Walker Wayland NSW is currently in the process of becoming completely Carbon Neutral. This is exciting news with the goal of entirely neutralising the carbon output of the firm by 31 December 2020. In the current climate, uncertainty surrounding the future of our environment highlights the important role of businesses to take initiative and embark on ways to become more energy efficient, reduce their carbon output and contribution to environmental destruction. As a mid-tier accounting and advisory firm in NSW with over 50 employees, we understand our ability to make a change by assessing our impact on carbon emissions produced in this country and feel environmental accountability to become climate active.
Carbon Neutrality is a term used to describe “the state of an entity, where the carbon emissions caused by them have been balanced out by funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world” . Companies including ANZ, Bank of Australia, CBUS Super and PWC are already carbon neutral and considered ‘Climate Active’ . Several companies have embarked on the journey to becoming carbon neutral within the near future including Delta Airlines committing $1 billion to become the first airline to offset their emissions, Pandora Jewellery by 2025 and The Guardian by 2030. Microsoft has also committed to being carbon negative by 2030 meaning it will remove more carbon out of the atmosphere than it emits.
Climate Active is an ongoing partnership between the Australian Government and Australian businesses to drive voluntary climate action, this involves the certification awarded to businesses and Organisations that have credibly reached a state of achieving net zero emission. For us here at Walker Wayland NSW we are working with Pangolin and Associates to undergo this process and gain ‘Active’ status once achieving carbon neutrality.
Initially, analysis and surveys are being conducted to calculate the total greenhouse gas emissions (known as our carbon footprint) generated by our activity, such as electricity use in the office, paper resources and travel. Once the total carbon footprint is known – opportunities to reduce these emissions will be supported by investing in new technology or making alterations to daily operations. Some specific changes that we are incorporating include improving recycling, reducing paper usage and holding virtual meetings to reduce travel which is a major contributor to our carbon footprint.
Any remaining emissions can be ‘cancelled out’ by purchasing carbon credits. Carbon credit units are generated from activities that prevent, reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions being released into the atmosphere. When the offsets purchased by an organisation equal the emissions produced, the organisation is considered carbon neutral.
This is an important goal for Walker Wayland NSW in 2020 and a commitment that we feel strongly about. We hope that other firms may follow in our path and take important steps to reduce their environmental impact.
Additionally, this is in line with the highly positive announcement by the 14 major accounting bodies worldwide including CA ANZ and CPA, that calls on its members to take action and help others to deal with climate change. The Chief Executive of CA ANZ, Rick Ellis said
“This call to action was a sign that the accounting bodies were supporting accountants who had taken the first steps in identifying climate change risks”.
Ellis believes accountants are uniquely placed and qualified to help businesses and Organisations deal with climate change and the subsequent threat it poses to environmental, economic and social sustainability.
The Walker Wayland NSW Audit and Assurance team led by partner Wali Aziz, can provide Carbon Audit Services to clients, advisory services branded through Walker Wayland Climate Change Division. These services include emission reduction fund audits, partial exemption certificate audits, carbon neutrality audits in addition to advising businesses on climate related risks and disclosures. If you are interested in finding out more about your businesses carbon footprint and how to go about reducing it or reaching carbon neutral status, please contact Wali Aziz at Walker Wayland NSW for more information.
Walker Wayland Australasia Limited network firm, Walker Wayland Audit (WA) based in Perth also provides carbon audit services. John Dorazio, partner at Walker Wayland Audit (WA) Pty Limited leads this service line.