Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today announced new commitments to sustainability — including industry-leading goals for net-zero emissions, as well as a newly created leadership role — as it moves to embed responsible business practices in all of its services and across every area of the company.
The company is unveiling three industry-leading goals:
- Achieve net-zero emissions by 2025. Accenture 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, Accenture will reuse or recycle 100% of e-waste, such as computers and servers, as well all office furniture; and will eliminate single-use plastics in all locations at the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Plan for water risk. Accenture will develop plans for their 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.
The goals build on Accenture’s ongoing journey to reduce its environmental impact, including signing the UN Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5° Pledge, reducing its emissions in line with its existing science-based target and committing to RE100’s global initiative to use 100% renewable electricity by 2023. These efforts demonstrate Accenture’s recognition of the leading role business must play in contributing to the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“This is the moment for business, government and society to come together to reimagine, rebuild and transform our global economy into one that works for the benefit of all,” said Julie Sweet, chief executive officer, Accenture. “Today’s rapid acceleration to digital presents us with a breakthrough opportunity to create a more sustainable future. By scaling these ambitions, we can help make real change and deliver 360-degree value for all.”
Accenture has appointed Peter Lacy to the newly created role of Chief Responsibility Officer and Global Sustainability Services Lead, effective December 1, to oversee the integration of sustainability and responsibility for all stakeholders into its client services as well as Accenture’s operations. He will work closely with clients and ecosystem partners to help transition industries to low-carbon energy; reduce the carbon footprint of IT, cloud and software; design and deliver net-zero, circular supply chains; embed sustainable practices; and reskill workforces. Lacy will also join Accenture’s Global Management Committee.
Lacy, who currently leads Accenture Strategy in Europe and Sustainability globally, brings decades-long industry experience advising senior leaders of companies and public organizations on strategy development, digital transformation, innovation and sustainable growth. He is recognized as a foremost expert on sustainability and is a pioneer of quantifying the value of the circular economy, which was introduced in his books: Waste to Wealth and its follow-up, The Circular Economy Handbook.
“I am excited that Peter will step into this critical new role, as we help create sustainable growth for our clients and continue to lead the way toward a future of shared success,” added Sweet. “Peter is a trusted advisor with an unparalleled ability to understand sustainability as a lens for growth, and I know his visionary leadership will drive groundbreaking results for our clients and for our company.”