Global professional services firm KPMG announced today the launch of a multi-year program aimed at accelerating global solutions for ESG issues, and support clients in their own sustainability efforts. KPMG expects to spend over $1.5 billion in its initiatives to further embed ESG in the organization and client solutions, with plans including providing ESG training for all of the firm’s 227,000 employees.

KPMG Global Chairman and CEO Bill Thomas said:

“How you grow matters, and what worked for us and other businesses in the past will not work in the future. The world faces crises on multiple fronts, which is why we’re putting the Environmental, Social and Governance agenda at the heart of everything we do. ESG will be the watermark running through our global organization; from empowering our people to become agents of positive change, to the services with our clients and our partnerships with critical stakeholders. KPMG has the global scale, expertise, technology, and relationships that give us the ability and responsibility to use our position to provide solutions and services to overcome the challenges facing our planet and society.”

The new strategy will be focused on five key priority areas including Solutions, Talent, Supporting developing nations, Collaborations and alliances, and Listening and taking action. In addition to its staff training initiative, the strategy will see the firm establish dedicated ESG hubs focused on global decarbonization, societal issues and solutions, and KPMG Regional ESG Hubs in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. KPMG will also launch “Emerging Markets Accelerators” to support SDG-aligned economic and social development for developing nations, work with tech brands such as Google Cloud, Microsoft and ServiceNow on ESG-focused data solutions, and collaborate with sustainability-focused organizations including UNESCO, Enactus and the Global Reporting Initiative.

For its training initiatives, the firm announced that it is working with Cambridge University’s Judge Business School to the develop of a learning framework to be applied across the KPMG Global Organization, and with New York University’s NYU Stern Executive Education on the co-creation of an executive education sustainability program.

Richard Threlfall, Global Head of ESG and KPMG IMPACT said:

“It is incumbent on all of us – as businesses and as individuals – to play our part in tackling the challenges that threaten the future of our planet and the quality of life of people throughout the world. Our global ESG strategy will help equip our people to make a difference, as well as mobilize data and technology in support. But we also recognize that the changes society is demanding will be realized most effectively through open collaboration based on trust, and we will continue to seek out opportunities to partner with other organizations that share our sense of purpose to enable a better future for everyone, everywhere.”

KPMG’s new strategy follows the launch earlier this year of its comprehensive “Our Impact Plan,” consolidating the company’s ESG commitments and initiatives under one umbrella, and classifying the firm’s sustainability programs and goals into the four key categories Planet, People, Prosperity, and Governance.

KPMG’s Global Head of Corporate Affairs, Jane Lawrie, said:

“We know that KPMG and our profession have an important and pressing opportunity to accelerate the change needed for a sustainable future; that change starts with us. Our Impact Plan, launched in January, lays out how we intend to change our actions and commits to report against our progress so we can be held to account.

“The ESG agenda is as important to our people as it is to clients; these significant changes outlined today further reinforce KPMGs purpose to Inspire Confidence and Empower Change and act as a north star for how we grow the organization.”