Firm is making ESG a watermark running through the organisation
HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 27 April 2023 – On 26 April, KPMG China held offline and online launch events in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong to mark the release of its third environmental, social and governance (ESG) report, Our Impact Plan FY2022 (“the OIP Report”). The OIP Report highlights the firm’s ESG commitments and progress across four key pillars – Governance, People, Planet and Prosperity – as well as the firm’s determination to continue to commit to ESG principles and practices.
At KPMG China, we are committed to promoting high-quality and sustainable economic and social development by supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and aligning ourselves with key national strategies such as the ‘dual carbon’ goals, rural revitalisation and Chinese modernisation. In 2022, KPMG China implemented an internal carbon price (ICP) to charge for greenhouse gas emissions related to its business travel. We also funded freshwater and wetland conservation programmes to protect the natural and ecological environment and promote a greener Greater Bay Area. In addition, we collaborated with local non-profit organisations (NPOs) to enhance their capability and ultimately promote rural revitalisation.
Honson To, Chairman of KPMG China and Asia Pacific, said:
“In the face of significant challenges, such as extreme weather, energy crises, geopolitical instability and more, we remain steadfast in our belief that putting ESG into practice is a core responsibility of the business community. In doing so, we have incorporated ESG principles across our company strategy, business operations and services, creating positive impacts for our people, our clients, the environment and society. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. KPMG China will strive to lead by example and take the necessary steps to put our commitments into action. In the future, ESG will continue to be the watermark running through our organisation. Together with our stakeholders, we aspire to be proactive in initiating change as we build a sustainable and promising future.”
Tracy Yang, Head of Corporate Affairs, and Senior Partner of the Eastern and Western Region, KPMG China, said:
“KPMG China has grown and flourished amid China’s rapid economic development. As we continue to grow our business in China, where we are deeply rooted, we remain grateful for the support of our communities. The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has called for a new era of achievement to drive high-quality development and promote green and low-carbon development across society. As it embarks on this new journey, KPMG China will continue to fully support the country’s national policies through Our Impact Plan and different key strategies, in an effort to contribute to a bright future for China.”
Commenting on the release of the OIP Report, Wilson Pang, Head of Our Impact Plan, Senior Partner of Advisory in the Southern Region, and Board Member of the KPMG Foundation, KPMG China, said:
“Driven by Our Impact Plan, KPMG China is actively integrating ESG into its daily operations and striving to create a corporate culture that centres sustainable development. While assisting clients in achieving their own sustainable development visions, the firm is leading by example by committing itself to acting as a responsible corporate citizen, protecting the environment, helping communities in need, and supporting national strategies such as ‘rural revitalisation’ and the ‘dual carbon’ goals. Going forward, we hope to see more like-minded individuals join us on this journey so we can all play a role in building a more sustainable future.”
Governance: Values-led corporate culture
As a professional services firm, our purpose – to inspire confidence and empower change – guides how we do business. To safeguard the firm’s corporate governance, all partners and staff are required to complete anti-corruption training, and all of the firm’s board and Executive Committee members have completed anti-corruption training as well. We take a rigorous approach with the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) process to identify and manage potential top risks. We have also established an independent and dedicated investigation unit to receive and systematically handle cases of misconduct. We act with integrity and maintain independence, transparency and open communication with our stakeholders, and hold ourselves accountable for our actions. All of these efforts contribute to the development of a positive brand image for the firm.
KPMG China is also committed to driving purposeful business to help our clients achieve their sustainability goals through our multidisciplinary services, including our ESG services. As part of its on-going efforts to promote green and low-carbon development in the market together with our business partners, in 2022, KPMG China signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the China Carbon Emissions Registration and Clearing Co., Ltd. (CCERC), as well as officially joined the China Carbon Neutral Action Alliance (CCNAA), led by the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange, as a council member, for the transformation to the green economy
Wei Lin, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at KPMG China, said:
“More and more companies realise the necessity of integrating strong ESG practices into their operations, and they are moving quickly to determine how they can best turn these practices into a competitive advantage. Similarly, regulatory frameworks are evolving and expanding so that ESG is top of mind for many of our clients. This is translating into greater demand for our services, both existing and new. At KPMG, we are fully committed to delivering for our clients and achieving our own internal ESG goals and targets.”
People: Respecting individuals and embracing diversity
At the core of the People pillar is our goal of creating a caring, inclusive and values-led culture for our people. Incorporating ESG principles into our corporate culture and people strategy is a key priority. We strive to promote a gender inclusive and equitable workplace by upholding the values of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE). By 2025, globally, KPMG aims to have at least 33 percent of its leadership, including partners and directors, comprised of female professionals. At KPMG China, we take pride in achieving and going beyond this target. Specifically, 66% of our total workforce are women and 42% have taken on leadership roles (partners and directors). We continue to take actions to level the playing field for female employees so that they can meet their full potential and thrive in their careers.
