PwC to challenge staff business trips in move to reach net zero target

PwC has introduced a programme that will challenge the type of travel staff will take for business trips, in a move to reduce its carbon footprint.

According to the Financial Times, senior UK staff were informed that only people travelling on long-haul night flights or those flying for business-critical reasons would be allowed to sit in business class.

Confirming to City AM, the Big Four firm said its Thoughtful Travel programme is designed to encourage staff to be more mindful of emissions when planning business travel. This programme will also challenge staff on the frequency and mode of travel.

Back in 2020, PwC pledged its commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Earlier this year, the French government announced a ban on short-haul flights in order to cut down on CO2 emissions, replacing flights under two and a half hours with train journeys.

Similar to the rest of the Big Four, PwC has also made cuts, with plans to cut up to 600 jobs in the UK, announced in November. PwC also fell short of its Big Four rivals in the most recent financial year, with global revenue at $53.1bn.

Speaking to City AM, Marissa Thomas, managing partner at PwC UK, with responsibility for the firm’s sustainability strategy, said: “Flights account for the majority of our carbon emissions so we’re only going to meet our net zero target if our people take a really thoughtful approach to air travel. Given a business class seat is roughly 50 per cent more carbon intensive than one in premium economy, we’re asking partners and directors to think carefully about if they need one.”

She continued: “We’re also encouraging people to make the most of their business trips, perhaps spending longer at a destination to reduce multiple visits. Seeing clients and colleagues in-person is really important, so we have to find ways to do that in the most carbon efficient way.”

“Ultimately meeting our net zero goal will be dependent on the behaviour of individuals, so we have to inform and encourage the right behaviours,” she added.


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