Boston Consulting Group (BCG) announced today that it is committing to a new goal of becoming climate neutral by 2030. Beyond 2030, the firm intends to be climate positive, removing more CO2 than it emits. BCG also announced commitments of $400 million over ten years to drive net zero beyond its own operations.

Rich Lesser, CEO of BCG said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for global efforts to develop solutions to the world’s biggest problems. 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.”

In order to achieve its new climate goals, BCG stated it will take significant action to reduce its footprint and neutralize its remaining climate impact by investing in leading-edge carbon removal projects. BCG has already transitioned to purchasing 100% renewable electricity and will continue to pursue efforts to increase energy efficiency across its operations. By 2025, the firm is targeting reductions in direct energy and electricity emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) by 90% per full-time-equivalent employee (FTE), relative to a 2018 baseline. The 2025 target is aligned with best-practice guidance on limiting warming to 1.5°C.

In terms of Scope 3 impact, business travel represents over 80% of BCG’s footprint, and the firm is aiming to reduce the climate impact from travel by at least 30% per FTE by 2025. According to BCG, the firm 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.

BCG’s stated that its 2025 targets are aligned with best-practice guidance on limiting warming to 1.5°C.

To reach net-zero, BCG will offset the remainder of its emissions footprint through investments in carbon removal projects and technologies, focusing on 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 amount is significantly higher than the current voluntary carbon offset market average of $3 to $6 per tonne. BCG stated that it will 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. BCG also said that it will pursue Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) participation.

In addition to its new climate neutral targets, BCG also announced commitments of $400 million over the next 10 years, aimed at enabling 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.

BCG stated that its 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. BCG is also 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, with a particular focus on the role of nonstate actors in achieving the Paris ambition.