'Bigger and bolder goals' – the view from Accenture

At Accenture, we’ve come a long way since our environmental journey began in 2007. We’re committed to driving change and over the last decade we’ve continued to set bigger and bolder environmental goals for ourselves, embedding responsibility and sustainability into everything that we do.

We’re proud to be the largest professional services company with a goal aligned to the Science Based Targets Initiative. Our ambitious climate action goals are to achieve net-zero emissions, net-zero waste and plan for water risk by 2025.

We have a clear governance structure to direct us toward achieving our goals. Effective December 2020, we appointed a Chief Responsibility Officer and Global Sustainability Services Lead; this is a newly created role with a primary focus on both client and corporate sustainability.

In 2021, we instituted a newly structured Environmental Sustainability Executive Committee accountable for approving strategic global decisions aligned to Accenture’s corporate environmental sustainability commitments and growth objectives.

In the past year, we also launched our new Environmental Steering Committee, Environmental Operating Committee and Integrated ESG Reporting Steering Group. These groups meet regularly to monitor our environmental performance and identify improvement areas.

The early talent journey

Over the past few years, the UK Early Talent Recruitment Team has been growing increasingly conscious of the environmental impacts of our recruiting activities. Before the beginning of the pandemic, we had already started taking steps towards more sustainable practices.

  • In 2019, we made the decision to stop attending careers fairs. Not only did this reduce the number of journeys made by the team but it also drastically reduced the amount of merchandise and branded materials.
  • In the same year, we adopted a more targeted approach and reduced the number of events we attended overall, significantly decreasing our recruiter miles.
  • We also made the switch to more sustainable merchandise such as reusable water bottles, notebooks made from recycled paper and bamboo pens.

In early 2020 we seized the opportunity to innovate and create a fully virtual assessment experience for our candidates. Instead of travelling to one of our offices for an assessment centre our candidates are now assessed to the same high standard in the comfort of their own homes. Not only has this opened opportunities for a wider range of candidates, but it has also had a positive environmental impact as this has resulted in a huge reduction in travel, both by the team and by candidates, and also significantly reduced waste as all of the instructions and handouts are now distributed virtually.

Our onboarding is also fully virtual; we share digital resources with the new joiners and when they join they are able to participate in virtual reality sessions during their induction to engage with colleagues and other new joiners.

Whilst we had already started reducing the number of in-person events we attended, over the past year and a half 100% of our events have been delivered virtually. By doing so we’ve also used no printed materials in the process and have been able to recycle old banners. We want to retain this progress by digitising all our content moving forward and making everything accessible online even when we return to some face-to-face events.

We are committed to implementing environmental practices into our recruiting process and fostering environmental awareness and responsibility within our team.

Future plans

Looking into the future, we will –

  • Build on the success of the previous year by adopting a hybrid approach of virtual and physical candidate engagement content
  • Make climate-smart travel decisions by travelling less and utilising public transport
  • Reduce the number of emails –
    • Externally by making more information available on our careers website
    • Internally by making use of IM processes such as on Microsoft Teams
  • Place a greater focus on sustainability in the messaging we bring to students.

We’re excited to be part of the change and we look forward to continually transforming and improving our recruitment processes and reducing our environmental footprint.

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