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Making informed choices to reduce your ecological footprint


Environmental Footprint Insights help with sustainable behavioural change

Naming one positive effect of the corona crisis, it would be the sharp drop in global CO2 emissions. But now that the economy is slowly getting back on its feet, the expectation is that we will all start producing more CO2 again.

According to PwC professionals Debby Jannink and Wineke Haagsma, it is now that it is important for people to be aware of the choices they make when it comes to mobility, for example, and therefore the size of their ecological footprint. PwC developed a special app to provide insight into this: Environmental Footprint Insights.

Substantial decrease in CO2 emissions due to corona crisis

As a result of having to work from home due to Covid-19 and the (temporary) closure of many factories, CO2 emissions have fallen sharply over the past eighteen months. Apart from the terrible consequences of the virus, you could call this a positive effect. The crisis has also made us more aware of the opportunities. That we can easily work at home a few days a week. And that we don't always have to take the car or plane when meeting up with others. It is now important to continue this change in our behaviour', says Debby Jannink, PwC partner and expert in change management and leadership.

Special attention for ESG themes

According to Wineke Haagsma, head of corporate sustainability at PwC, this coincides well with the growing attention for ESG themes. Organisations are increasingly being judged on their contribution to environmental, social and governance issues. Investors are looking at these factors more often when deciding to invest money in a company.  Legislation and regulations are increasing in this area as well. Our clients are therefore more aware of this and we are regularly asked how they can gain more insight into their impact on the environment', according to Haagsma.

Better picture of impact on the environment

This is now partly possible with Environmental Footprint Insights. The app not only gives employees insight into their personal CO2 emissions when it comes to work-related mobility. They can also see how much the entire organisation emits or how much CO2 is produced within a particular project or by an office. Furthermore, the app provides information on the cost of the CO2 emissions and the time spent per employee due to his or her mobility choice.

Jannink: 'This way you get a much better picture as an organisation, of your impact on the environment and you can realize adjustments more easily. In addition, it is easier to inform your employees about the steps you are taking regarding sustainability, and make them aware of their choices. Finally, you can clearly show regulators and investors what concrete steps you are taking and to what extent you are contributing to the ESG themes. In short, you can easily provide useful information to various stakeholders.'

Sustainable behavioural change comes first

According to the PwC experts, the app should be seen as a means to achieve a sustainable change in behaviour within organisations and making employees more aware of their choices. That is why the app is part of a service package that also includes project and change management. 'If an organisation wants to transform in the area of sustainability, it has to be supported by everyone. Starting with the leadership team, who should act as a role model. Otherwise it will not work.'

'This was also evident from a number of pilots that we conducted at PwC', Haagsma adds. Young employees are very concerned about climate change and believe everyone has a responsibility to ensure that it is reduced. They expect their employer to give them the opportunity to do so.'

PwC's circular ambition

That's exactly what PwC does. As we are ‘walking the talk’ PwC is also going to use the app internally. 'This fits in with our circular ambition to operate fully circularly by 2030. Climate change is one of the most pressing problems in today's world. The business community plays a key role in combating climate change and being a driver for sustainable growth. We, too, take our responsibility and commit to a net-zero ambition. This includes supporting our customers in their sustainability transformation.'

‘If an organisation wants to transform in the area of sustainability, it has to be supported by everyone. Starting with the leadership team, who should act as a role model. Otherwise it will not work.’

Debby Jannink PwC


Debby Jannink

Debby Jannink

Partner Change & Leadership, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 394 98 21

Wineke Haagsma

Wineke Haagsma

Head of Corporate Sustainability, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)88 792 54 24

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