KPMG has published its first-ever Living Green Annual Report detailing the firm’s efforts to become more eco-friendly.

The Big Four firm embarked on an environmental program, dubbed Living Green, last year with the aim of reducing the amount of waste generated  by the firm and the natural resources it consumes. The program included a set of three-year goals:

• reduce paper consumption by 15 percent;

• aim for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for 80 percent of the firm’s new construction;

• cut the firm’s carbon footprint by 25 percent;

• increase alternative transportation by 5 percent; and,

• decrease waste by 10 percent.

“With Living Green, KPMG in the United States is examining its environmental practices and ramping up efforts to improve them,” said KPMG principal-in-charge of operations Steve Clemente, who leads the Living Green program.

KPMG isn’t the only firm going green these days. Other accounting firms and companies are adapting to climate change and investing in sustainable, eco-friendly business initiatives. The Obama administration’s plans to set up a cap-and-trade system for buying and selling carbon allowances is expected to accelerate investment in such initiatives, and increase demand for accountants to audit the carbon offsets and transactions.

KPMG has already undertaken a number of green initiatives, including:

• forming “Green Teams” of KPMG employees and partners in local offices nationwide;

• completing a new KPMG technology center that uses multiple sources of electrical power, but relies heavily on natural gas–powered micro-turbines that provide energy efficiency and produce ultra-low carbon dioxide and particulate emissions;

• recycling every laptop, monitor and printer for reuse and disposal of toxic materials, creating 45 tons of recycled technology equipment last year;

• reducing the firm’s electrical consumption by using one computer server to do the work of many, preventing the emission of 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide; and,

• purchasing for employees and partners only Energy Star-certified laptops, desktops, monitors and printers.

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