Highlights from the 2023 financial year

New partnership with WWF Germany

  • to support two nature conservation projects

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions

  • by around 14 per cent compared to the base year 2019

Green electricity

  • at all our locations

New travel expenses policy with environmental aspects

  • As an important criterion in travel organisation
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In order to fulfil our responsibility for future generations, we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact - both in our own business operations and in our supply chain. With our ESG services, we support our customers in making their business models, products and services sustainable. In this way, we make our joint contribution to preserving a world worth living in today and in the future.

KPMG International, together with the member firms of the global KPMG organisation, has joined the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The SBTi aims to firmly anchor science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Climate Agreement in corporate practice. As part of a short-term reduction target, we have committed to reducing our emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. Our target is based on a 1.5-degree reduction pathway and commits us to an absolute reduction in emissions in Scope 1, 2 and 3. The base year for the target is the 2018 / 2019 financial year, which was the last full financial year before the Covid-19 pandemic. This had a significant impact on the main greenhouse gas-generating activities (in particular business travel, energy consumption in office buildings and commuting).

KPMG in Germany has also committed to halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In order to make our contribution to achieving the 1.5 degree target and meet the SBTi commitments, we have drawn up a national environmental programme, Environment 2030, which has been approved by the Executive Board. This programme sets out specific measures in the areas of mobility, sustainable supplier management, energy and resource consumption and commuting.

Further information can be found here.

I make a difference

We humans are very lucky to have the world we live in. I realise that we have to design the living spaces we use in such a way that they are just as liveable for future generations as we are experiencing them right now. This does not happen automatically; we have to live sustainably.

Strong together with the WWF

By joining the SBTi, we have committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. In addition, we are also taking financial responsibility for emissions that continue to arise and have entered into a partnership with WWF Germany for this purpose. As part of this sponsorship, we are financing two nature conservation projects: in the Unganisha nature reserve in East Africa and in the Cerrado in Brazil. Both projects pursue a holistic approach and not only have climate protection as their primary goal, but also the protection of the global common goods of water and biodiversity. Furthermore, the success of both projects is essentially based on the involvement of the local and indigenous population. Income from our internal CO2 pricing is used to finance both projects.


This region is home to eight national protected areas, including the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro National Parks. Fences, roads and irrigated maize cultivation are increasingly blocking the migration routes of native animals. WWF's aim is to connect the Mara-Serengeti, Amboseli-Kilimanjaro and Tsavo-Mkomazi landscapes, which are already largely protected, so that a large-scale network of protected areas can be created. In Unganisha, we are investing in an existing and ongoing WWF project that brings together conservationists, governments and people in the region.


This area, which, like the Amazon rainforest, plays a key role in protecting the climate and preserving biodiversity, is currently under severe threat from soya cultivation. Many indigenous peoples and communities live in this region and are dependent on a healthy ecosystem. WWF is using our funds to implement a nature conservation project in the Cerrado with the aim of restoring large areas of the original landscape. In the degraded areas, the focus is on restoring ecosystems, including improving water quality and supply, protecting biodiversity and CO2 sequestration through reforestation and land conservation.

Through CO2 pricing, important funds flow into ecologically and socially sensitive regions such as Unganisha and Cerrado. They make an indispensable contribution to global climate protection and directly benefit local people and nature.

Dr. Sebastian Öttl, Lead Sustainable Business & Climate at WWF Germany

Three questions for...CEO Mattias Schmelzer on our contribution to global climate protection

Why is KPMG investing in global climate protection?

The world must act quickly and collectively to achieve the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Climate Agreement. We at KPMG also have a responsibility, which is reflected in our own climate targets. In addition, we are also committed to protecting the climate and natural resources such as water and biodiversity outside of our own company in cooperation with WWF Germany.

What are we doing about the environmental impact of our own business activities?

We are constantly reducing our own CO2 emissions and improving our business processes to minimise their impact on the environment. One thing is clear: it is and remains our primary task when it comes to our contribution to climate protection. We also take responsibility by investing in nature conservation projects. The collaboration with the WWF in Unganisha and Cerrado is an excellent fit, especially as we can measure and track the impact of our commitment. We want to make a sustainable contribution.

