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ICAEW’s first Carbon Neutrality Report: progress, with a journey ahead

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 21 Dec 2021

The first ICAEW Carbon Neutrality Report outlines progress made over 2020/21 and plans for what’s to come over the next decade.

After announcing its aims to go carbon neutral at the end of 2020, ICAEW has issued its first Carbon Neutrality Report so that members and other stakeholders can keep track of its progress.

ICAEW’s Board approved a roadmap for the organisation to become carbon neutral in July 2020. The roadmap set out a plan to financially support external carbon reducing projects to offset against its entire GHG emissions from 2020, in tandem with investment in internal decarbonisation actions over 10 years. The offsetting projects benefit local communities in Cambodia, Kenya and Vietnam, including improved conditions, employment and sanitation. The plan is to reduce the amount of offsetting as other measures are introduced.

Comparing its carbon footprint for the year 2020/21 with 2019/20, ICAEW reduced its emissions by approximately ¾ in the reporting year. Non-profit climate disclosure organisation CDP will issue a scoring in January 2022 for ICAEW’s internal climate-related processes, including governance. ICAEW expects this to be an improvement on last year’s ‘C’.

“The Institute made a great start, and has been quite brave in being very clear about what we haven’t done,” says Richard Spencer, ICAEW’s Director of Sustainability. “What I really like about the report is its emphasis on the fact that we're on a journey. We're not going to get everything right. There are things we haven't done yet. There's progress we've got to make. It just has a real authenticity about it.”

ICAEW’s story enables people to feel that they can tell their own story authentically too, he says. In future, it would look at taking on the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) strategic framework.

“Maybe it's just taking that framework and saying, What does this mean about the way we organise ourselves? We've done a lot of the absolute right things, but do we change the way we do things as well? The big firms are now looking at the carbon footprint of the services they offer. So do we now look at the carbon footprint of our qualification? There are some things in the report that start to explore how we're influencing the membership. That will evolve over time, but this will be quite a good driver to help us evolve.”

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