Irish Impact Report

3 min read

COVID-19 planet impact

Our response to COVID-19 and the impact on our Planet.

  • As the world went into lockdown, examples of nature emerging from hiding have been seen all over the world. COVID-19 has brought nature into focus and has had a dramatic impact on our environmental footprint.

Our dedication to our planet is embedded in our long-established Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability programmes. Our environmental management system, which is certified to ISO14001:2015, promotes best practice to our key stakeholders, including our clients, supply chain, partners, people and the communities within which we work. Despite our offices being closed, we are continuing to meet our auditing and reporting requirements with our most recent ISO14001 surveillance audit being held virtually.

COVID-19 has brought about significant changes in the way we work and, as a result, several environmental benefits. The closure of our offices and the restrictions on travel resulted in the rapid implementation of many planned technology projects. With business travel decreasing by 25% this year and a 74% decrease in waste, we have really seen some positive environmental impacts due to the global pandemic. We have also seen a significant decrease in energy consumption across our offices.

“Sustaining this lower carbon footprint will be central to our thinking in how we return to the office”

Harry Goddard

Employee engagement has always been the cornerstone of our Green Agenda programme and has continued to be a priority as our people work from home during COVID-19. Even though we are all working from different locations, we are continuing to engage with our people on key environmental issues, finding new and innovative ways to make sure their voices are still being heard.

Our Environmental Awareness Week, in celebration of Earth Day, was held virtually with a theme of ’Climate Action’ taking precedence over the course of the week. We engaged with The Cool Planet Experience to hold an inspiring talk via Zoom for our people, providing our people with insights into simple solutions on how to take climate action in their day-to-day lives. We also shared a daily post on Yammer, our internal communication platform, giving our people tips on how to live more sustainably, a ‘test your knowledge’ quiz while also spreading the word externally by sharing posts on Deloitte’s Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Keeping the impact of COVID-19 on our planet at the forefront of our minds, our June Green Agenda newsletter focused on biodiversity, the theme for World Environment Day 2020. This encouraged our people to share their own stories about nature re-emerging during lockdown while also exploring the link between biodiversity and loss and emerging infectious diseases. This addition of our monthly newsletter also provided our people with advice on how they can take action to protect biodiversity while at home during lockdown.

The change in the way we work as a result of COVID-19 has highlighted our ability to adapt and find new ways of working, while also reducing our environmental impact. We will endeavour to sustain the environmental benefits that we have observed during this period and continue to focus on improving our environmental performance.

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