Is our ESG advisory business with our clients linked to our own actions?

ESG has two levels - firstly, our own sustainability strategy with Our Impact Plan in our own company, with which we make a contribution, and secondly, our ESG advisory topics for clients. In this respect, they are interlinked. With our services, we are making an important contribution to making the economy as a whole more sustainable. Based on our competitive advantage of technical and regulatory expertise, we want to support companies in their ESG endeavours as a purpose-driven transformation partner with corresponding ESG expertise and help them to play their part in a sustainable future. I think this is a very valuable and inspiring task.

Programme Environment 2030

Our Environment 2030 programme focuses on measures in the four areas of mobility (business travel), sustainable supplier management, energy and resource consumption and commuting.


Business trips are an important part of our business model. Personal contact with our customers is still important, even though the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly reduced the number of business trips we take overall. In the 2023 financial year, the first year without any travel restrictions, we are once again recording a higher number of business trips compared to the years with Covid-19 restrictions. Nevertheless, the number of business trips remains well below the pre-coronavirus level. This development is not only due to a change in the way we work, with virtual meetings replacing many business trips, but also to the other measures, particularly those aimed at raising awareness of the use of environmentally friendly modes of transport. Business trips currently account for 26 per cent of our total emissions. In order to sustainably change our employees' travel behaviour, we focus in particular on raising awareness and motivation. For example, we use targeted incentives to promote ecologically orientated business trip planning and implementation. Specifically, we are implementing the following measures:

  • Internal CO2 price
    In the 2023 financial year, we introduced an internal CO2 price in management reporting. This makes activities with high greenhouse gas emissions more expensive in order to raise awareness of climate-damaging activities among our project managers and create transparency for their daily decisions in order management. Currently, the internal CO2 price of EUR 50 / t CO2 applies to emissions from business travel and building energy and thus covers 36 per cent of our total net emissions. We invest the income generated by the internal CO2 price in climate and environmental protection projects.
  • Virtual meetings instead of business trips
    Collaboration platforms and video conferencing tools have proven to be a well-functioning alternative to business trips. By adapting our internal infrastructure, we enable our employees to hold business meetings with customers virtually and thus significantly reduce the number of business trips.
  • CO2-neutral rail travel
    All local and long-distance business trips made with Deutsche Bahn are CO2-free for KPMG employees. We have been making this possible since 2009, long before Deutsche Bahn ran all of its business trips on 100 per cent green electricity.
  • New travel expenses policy
    A growing number of Lease Car users are opting for alternative drive systems. Half of our fleet currently consists of battery-powered electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids and the average CO2 emissions of our vehicle fleet are now just under 100 g / km. We are promoting this with measures such as an ever-increasing range of electric charging stations at our branches and the Environment Plus programme, which allows employees to opt for a more expensive lease car if it has an alternative drive system.
  • Lease Cars
    A growing number of lease car users are opting for alternative drive systems. Currently, half of our fleet already consists of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids and the average CO2 emissions of our vehicle fleet are now just under 100 g/km. We are promoting this with measures such as an ever-increasing range of electric charging points at our branches and the Environment Plus Programme, which allows employees to opt for a more expensive lease car if it has an alternative drive system.
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Sustainable supplier management

The goods and services we procure account for the majority of our emissions (57 per cent). We see the supply chain as a major lever for reducing our environmental impact - which is why environmental aspects play an important role in our purchasing decisions. Our goal is for at least half of our strategic suppliers to also set a science-based target by 2030.

To calculate the emissions caused by the goods and services we purchase, we currently face the challenge of obtaining real data from our suppliers. For this reason, we have the calculation of Scope 3.1 emissions (Purchased Goods and Services) carried out by an independent economic research institute using an input-output analysis. This year, we have started to enrich the values of our suppliers with supplier-specific data and to continuously improve the quality of our data in this Scope 3 category. To do this, we use the data provided to us by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Supply Chain Programme from our largest suppliers. We currently map 15 per cent of CO2 emissions using supplier-specific data. Further information on the topic of sustainable supply chains can be found in the chapter Supplier management.

