PricewaterhouseCoopers: West Midlands Low Carbon Economy awards 2010


West Midlands Low Carbon Economy awards 2010’s Carbon Reduction Cost Saving Award for over 250 employees


PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP


Completed in 2009 St Luke’s is a 2 form entry school with community facilities.  The building is designed to achieve a very high standard of sustainability, including very low energy consumption, sustainably sourced materials and a BREEAM Excellent rating. The project has had an ecological focus throughout the design process, maximizing the use of daylight, natural ventilation and thermal comfort.  The building is timber framed construction, utilizing timber cladding and roofing system.


Managing carbon reduction and associated cost saving is an integral part of PWC’s overall vision of “doing the right thing”.

PWC believes that “doing the right thing” means that corporate sustainability (CS) must run through everything they do so they have put together a robust CS strategy to bring this to life. In real terms this means having strategic sustainability objectives which help define what sustainability means within PwC, namely:

  • Valuing the community by putting something back through the sharing of talent outside the firm;
  • Being a responsible employer by developing a diverse pool of talented people who create a high performance, respectful and inclusive culture; and
  • Protecting our planet by reducing environmental impact. *

(*Note: It is this objective that encompasses PWC’s approach to carbon reduction)

The challenges

PWC believes that sustainability is the most important issue we are going to have to deal with over the coming decades. In the years ahead, there will not be many business decisions that are not impacted by the sustainability agenda.

PWC is looking to identify how sustainability can be integrated into all aspects of its business ranging from advice to clients to contributions to public policy, being a great place to work and minimising firm’s environmental impact.

PWC aims to continually improve its own sustainability performance, and focus on other areas of highest impact and materiality.

The economic downturn has, in part, helped to reduce travel, consumption and waste. PWC is considering how to sustain reductions in emissions as the economic recovery builds momentum; what investments will drive long-term sustainability of the business and the communities in which it operates? PWC wants to meet the challenge of creating a strong and robust business which serves its clients; provides challenging and enjoyable opportunities for its people and partners; and generates growth that delivers positive environmental and social results.

The solution

PWC has focused on the opportunities as well as managing the risks and continually thinks about how the carbon reduction agenda can help differentiate from competitors and develop new offerings.

PWC aspires to act in a manner that minimises the detrimental environmental impacts of its business operations. This means breaking down objectives into actions that can be undertaken by everyone; assessing the elements of tasks undertaken on a daily basis to consider where changes can be made and their impact; Considering the big picture, but not overlooking the smaller elements.

The results

Across all environmental impact areas, from a baseline of 2007 PWC’s performance is on target with its five year reduction targets as shown.

The graphs and commentary on the attachment on this web page highlight the initiatives which have been adopted by PWC in a consistent and coordinated approach to reducing their environmental impact.

The firm has been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for its robust approach to measuring, managing and genuinely reducing carbon emissions and committing to reducing them year on year.

Learning points

  • Applying skills from the financial reporting world helps in generating meaningful, accurate, timely information to enable informed decisions around non-financial issues.
  • Maximise the benefits when implementing energy reduction initiatives by articulating why carbon management is important to the business and motivate staff to get involved through education and opportunity.


Please visit the PWC website to find out more information about the organisation and their recent work.


PWC award winners case study (pdf)