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Employees, Efficiency Help PwC Meet Climate Goal Two Years Early

Two years ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) declared it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent over a four-year period.

On Monday, the professional services firm announced it has met this goal two years ahead of schedule through a combination of efficiency and employee engagement. PwC's fiscal year 2009 greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by more than 62,000 metric tons compared to its FY 2007 baseline.

A big part of PwC's overall environmental strategy is a focus on making its real estate holdings more efficient. The company, for example, conducted energy audits and retrofits at 29 of its top offices, which should play a hand in cutting energy consumption by 18 percent and boosting its bottom line by $1.9 million over a three-year period.

In an interview last year with, Shannon Schuyler, PwC corporate responsibility leader, described how the company was seizing the low-hanging fruit, such as using less paper, improving energy efficiency and engaging employees.

At the time, PwC had announced it was already halfway to its four-year emissions reduction goal just one year in. But those early results didn't include the impact from the recession, which lowered emissions from reduced waste and travel.

"We want to leverage behavior from the recession to keep our footprint low," Schuyler said last year. "It will be interesting to see how that evolves."

Aside from investing in videoconferencing technologies to reduce firm travel, PwC also built a new green data center that received LEED Gold certification.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user Michael Oh.


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