Energy and resource consumption

Our energy consumption is currently responsible for 10 per cent of KPMG's greenhouse gas emissions in Germany. We are tenants in all the buildings we use and therefore only have limited room for manoeuvre when it comes to saving energy. Nevertheless, we can implement measures to utilise our energy consumption more efficiently. We also want to continue to implement appropriate energy-saving measures in light of the responsibility we have as a large company in view of geopolitical developments and their consequences. In autumn 2022, we therefore drew up an energy-saving programme to not only implement the measures required by law at the time, but also to identify and implement previously unused energy-saving potential in the long term. We have implemented the following measures as part of the energy-saving programme:

  • Temporary closure of ten additional rented spaces during the winter months
  • Reduction of the heating setpoint temperature and extension of the weekend and night setback in those buildings where this is technically possible
  • Switch off façade lighting, logos, televisions and other electrical appliances that are not absolutely necessary

As complete data is not yet available, particularly for heating, it has not yet been possible to fully evaluate the reduction resulting from the successfully implemented energy-saving programme. An initial evaluation of locations for which complete data is available revealed a reduction of 10 per cent compared to the previous year.

In addition, we have taken further steps in recent years and in the 2023 financial year that contribute to a more environmentally friendly office environment and conserve resources. These include the following measures:

  • Green electricity at all our locations
  • Energy-efficient buildings
  • Environmental aspects in our World of Work 2025 branches
  • Reusable packaging
  • Recycled paper
  • Sustainable coffee - and now also tea
  • Oat milk
  • Settlement of honey bee colonies
  • Planning and organising sustainable events
  • Conserving resources through a more circular economy

Further information can be found here.

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When it comes to mobility, it is not only business trips that cause emissions (currently 7 per cent), but also our employees' commutes. We want to motivate and sensitise our employees to use environmentally friendly means of transport to get to work. Here, too, we do not want to act with prohibitions, but instead rely on incentives. Our measures include the following:

  • Innovative mobility concept at the Berlin site
    The mobility concept for the Berlin branch, which has been in place since summer 2022, provides for the redistribution of CO2-intensive to CO2-poor mobility. The proceeds from the rental of parking spaces in the branch's underground car park are used to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable mobility for Berlin employees. They receive a monthly mobility allowance for the use of public transport or lease bikes, for example.
  • Charging infrastructure for e-cars and hybrid vehicles
    Environmentally friendly mobility also includes the promotion of vehicles with electric drives. KPMG has now set up a charging infrastructure for electric cars and hybrid vehicles at some of its branches. Other existing buildings will be retrofitted where technically possible. In addition, new KPMG offices will be equipped with charging points in future. In the 2023 financial year, our employees had access to a total of around 100 charging points at 15 KPMG locations.
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The KPMG Green Circle and the digital notice board

The KPMG Green Circle is a new project that offers our employees the opportunity to actively participate in promoting the circular economy and raise their awareness of this issue. In autumn 2023, we introduced a "Green Exchange Box" at our Berlin and Hamburg offices. This box invites our employees to donate used personal items such as books, games or DVDs that they own and to take things they need with them. Our aim is to efficiently reuse valuable resources within the company.

We have also relaunched the digital notice board. This online platform gives all employees the opportunity to offer and purchase clothing, furniture and other items. This not only promotes the sustainable use of everyday items, but also encourages dialogue between our employees within the company.

What we achieved in the 2023 financial year

Our CO2 footprint

We have been calculating our CO2 footprint with a view to our sustainability targets and the SBTi requirements since 2021, taking into account all material Scope 3 emissions. Upstream emissions from our value chain that are relevant to us have been included since the base year 2019, including greenhouse gas emissions from our supply chain and from our employees' commuting behaviour.

KPMG Germany reports the relevant emissions data annually to KPMG International. They are then integrated into the reporting of the global KPMG organisation to the SBTi. In addition, KPMG in Germany and KPMG International jointly report annually to the CDP on our company-wide environmental performance and our management of climate-related risks. This is currently assessed with a B score. The overview below shows our progress, but also the challenges we face in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Compared to the base year 2019, greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 14 per cent. However, there was a 35 per cent increase in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the previous year. As in the previous year, this increase can be attributed to the decline in global pandemic restrictions. However, greenhouse gas emissions are below the pre-corona level despite a normalisation of business operations.

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