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KPMG - Carbon Pledge

Added on 22-03-2013





Business challenge

The journey to a low-carbon economy is marked by the need to consistently measure and reduce the environmental impacts of business organizations. Through the development of carbon efficiency mechanisms, in fact, companies play a major role in tackling climate change.   

In particular, the environmental footprint of service companies is attributable, to a considerable extent, to their employees' actions and choices. It is therefore crucial that businesses adopt employee engagement mechanisms which can result in the reduction of the companies' environmental impacts and in an overall promotion of low-carbon economies and lifestyles.


The Carbon Pledge program is the first program run across nine KPMG Member Firms in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. The aim is to raise awareness on environmental issues and emphasizing the impact that KPMG people can have by promoting low carbon economies and life-styles.

Launched on World Environment Day (June 5th), the Carbon Pledge is based on an online application that people can access to pledge what changes they wish to make in order to decrease their CO2 emissions. 

The actions people can choose from are listed below.

  • Before you leave the office switch off idle electronics and appliances from standby
  • Recycle your daily office paper
  • Walk or cycle 3 times a week to work
  • Cut out one short haul flight a year
  • Recycle glass, paper, card, plastics and cans at work and at home
  • Turn your heating down by 1 degree
  • Fit 5 energy saving light bulbs
  • Compost your food and garden clippings
  • Do one weekly supermarket shop not three
  • Donate your old clothes to charity
  • Switch to a green electricity supplier
  • Insulate your home
  • Don't overfill the kettle, boil what you need
  • Halve the number of washes and lower your wash temperature
  • Run your dishwasher on an Economy setting
  • Trade an SUV for a hybrid car
  • Put silver foil behind radiators
  • Install double glazing

Positive elements that contributed to the Program's success:  

  • Promotes employee engagement through personal responsibility
  • Ready-made programme
  • Highly user friendly


The Carbon Pledge has the potential to become a major element in Companies' environmental strategy.

The challenges are:

  • To develop a checking mechanism to target specific employee groups and set up accountability mechanisms.
  • To further expand the list of pledges that employees can choose from.
  • To allow companies to tailor the Carbon Pledge program to their specific business.

To tackle them, the KPMG EMA CR Network is looking for partners (corporate organizations and NGOs alike) whose expertise will complement the existing competence. The organizations' would need to be operating in the following sectors:

  • Information Technology
  • Environment
  • Marketing and Communications

Challenges/Lessons learned:

The Carbon Pledge was run in 9 KPMG firms in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, with the participation of 645 people who contributed to saving 1,333,896 CO2 Kg through their pledges. This is equivalent to taking almost 153,000 cars out of the streets for one day.

All Member Firms have confirmed their interest in participating in similar initiatives in the future, thus recognizing the awareness raising potential and cultural impact of the Carbon Pledge.

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