• BDO is Belgium’s first climate-neutral consultancy firm

BDO is Belgium’s first climate-neutral consultancy firm

19 September 2019

BDO Belgium reduces CO2 emissions by a quarter per employee thanks to teleworking

BDO Belgium, together with its staff and independent climate consultancy CO2Logic, has drawn up an ambitious climate action plan to become completely climate-neutral. The consultancy firm will link part of the collective bonus to the company’s CO2 targets, will purchase 100% renewable energy and at least half of its 11 offices in Belgium will be passive by 2030. Until BDO has completely reduced its internal emissions, it will compensate for the remaining emissions with a climate project in Ghana. This makes BDO Belgium the first climate-neutral consultancy firm in Belgium.

Over the past 7 years BDO Belgium has reduced its CO2 emissions per employee by a quarter. The company did this together with the independent climate consultancy CO2Logic. Today, the annual emissions per BDO employee amount to 7 tCO2e. For the company as a whole, the figure is 4,578 tCO2e, which is comparable to the emissions of about 450 Belgians in one year. In order to eliminate these direct emissions (energy consumption, refrigerants, fuel consumption, own vehicle fleet) as well as indirect emissions (waste, paper consumption, drinks, commuting and air travel), the consultancy has drawn up an ambitious action plan. For this effort, BDO received the ‘CO2-neutral’ certificate, validated by inspection and certification body Vinçotte, from CO2Logic, a company which specialises in the calculation, reduction and compensation of CO2 emissions.

Teleworking and hybrid vehicles helped reduce CO2 emissions by a quarter

In 2011, BDO had a first carbon footprint made under the guidance of CO2Logic. Since then the consultancy firm has been working to reduce its emissions.

Jan Janssen, project director at CO2Logic: “As regards mobility, teleworking was actively promoted, hybrid vehicles were included in the fleet and BDO launched the ‘Vaigo’ platform for alternative modes of transport. In terms of infrastructure, a switch was made to LED lighting and photovoltaic solar panels were installed at one of the sites. Other measures, such as using reusable cups and recycled paper, have further reduced emissions.”

With success, but BDO Belgium wants to do more for the climate. That is why, together with its staff and under the guidance of CO2Logic, it drew up an ambitious climate plan to reduce the company’s CO2 emissions even further.

Collective bonus linked to ambitious climate plan

Measures to be taken by 2020 include the purchase of 100% renewable energy, further encouraging remote meetings via the internet, the implementation of a mobility budget, the establishment of a stricter air travel policy and the introduction of eco-driving lessons for all employees. By 2025, in addition to 25% teleworking and 25% electric fleet vehicles, BDO wants to see a quarter of its staff making use of the mobility budget and wants to link part of the collective bonus to the CO2 targets. By 2030, the plan is that at least half of the offices should be passive and 50% of the vehicles should be electric.

“This involvement of the staff is very important”, says Fabrice Grognard, Partner at BDO Belgium. “Our staff has voted for the measures to be implemented and thus they underpin the new action plan and ambitious objectives for the future. We want to reduce our carbon footprint per employee by an additional 10% by 2020 and by 50% by 2030 compared to 2018. In this way, we want to make our own contribution to the climate ambitions set out in the Paris Agreement.”

Climate project in Ghana compensates for remaining CO2 emissions
Implementing these measures takes time, which means that part of our CO2 emissions still remains. As from today, BDO wants to make sure that its net impact on the climate is zero and it will therefore compensate for the remaining emissions by supporting a certified climate project in Ghana. The ‘Efficient Cookstoves’ project combats the deforestation of the rainforest in Ghana with energy-efficient ovens. BDO Belgium will pay part of the production costs of these ovens.