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ENVIRONMENT, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG)

“How do we all work together to tackle climate change?” It’s a big question! A non-negotiable one in our eyes, and one that every company is (or should be) working on. Climate change is considered a global emergency. Current government plans and commitments are not remotely close to achieving carbon emission reductions of 45% by 2030 – which itself is believed would only avoid some of the worst outcomes of climate change.

At a macro level, we believe businesses have an economic imperative and a moral responsibility to do everything they can to ensure a thriving world. At a micro level, clients, employees and regulators are demanding more evidence of companies’ ESG actions.

WHAT CAN WE DO AT BDO?

At BDO, we act on climate change because it is the right thing to do, our employees expect it, and our clients and future generations deserve it. Our Core Purpose is ‘helping you succeed’ – at its core, this is about societal purpose; there is perhaps no greater alignment than with the Climate Change agenda. How we act on ESG matters sits squarely in ‘Citizenship’ – which we have identified as a priority for our Unifying Culture.

AS A FIRM

  • BDO UK has signed up to the UN Global Compact Agreement
  • BDO has committed to going carbon neutral
  • In January 2020, we let our people know that, via independent sustainability consultant, Carbon Smart now Avieco Ltd, we had offset our identified carbon footprints from 2019 and 2018 combined
  • Offsetting our emissions in this way helps to fund an African climate project and safe Gyapa cookstoves to families across Ghana
  • We are working with Avieco to create carbon neutral offices and a Carbon Neutrality route map
  • We have been reducing our actual carbon footprint at a steady rate year-on-year: last year, we reduced the firm’s intensity per FTE by 13% and the year before by 13%
  • We reduced our energy consumption, total emissions and emissions intensity for a third consecutive year; naturally, COVID-lockdowns played a part in this, as with many businesses
  • We review supplier contracts for their environment and sustainability commitments
  • We continue to be recertified for important environmental credentials which our clients and employees expect of us
  • More than half of our office locations are rated either very good or higher, with six offices rated ‘excellent’, by independent environmental consultants
  • We are working with our travel booking provider to measure and promote the carbon impact of each business journey requested in a post-COVID-19 world
  • Our people can now order and choose carbon-neutral BDO stationery and Merchandise
  • We planted 300 trees in the UK as part of our Sunday Times Fast Track marketing partnership.

WORKING WITH OTHERS

No single firm or individual can tackle climate change alone. The solution is collaborative.

  • Our Senior Partner, Matthew White, has joined Chapter Zero, a climate forum for Board Chairs and Non- Executive Directors to ensure climate change appears on the agenda of every boardroom table this year
  • We are helping many clients succeed on a variety of sustainability projects, including the development of Circular Economy, forest protection technology and renewable power programmes
  • The accountancy and business advisory work we do to help Renewable Energy companies with their corporate finance, forensics, audit or tax requirements is growing. Our partner, Marc Reinecke, has taken on the role as leader of BDO’s Global Renewables sub-sector, a team which is now receiving further attention and investment from across BDO globally
  • We partner with CleanGrowth, supporting tech start-ups find funding and a space to develop tech
  • Our Model Audit team is ranked #1 globally in the Renewables sector.

AS INDIVIDUALS

  • We want to keep working with our employees to identify the next right things to do
  • Our last Carbon report reveals something very stark: 74% of our carbon output was generated as a result of travel pre-C19. There is one very obvious way to bring that down! We are encouraging all our people to think twice before travelling as we ‘build back greener’
  • We have trained Environment Champions in each office to help activate environment programmes locally
  • We have opened up a ‘There Is No Planet B’ group on our internal social media tool to share personal hints, tips and stories
  • BDO employees can contribute to charities that deal with carbon offsetting, for example the Woodlands Trust, through bespoke Give As You Earn benefits
  • Our partners are also showing their commitment by personally paying to offset their individual footprints each year
  • At BDO, we offer a generous ten CSR days each year. We are asking our people to think about how they can use some of their days to get involved in local Sustainability or Climate Change initiatives.

OUR PRIORITIES

Be yourself

We encourage our people to be themselves

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Wellbeing

Creating a positive working environment

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READ MORE IN OUR UNIFYING CULTURE REPORT

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