PrimeGlobal is committed to Environmental Social Responsibility (ESR)

Business Opportunities
April 5, 2022


At PrimeGlobal we are passionate about promoting Environmental Social Responsibility (ESR). In 2021 we were proudly awarded the Sustainability Initiative of the Year for the second year in a row. We continue to achieve this by supporting local environments, promoting diversity, and assisting communities through our staff, member firms, and wider stakeholders.

In this article, we explore in more detail our Environmental and Social Responsibility (ESR) Initiatives for which we are honored to receive this award.


Due to the growing concern about environmental and social issues among firms, PrimeGlobal launched its Environmental and Social Responsibility (ESR) initiative in January 2021, encouraging firms to think about net zero carbon solutions and new business opportunities presented by embracing sustainability initiatives.

We recognize the importance of building a more environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive future and have integrated ESR Initiatives into our Strategy to 2025 plan, which commits us to “focus on initiatives which build our reputation as a community of trusted, modern and forward-looking firms including championing environmental and social responsibility, helping our member firms with staff recruitment and retention, reputation building and emerging business opportunities.” ESR Initiatives consists of a dedicated web-based hub of resources, thought leadership, member initiatives and a series of events focused on knowledge sharing and best practices. 

FIRM IMPACT

PrimeGlobal ESR Initiatives encourages our member firms to engage in knowledge sharing and we held a series of events in 2021 focused on environmental and social impact, including:

Why Your Firm Should Embrace Sustainability
This event spotlighted the use of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help clients tackle climate change. A recording related to the event was also made available to help reach as many members as possible with the content.

Environmental Social Responsibility Insight Panel
This Panel brought together firms with Xero’s Director of Social and Environmental Impact to provide practical help to introduce new climate impact services. The event was attended by over 150 members from the United States, France, Netherlands, Australia, UK, Cameron, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda, and China. Again, a recording related to the event was also made available to help reach as many members as possible with the content.

PrimeGlobal also shares our firms’ environmental and social reports to help promote best practices. Through ESR Initiatives, PrimeGlobal ensures firms are learning from best practices to offer support to their clients regarding climate change and other ESR issues. We identify best practices and then promote them to give firms confidence to embrace sustainability. Such best practices include:

  • Eshuis Accountants and Advisers, based in the Netherlands, use the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to advise their clients on sustainability, starting a service line focused on reducing climate impact. They also use B Corp as a management system for sustainability and are a founding member of the B Corp learning community. Mark de Lat, Partner at the firm, is co-author of the book Better business models, a better world. This initiative has helped the firm grow by 60% since 2016 to a turnover of around €20m, and these efforts align with SDG #8 'Decent work and economic growth'.
  • Thomas Westcott based in the United Kingdom, offers a carbon reduction advisory program for clients. The firm uses a five-point plan to help clients get on the road towards reducing carbon emissions: 1) Understand their carbon footprint, 2) Evaluate the risks of not reducing emissions, 3) Identify measures, 4) Develop a plan to reduce emissions and 5) Do it!
  • KCoe Isom, a United States based firm, offers measurable and actionable sustainability programs for clients. For example, helping agricultural clients meet climate requirements for a large fast-food outlet. The firm uses over 400 sustainability reporting systems to gives an unprecedented level of insight into understanding sustainability practices and provides sustainability assurance using the UN SDGs.

Finally, we have also encouraged PrimeGlobal member firms to develop sustainability metrics for measuring non-financial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

  • KCoe Isom has captured over 10,000 KPIs to help clients assess how they compare to other comparable organizations regarding sustainability.
  • Buzzacott in the United Kingdom is preparing an extensive overview regarding its social and environmental impact.
  • Berkowitz Pollack Brant in the United States is leading the way with offering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reports. The firm is embracing this new business opportunity by adding a new service line and providing company reporting extending to employers, customers, and ESR impact.

​WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE INITIATVE

Our ESR strategy is linked to the SDGs and it focuses on two main areas:

  1. Through our PrimeGlobal planet initiative, we continue to pledge organizing green events and lessening the environmental footprint during our international conferences.
  2. Through our local community support initiatives, we help local communities by donating food to homeless shelters, building wheelchairs for wounded veterans, and supporting organizations that provide professional training and job placements for youth in underserved communities.

In January 2021, PrimeGlobal partnered with Wine to Water, a non-profit organization committed to supporting life and dignity for all through the power of clean water. Member firms met virtually for a filter-build activity, which provided clean water for 1500 people. This initiative inspired PrimeGlobal member firms to host their own filter-build activity at their firms, providing clean water for 3000 people for 10 years – these efforts align with SDG #6 'Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all'.


EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT

The PrimeGlobal team have set up an internal Sustainability Group who share ideas to reduce our personal carbon footprint. We also challenge all travel to reduce carbon emission, promoting train as the first choice whenever possible. As PrimeGlobal gears up to return to in-person events in 2022, the team is committed to continuing the proud tradition of creating sustainable events through the PrimeGlobal Planet initiative by reducing the carbon footprint of PrimeGlobal events. We have an ambitious goal to move to carbon neutral events over the course of our strategy to 2025.

Our firms are also working with their employees to reduce their carbon footprint, including:

  • Thomas Westcott in the United Kingdom has developed a plan to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint, including commitment by employees on how they can make an impact in their personal life.
  • Joanknecht in the Netherlands has moved to a considerably more energy efficient location. Despite its growing business the new location has less than half of the office space as the previous location achieving a considerable reduction in their carbon footprint.
  • AFIGEC in France has implemented sustainable policies within the firm to reduce their carbon footprint. ESR initiatives include:
  1. Use of vehicles and renewal of the car fleet with the introduction of electric or hybrid cars for employees’ use
  2. Promotion of the “0 paper” policy 
  3. Sorting and recycling of waste
  4. Participation in the plastic-free week
  5. Water fountains in the office, to avoid plastic bottles
  6. Provision for its employees of washable straws to replace plastic straws, glass bottle / thermos, and non-disposable coffee cups, tumblers and mugs

Through ESR initiatives, PrimeGlobal will continue to support the environment and local communities, giving back to the cities where we host events.


Steve Heathcote Prime Global Ceo
"As world leaders meet in Glasgow for the UN Climate Summit, we are so proud that PrimeGlobal has won the Sustainability Initiative of the Year 2021/22 at the International Accounting Bulletin awards this week. Our firms stand ready to support their clients to reduce their carbon impact. We stand by our firms' sides, ensuring best practices are shared, working with our partners, so our firms are leaders in helping businesses on the road to a net zero economy." Steve Heathcote, CEO, PrimeGlobal