Neil Hewitson

Partner, IGH ESG Lead

KPMG in the UK

Neil is the lead for our sustainability and ESG (environmental, social, governance) practice in Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare (IGH) in the UK.

Neil works with public sector bodies to transform their business and operating models to become sustainable, resilient and responsible. Neil is passionate about ensuring that sustainability is at the heart of major public sector transformation programmes. His approach is based on a firm view that it is not possible to design and implement transformation programmes that are fit for the future without having sustainability as the foundation. Neil champions the inclusion of sustainability design principles for change programmes, through the inclusion of sustainability impact assessments, biodiversity net gain, circular economy and climate risk considerations at key stages of the design process for future target operating models.

Neil has worked with multiple public sector bodies across infrastructure, government and healthcare to support them in designing and implementing sustainable business models and operations. He has delivered a broad range of sustainability advisory services to strategically and pragmatically address ESG risks and opportunities in business strategy and operations, governance, reporting and assurance.

Neil’s ESG engagements have included infrastructure, central government, health, education, local government and housing clients and covered:

  • ESG risk: as the lead for ESG across IGH, Neil regularly hosts design workshops with Boards and leadership teams to identify the most material sustainability risks and drivers across organisations, from climate risk assessments to climate adaption programmes to emissions baselining and carbon reduction to biodiversity net gain methods.
  • ESG strategy: Neil convened health, local authority and charitable bodies to agree common place-based net zero ambitions. Having set the ambition, he continues to support the locality with its ESG strategy and associated implementation plan to achieve net zero by 2030 for scope one and two emissions.
  • ESG governance: Neil has led teams undertaking ESG self-certification reviews for regulators, reviews of ESG risk management and ESG governance during periods of change and Board governance. This work has taught Neil the importance of clarity in designing ESG governance structures and associated reporting, for example the need for codified rapid escalation procedures for sustainability priorities.
  • ESG data: Neil is currently analysing consultation data concerning proposed Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in English waters, identifying key findings to inform the government’s next steps and intentions with regards to implementing HPMAs.
  • ESG reporting: Neil has worked with a broad range of public bodies to design and implement their ESG reporting frameworks, from national infrastructure providers to healthcare providers and housing associations. This work has given Neil a detailed understanding of the applicable regulatory and reporting regimes as well as the data, monitoring and reporting arrangements necessary to communicate progress to both internal and external stakeholders.
  • ESG assurance: Neil wrote KPMG’s public sector internal audit manual. The manual provides the detailed methodology which KPMG internal auditors must follow in conducting internal audit work for clients throughout the UK. He sits on KPMG’s internal audit advisory panel overseeing internal audit.
  • EBS Executive School, Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht

  • M.Eng Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • CPFA

  • AIIA

  • ESG and risk, governance and controls