and offer feedback for participating suppliers.

A more diverse workplace

KPMG in Canada says women accounted for 31 per cent of its partnership in 2021, matching its target for 30 per cent by 2022. It said 23 per cent were people of colour in 2021, achieving its 20 per cent target.

In 2022, KPMG asked all its partners and leaders to submit at least one goal related to attracting, retaining and advancing diverse talent.

Boosting ESG

To accelerate its focus on the ESG change agenda, KPMG International announced in 2021 it would spend more than US$1.5 billion over three years.

Though few details were available, KPMG noted other efforts including ESG 101, a three-part global learning program for employees to expand their ESG knowledge.

Other ESG achievements

  • Sponsored a beehive from Alveole at its Cabbagetown, Toronto office.
  • Ran a recycling program for retired laptops.
  • Took steps to reduce virgin raw material usage in its offices through strategies to reduce waste or switch to recycled materials.
  • It is also exploring circular office models such as life cycle of furniture, office building selection criteria and certification.
  • Created a mentoring program for Black senior managers.
  • Launched the Climate Impact Accelerator with MaRS Discovery District to match KPMG clients with cleantech startups.

Read the report here.

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