One of the ways in which KPMG engages with its young people, and encourages them to express their views and make their mark, is through our Next Generation Council (NGC) programme, which aims to develop the firm’s next cohort of future leaders. The members of the NGC act as the firm’s young “think tank” and provided our leadership with fresh views and ideas about Our Impact Plan during FY2022.
We also foster a culture of lifelong learning by encouraging our people to continue to learn and improve their professional skills. To this end, we offer professional ESG training to all our people to empower them to become a formidable force in our ESG transformation.
Planet: Supporting a low-carbon and greener future
KPMG China is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and building a sustainable and resilient future. Starting from 1 October 2022 (FY23), KPMG China implemented an internal carbon price (ICP) to support the firm in reaching KPMG’s global net-zero climate goal and contribute to China’s ‘dual carbon’ goal. The ICP, which applies the ‘polluter pays’ principle, is a fee charged to responsible departments based on business travel emissions from air travel, rail travel and hotel accommodation. In FY22, KPMG China purchased 100% renewable electricity by buying renewable energy certificates (RECs), continuing a commitment that we have fulfilled since FY21. In terms of building selection and leases, we prioritise buildings with green certifications. Currently, 68% of our office floor area is located in buildings with green and/or wellness-related certifications.
Improving nature and biodiversity is one of our key commitments. To this end, we have collaborated with many local and global NPOs to support conservation projects that bring positive impacts to the environment. For example, we participated in a mangrove wetland restoration programme that aims to improve the ecological habitat of migratory birds and protect local wetland resources and promote a greener Greater Bay Area. We also supported a freshwater project that is protecting water resources in the Dongjiang Basin in Guangdong province. This project reduced the environmental impact caused by sewage discharge, resulting in an improvement of the rural living environment and therefore contributing to rural revitalisation.
Prosperity: Collaborating closely to promote sustainable development
The OIP report shows that, in line with our three-year strategy, we continued to pursue our regional penetration strategy during FY22 by setting up five new offices, as well as a KPMG Digital Ignition Centre (KDi) in Dalian. As at 30 September 2022, we had a presence in 30 cities across China with a headcount of over 15,000 people, representing a 15.3% increase from the end of the firm’s previous financial year. Our regional penetration strategy provides a major channel for us to attract and recruit new professional service talent, while also creating more job opportunities, empowering local talent pools and fostering economic growth in China.
At KPMG, we believe in lifelong learning, and for this reason, we have launched the global ’10by30′ strategy, which aims to economically empower over 10 million disadvantaged young people by 2030 through education, employment and entrepreneurship. Under this programme, we are equipping disadvantaged youths with future-ready skills and a work-based learning experience so that they can adapt and be competitive in their future careers. Meanwhile, KPMG China runs the STEM is HER Future programme, which aims to encourage promising female students to pursue STEM careers. In 2022, the programme was recognised by UN Women at the National Women’s Empowerment Principles awards as the winner of the Community Engagement and Partnerships category, acknowledging KPMG China’s contribution to promoting gender equality in the community. Since 2022, KPMG China has collaborated with the China Foundation for Rural Development (CFRD) to support human capital development. We are utilising our strengths to provide professional volunteering services to empower social organisations in less developed areas through CFRD. This collaboration will help improve the financial management of social organisations, promoting standardised management and professional development, thus contributing to rural revitalisation.
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About KPMG China
KPMG China has offices in 31 cities, with more than 15000 partners and employees in Beijing, Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Dongguan, Foshan, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Hefei, Jinan, Nanjing, Nantong, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Taiyuan, Tianjin, Wuhan, Wuxi, Xiamen, Xi’an, Zhengzhou Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region. Under the close cooperation of these agencies, KPMG China is able to efficiently and quickly mobilize various resources to provide high-quality services to customers.
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In 1992, KPMG became the first international accounting firm approved for Sino foreign cooperation in mainland China. On August 1, 2012, KPMG became the first of the four major accounting firms to switch from a Sino foreign cooperative system to a special general partnership. KPMG Hong Kong was established even earlier in 1945. The pioneering opportunity to enter the market and our relentless pursuit of quality have accumulated rich industry experience. Many well-known Chinese companies have long hired KPMG to provide professional services in a wide range of fields, including auditing, taxation, and consulting, which also reflects KPMG’s leadership position.