Chartered accountancy body ICAEW has today announced its intention to become carbon neutral in 2020.
As a long-term champion of sustainability issues, ICAEW will be the first major professional body to be carbon neutral.
This summer, ICAEW’s Board endorsed a plan to become carbon neutral, which also included a 10-year commitment to continue to cut internal carbon emissions.
The decision to go carbon neutral aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13, which aims to mobilise $100m annually for developing countries to adapt to climate change and invest in low-carbon development.
ICAEW has increasingly placed the UN SDGs at the heart of its strategy and actively encourages its members to do the same in their businesses. In addition, it has disclosed its carbon emissions through both the charity CDP and the government Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.
Climate change and sustainability are embedded into many modules of the ACA syllabus, and ICAEW recently signed the Green Finance Education Charter, committing it to building green finance into its qualifications.
ICAEW is a supporter of the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures and hosts the Capitals Coalition.
Since 2015, the Institute has reduced its carbon footprint by 20 per cent through internal initiatives such as the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting. To reduce its footprint further, ICAEW has pledged to have less overseas travel and to and provide incentives for electric vehicles for those who drive for work.
These and other projects will see its footprint decline by 20% by 2025 and 40% by 2030.
ICAEW will purchase verifiable offsets against its entire greenhouse gas footprint as a short-term solution while it focuses on internal projects to reduce its footprint. The offsets deliver projects which meet the gold standard verified emission reduction accreditation and support the SDGs.
Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive, said:
“Our commitment to carbon neutrality puts the climate crisis at the heart of our operations as a professional body.
“We all have a responsibility to tackle climate change, and the action we’re taking at ICAEW demonstrates this commitment. We know that many across the chartered accountancy profession are already setting significant carbon reduction targets and investing heavily to achieve them.
“We hope that our move to carbon neutrality will encourage others to accelerate their own sustainability agendas.”
Earlier this year ICAEW was a signatory to a call to action coordinated by the Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability project, which called on the global accounting profession to put sustainability and the fight against climate change at the forefront of its work.