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WorldClimate: driving our sustainable transformation

Re-thinking how we work.

Summary

Change starts with all of us. And when we come together around a shared goal, we can make an impact that truly matters. That’s what our WorldClimate transformation is about.

We’ve introduced Clause Zero to make sustainable working our default way of business. We’re inspiring and empowering our people to own the change, collaborating with partners, and sharing our experience with our clients.

 

Proud to be among Europe’s 2023 climate leaders, we’re transforming our operations to meet our science-based net zero goals. Our UK firm has already cut operational greenhouse gas emissions by 76 per cent and reduced business travel emissions by 69 per cent for each full-time colleague since FY19, but we know we’ve got much more to do.

 

Clause Zero: making sustainable working our default way of business

If something’s important, it needs to be in writing. That’s why, in March, we introduced Clause Zero, our commitment to delivering work sustainably, into our client contracts and engagement letters.

With over 27,000 people across Deloitte UK, the sustainable choices we make when delivering our services matter.

Our partners and people are encouraged to be role models for our digital-first culture and use smart tools. This includes a web-based travel emissions calculator, as well as checklists and frameworks that empower more sustainable choices - such as virtual collaboration or travelling more sustainably when we need to meet clients.

 

“Climate change is arguably the biggest challenge businesses face with an urgent need to look at how to adapt for a more sustainable future. For Deloitte this is about transforming how we work, and supporting our clients to be part of the systemic change as well.”

Smruti Naik-Jones

Chief Sustainability Officer of Deloitte in UK & North and South Europe (NSE)

“Clause Zero helps us to open a dialogue with our clients on the path to net zero and to challenge old ways of working so that – together – we can put sustainable delivery at the heart of all commercial activity.”

Richard Houston

CEO of Deloitte UK and Deloitte North and South Europe (NSE)

“Through our WorldClimate transformation, we want to embed sustainability in everything we do as a firm, and empower our people to accelerate impactful climate action through their work and in society.”

Philip Mills

Managing Partner for Deloitte UK

Introducing Clause Zero

 

Clause Zero is part of a number of measures that help drive progress towards our WorldClimate target to reduce business travel emissions by 50 per cent per full-time employee by FY30, compared with FY19. This year, we exceeded this ambition, achieving a 69 per cent reduction.

Our people have been sharing their experiences…

 

“Our public sector client aspires to be a leader in environmental sustainability, including managing their Scope 3 emissions," says Ian O'Brien, senior manager at Deloitte consulting. "As part of our collaboration, we agreed to track and report monthly on the emissions of our project. We introduced a KPI and reporting template, and used the travel emissions calculator and other tools to understand our impact. Clause Zero is bringing this sentiment and transparency to other clients as well.”

“Using the travel emissions calculator with a new company we audited was eye-opening. Having emissions data to hand gave us the confidence to talk openly about the project’s carbon footprint, and work together to deliver a high-quality group audit in a more sustainable way. This included visiting the right locations at the right time, and making those visits count," adds Lucy Openshaw, partner at Deloitte Audit & Assurance.

 

Our commitment to the sustainable delivery of our services

Read transcript

We're the largest professional services firm in the world and I think we have a moral obligation in order to lead the charge in what sustainable futures mean for us, for our planet and for society more broadly.

To be on the journey with our clients and help our clients achieve their ambitious goals, we have to be an authentic partner.

So Clause Zero is our statement to deliver work more sustainably.

It is out first step in the system change where we come together with our clients and we discuss with them what are the solutions that we can implement to reduce our emissions.

Sustainability is made up of a lot of actions that we all make on an everyday basis. You have the power.

 

Making sustainable working our default way of business

Read transcript

Clause Zero is important as it shows that Deloitte really embeds sustainability into all of our operations and what we do.

Us as a firm, Deloitte, we all have got a part to play in this. Hvaing that drive behind us is really encouraging for me.

It is our first step in the system change.

The fact that we've now moved to this digital-first delivery model is actually fantastic.

So helpful to be able to tap into the knowledge everywhere in the world.

A digital-first workplace is essentially a place where we can work flexibly.

As a mother that's given me more opportunity to be at home, which has really benefitted my family immensely.

Who doesn't want to create a sustainable planet and work in a sustainable fashion?

 

Investing in – and empowering – our sustainability teams

Alongside systemic changes to how we work, we continue to invest in our sustainability teams, appointing Smruti Naik-Jones as our firm’s first chief sustainability officer, and Anne-Marie Malley as our UK sustainability and climate practice leader. Across our UK business, more than 500 people deliver sustainability projects for clients, and close to 250 Climate Champions empower their teams to embed climate action in their business areas.

All our 330,000 people worldwide benefit from our Climate & Sustainability Learning programme and in FY23, 577 UK colleagues gained advanced skills through the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Practical sustainability knowledge is shared on our Learning Week and Global Earth Day webinars and interactive events that bring together our 5 Million Futures partners, the Soil Association and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT).

To help our people better understand the impact of their day-to-day choices, we partnered with social enterprise Giki, on a pilot scheme that led to more than 1,500 UK employees taking steps to reduce their footprint. And that has contributed to saving 122,692 kg of carbon, 5.8 million litres of water and 13,782 single-use plastic items. We also invite our people, clients and partners to broaden understanding of sustainable futures through award-winning immersive experiences, and inspiring conversations with sustainable business icons in our Green Room Podcast.

 

Transforming our operations

At the same time, we continue to make our operations more sustainable.

We procure 100 per cent renewable electricity across most of our estate and work with landlords across our full portfolio, lowering our consumption by, for example, reducing office temperatures. This has allowed us to donate savings to our charity partner Scope.

This year, we were the first of the Big Four to join the UK Green Building Council. With more than 700 industry members, it aims to propel the built environment towards net zero. And when we are leasing new workspaces, for example at our Bristol and Edinburgh locations, the sustainability and wellbeing credentials of buildings remain our key considerations.

We are on track to have a fully electric car fleet ahead of our 2030 target: 94 per cent of our vehicles are now plug-in thanks to our electric-only car scheme introduced in June 2022.

Creating impact beyond our value chain

While we work to transform our business and focus on reducing emissions in our operations, we also want to help accelerate global transition to net zero by investing in innovative solutions beyond our value chain.

For example, in FY23 we invested over £900k in skills-based support for our charity partners’ initiatives such as Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s business model development and the Soil Association’s Farm Ecological Score calculator. Our NSE firm also invested £1 million in pro bono support and mentorship to finalists of The Earthshot Prize.

We also purchased carbon credits, generated by projects aligned with our Purpose agenda, to offset the impact of operational and travel emissions that we have yet to eliminate.

Looking ahead, we’re continuing to shift our focus from compensation for past emissions to understanding how we can actively contribute to societal decarbonisation. This means using our reach and capabilities, skills and financial investments, to protect and restore nature, amplify solutions that tackle emissions and boost innovation.

“We are proud of embedding Clause Zero, empowering and inspiring our teams and driving steady progress towards our WorldClimate commitments. There’s growing momentum around our transformation - but there’s still a lot to do. So we’ll continue to work collectively to put sustainability at the heart of everything we do.”

Smruti Naik-Jones

Chief Sustainability Officer, Deloitte in UK & NSE

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