We’re delighted to recognise the ambition of ten accountancy firms to address their greenhouse gas emissions with Net Zero Now ‘On the Road to Net Zero’ certification. The trailblazing firms are the first among those signed up to the Net Zero Accountancy Initiative to be certified – a testament to the ongoing commitment they have made to tackle the climate crisis by working towards ambitious near-term and long-term carbon reduction targets. And we’re celebrating this milestone with the launch of a new competition for accountants who want to develop their sustainability know how – keep scrolling!
The firms, which include Purple Lime and Prager Metis, have worked with Net Zero Now to undertake a full calculation of their greenhouse gas emissions – the vital first step in enabling action to reduce them. Together, they employ a total of 2,500 people and were responsible for 7,000 tonnes of emissions in 2022 – equivalent to the emissions generated by driving 17 million miles in a petrol car1.
All these firms have now committed to annual reporting of their footprint and to reducing their scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and to ambitious scope 3 targets. They are already making strong headway to deliver on their emissions reduction targets through the introduction of energy efficiency measures, switching to renewable energy and encouraging less impactful employee commuting methods, for example.
The Net Zero Accountancy Initiative is curated by Net Zero Now and was built in collaboration with sector leaders, including the ICAEW, ACCA, AAT, AIA and piloted by a number of accountancy businesses. Net Zero Now’s climate expertise and the knowledge and experience from across the accountancy worlds has combined to create the sector-specific roadmap to Net Zero for accountancy businesses, which sits at the heart of the Initiative. Firms signing up have access to Net Zero Now’s online platform, which provides simple tools and recommendations for measuring and reducing carbon emissions
Committing to Net Zero is not only good for the planet, it also comes with other positive returns on investment. Businesses on the road to Net Zero report reduced costs – because they become more efficient and get a handle on waste, while becoming more attractive organisations to do business with and to work for. Increasingly, those that commit to the journey put themselves in a strong position to work with large companies that are now mandated to report on emissions in their value chain. This value chain includes their accountants, every bit as much as it includes the people who supply their raw materials, or the customers who use their end products.
David Rothera, Head of Business Development at Net Zero Now, said: “Accountants have a critical role to play as the world transitions to a more planet-positive future. Not only are they important advisers that can influence business leaders, they also have all the skills and much of the knowledge to undertake, or advise others around, carbon accounting. This is the crux of getting to grips with emissions for most organisations. Good management of greenhouse gas emissions can only come after good measurement. The Net Zero Accountancy Initiative that we’ve developed in partnership with sector leaders provides the guide rails and standards that enable all firms to accurately measure their emissions using the Net Zero Now online platform, whilst accessing tailored reduction plans to help them move towards Net Zero. I congratulate these ten firms on taking action and making this commitment and hope that others in the sector will be inspired to follow their lead.”
Sarah Reay, Climate Change Manager at the ICAEW said: “I am delighted with the growth of the Net Zero Accountancy Initiative and how it has benefited our member firms, with some taking the lead as first adopters, showcasing their commitment to sustainability in the accounting sector. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with Net Zero Now, working together to further our progress toward a Net Zero future.”
Oli Thomas, Founding Director of Purple Lime Accountancy and ACCA fellow member, said: “We were thrilled when we first met with the Net Zero Now team. They created a product that would make measuring and committing to reduced emissions so much easier than other tools out there. Purple Lime were able to quite effortlessly record our emissions and get on the road to Net Zero, safe in the hands of this team. We play a vital role in helping our clients across all sectors see that the journey is not as scary as they may think, by leading by example and offering a huge resource like Net Zero Now.
Dan Harrison of Harrisons Accountancy said: “We love working with Net Zero Now and working towards our Net Zero goal and helping the planet.”
Simon Winters, Partner of Prager Metis LLP said: “Prager Metis LLP is proud to be working with Net Zero Now. Assessing the environmental impact of each operational sector has taught our team about what it takes to reduce carbon emissions in an effective and sustainable manner. Our team is confident that with Net Zero Now’s assistance, we will accomplish all our goals and share our experiences with others. Our team believes this initiative will inspire other organisations to recognise the growing need for a more sustainable future.”
Adam Williamson, Head of Responsible Business at AAT: “At AAT we’re committed to working towards Net Zero as is reflected in our strategy, outlining our plans up to 2030. One of the three key pillars of this plan is building responsible business – this means thinking about sustainability in everything we do. To help us with our journey, we are utilising the Net Zero Now platform to ensure accurate data collection and analysis which will allow us to identify our key emissions hot spots in the short term, and to develop appropriate science-based reduction targets in the longer term. These tangible commitments are required across the sector and wider society to ensure that we all show leadership and help the drive toward building a sustainable future.”
Ewan McClymont, Head of Responsible Business, Bishop Fleming said: “The support that we’ve enjoyed from Net Zero Now has been instrumental in us not only calculating our annual carbon footprint, but also helping us develop a reduction action plan that will achieve the greatest impact. We have much to do but are confident that we can achieve significant progress in this area going forward.”
Win, win, win! It’s competition time!
To mark this significant milestone for the Net Zero Accountancy Initiative, Net Zero Now is offering two lucky individuals the chance to develop their sustainability knowledge by giving them a free place on a short course from the prestigious Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. If you’re an accountant who would like to up your sustainability game, click here to find out more about this incredible opportunity, https://bit.ly/nzn_sustainability_competition.
If you’d like your business to start their Net Zero journey, visit www.netzeronow.org/accountants
The 10 firms certified as ‘On the Road to Net Zero’ are: Grunberg & Co, Blu Sky, Inglis, Eco Accountancy, Harrisons Accountancy, Your Local Bookkeeper, RRL Cornwall, Prager Metis, Green & Moore, Purple Lime.