Rich Lesser, CEO of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has announced a major new climate commitment for the firm that will deliver net-zero climate impact by 2030. To reach this goal, BCG will take significant action to reduce its footprint and neutralize its remaining climate impact by investing in leading-edge carbon removal projects.
The firm will reduce direct energy and electricity emissions (Scopes 1 and 2)—against its baseline year of 2018—by 90% per full-time-equivalent employee by 2025. BCG transitioned to purchasing 100% renewable electricity in 2019 and will continue to pursue efforts to increase energy efficiency across its operations to achieve the remainder of this target.
BCG will also reduce its climate impact from business travel, which represents more than 80% of its total footprint, by at least 30% per FTE by 2025, with expected further improvements to follow. While the mobility of its people is important to delivering services to clients, BCG began making changes to reduce the climate impact of business travel prior to COVID-19 and will build upon lessons learned during the pandemic to further transform its approach.
Neutralizing the Remaining Climate Impact
To neutralize the climate impact of its remaining footprint, BCG will remove carbon from the atmosphere by scaling investments in carbon removal projects and technologies. For every remaining tonne (CO2 equivalent) that it emits, the firm will remove a tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thereby achieving net-zero climate impact by 2030.
BCG is committed to removing carbon with the most effective nature-based and engineered solutions at an expected cost of $35 per tonne in 2025, rising to $80 per tonne in 2030. This marks a significant increase against the current voluntary carbon offset market average of $3 to $6 per tonne. This major investment will enable BCG to work collaboratively with leading organizations around the world in developing and deploying the most advanced removal approaches, essential to meeting the goals of the Paris Accord.
Beyond 2030, the firm is committed to being climate positive by removing more CO2 than the amount of CO2 equivalent that it emits.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for global efforts to develop solutions to the world’s biggest problems,” said Lesser. “True to our values and purpose, we have a responsibility to show leadership in this new reality. The greatest impact BCG can have is to help our clients tackle their climate challenges and accelerate their transition to a lower-carbon economy. But to stand confidently and proudly behind our work, we also have to change the way we ourselves operate and invest substantially. Like every company, we must step up.”
Helping to Shape and Deliver the Global Climate Agenda
Beyond transforming its own operations and investments in carbon removal, BCG is announcing a $400 million commitment over the next decade to enable its teams to drive climate and environmental impact across governments, industries, NGOs, and coalitions in order to advance global progress toward the net-zero ambition.
The firm deeply believes that broad and collective action is required to create a sustainable future, and it is already delivering more than 350 climate and environment projects with over 250 organizations each year.
BCG teams support the realization of the global climate agenda through the development of innovative research, high-impact climate strategies, and new climate ventures. BCG delivers transformations that directly reduce climate impact and shape environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) programs that influence global climate action and the advanced analytics and digital tools that contribute to solutions.
Through BCG’s global partnerships with the World Economic Forum, WWF, TED Countdown, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, BCG is helping these organizations develop capabilities, improve effectiveness, and better deliver on their climate missions.
In addition, BCG is supporting the UK government and the UN High-Level Champion for Climate Action to prepare for and organize the UN COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland. BCG is especially focused on the role of nonstate actors in achieving the Paris ambition. This will be a decisive moment for climate action, and BCG will be working tirelessly to ensure a positive outcome.
Through this broad set of actions and investments and additional climate engagement, BCG will pursue Science Based Target initiative participation and will look to continually advance its leadership role in helping the world address the existential climate and environment challenges we are facing.