PA Consulting commits to 1.5°C sustainability target

12 March 2021 2 min. read
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PA Consulting, a global innovation and transformation consultancy, has made a commitment to ensure its environmental practices contribute to limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The firm will adhere to the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative, a partnership between UNGC, Carbon Disclosure Project, World Resources Institute, and the WWF that encourages companies to set carbon reduction goals in line with the science of climate change.

The SBT initiative assesses and approves company targets, with the scale of emission reduction tied to temperature limit scenarios of 2 degrees, below 2 degrees, and 1.5 degrees. Objectives must be set within two years of commitment, and objectives must run over 10 to 15 years. Initial targets are a first step toward net zero or carbon negative operations, with limited allowance for offsetting (i.e. buying carbon offset credits but keeping your own company’s emissions at a similar level).

PA Consulting announces sustainability commitment to 1.5°C target

"We believe that combatting climate change is a vital element of building a positive human future and there’s never been a more urgent need to scale our commitment to reducing carbon emissions,” Ken Toombs, CEO of PA Consulting, said. “We will be working closely with our people to educate colleagues and clients on our new commitments to support the journey towards a more sustainable future.”

The SBT commitment is the latest effort from PA to advance sustainability in its internal operations and in its client engagements. The consulting firm recently developed the business case for a RE:FIT, a City of London initiative to cut 35,000 tons of carbon emissions annually, and provided analysis to investment manager AMP Capital on accelerating electric bus deployment in Latin America.

The firm also uses its innovation expertise to create and scale sustainable technology. PA recently developed a 100% biodegradable, edible drink container made of seaweed for client Notpla and worked with the University of Cambridge to apply machine learning to agriculture in order to produce cheaper, higher-yield, and higher-quality crops.

“Our commitment to set SBTs will aid not only our firm’s progress towards reducing the effects of climate change on tomorrow's world, but also our clients' efforts to reduce their end-to-end carbon footprint,” Jonquil Hackenberg, global head of sustainability at PA Consulting, said. “With these new global firm-wide ambitions, I am confident that we are on track to deliver sustainable innovation and impact at scale.”

PA Consulting is based in London and has offices in the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. The firm’s 3,200 consultants, designers, innovators, and scientists advise clients on product design and engineering, strategy and operations, and digital transformation, among other areas.

Design and engineering firm Jacobs recently closed its acquisition of PA Consulting, taking a 65% stake.