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Why This Matters

Climate change — severe weather events, extreme temperatures, water shortages and other environmental concerns are impacting people’s ability to live and work safely. In 2019, it was estimated that 1.2 billion jobs — 40% of all employment — were dependent on a healthy environment.1 The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how much all jobs rely on our ability to manage our environment. Corporations have an important role to play, together with public sector and civil society, to solve these challenges and ensure a sustainable future for all. 

As a professional services company our environmental impact has always been relatively small. The shift to remote working and radical reduction in business travel during COVID-19 have highlighted opportunities for organizations like ours to reduce our impact even further. As we build back better as part of the recovery, we are committed to adjusting our business model to support sustainable ways of working. And we are looking for new ways to advance the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal, especially in the areas of jobs and skills, where we can have the greatest impact. 

Proud of Our Progress: Where We Are Today


Our policy on environmental stewardship, part of our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, is available in 20 languages and is included in annual training for all employees. Our Global Environmental Management Policy and Guidance provides practical examples of how we can deliver on these commitments at the local level.


Over the last ten years, we have implemented a number of initiatives, supported globally, delivered locally, to reduce the impact of our operations around the world:

• Reducing energy use and resulting emissions in our offices, by replacing lighting and electronics, consolidating data centers, conducting energy audits, and promoting employee-driven programs.

• Reducing the impact of business travel by investing in virtual meeting and collaboration platforms, sourcing fleet vehicles with lower carbon impact, limiting air travel when possible, and subsidizing public transport costs for commuting.

• Reducing office waste by printing less and recycling and upcycling furniture and electronics.

2019 saw reductions in all of these areas, and we are setting ambitious goals for 2021 and beyond, especially around business travel and renewable energy in headquarter buildings in many locations.


Sixty percent of our key market headquarters are in green buildings with certifications from LEED, HQE, BREAM and NABERS, and half of our key market operations have obtained ISO 14001 certification for their environmental management systems.

We partner with EcoVadis, provider of the world’s most trusted business sustainability ratings, to assess our environmental management systems in key markets around the world and aim to achieve Gold or Silver ratings in 30 markets. To date, more than 20 countries — half of them key markets — are already assessed, with a majority rated Gold or Silver.

Our participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) means we can be transparent about our initiatives and impact to global stakeholders, while supporting us in identifying opportunities for improvement. In 2019, we completed our 9th CDP Report and received a rating in the “Awareness” band, on par with industry and regional averages.


Since 2018 we’ve engaged with EcoAct, a leading international climate change advisory and consultancy, to undertake a wholesale review of our environmental management and reporting strategy. We identified key actions to enhance our strategy and focus our resources for greatest impact, starting with developing a more robust data capture and calculation methodology that is enabling more accurate assessment of our footprint. The new methodology uses raw data from 14 of our largest operations, representing approximately 70% of our total employee population and 80% of our revenues, as well as context based intensity metrics that consider the different activities of headquarters, branch offices and data centers. We are already seeing that more access to accurate data is enabling us to set better informed targets and more ambitious goals.

Ambitious for Improvement: What Next

No war, no recession, no previous pandemic has had such a dramatic impact on emissions of CO2 over the past century as COVID-19 has in a few short months. Multiple sources indicate we are now living through an unrivaled drop in carbon output.2 We have an opportunity to retain this progress as we recover and build back by reimagining work and workplaces. Like many organizations, we saw remote work jump from 20% to 85% of staff during the pandemic, and business travel hit rock bottom lows. We are now reviewing how we use office space for collaboration and innovation – to add value, not just as a default – and how much business travel is really necessary. Alongside other members of the World Economic Forum CEO Climate Action Group, we are setting ambitious goals including reducing business travel by at least 25% versus pre-COVID norms.

We also recognize that as a global leader in innovative workforce solutions, we can have the greatest impact by helping people retrain and reskill for jobs in a low carbon economy. Although current projections for green job creation remain low in the next two years, we are looking now at the skills people will need to transition to these and other new tech roles as they evolve. We are also helping people retrain and reskill from sectors that will lose jobs, as part of our commitment to ensuring a sustainable work environment that can reduce inequity. We will continue to invest in skills, innovation and technology to accelerate progress toward a new future of work that is more sustainable, more resilient and more equitable.

Performance Data


Key markets with ISO 14001 certification 40% 50% 50%
Key market headquarters in “green” certified buildings 53% 60% 60%
Countries assessed by EcoVadis 13 20 22
Countries rated Gold or Silver for environmental management by EcoVadis 62% 65% 72%

Total energy consumption (MWh) 199,849 163,956
Energy from renewable sources (in key markets) 14% 11%
Scope 1 GHG emissions (tCO2e) 26,280 21,499
Scope 2 GHG emissions (tCO2e) 28,479 23,955
Scope 3 GHG emissions (tCO2e) 47,623 41,853
Scope 1 + 2 emissions per $million revenue 2.49 2.16
Scope 1 + 2 emissions per FTE 1.85 1.58
Water consumption (MIO m3) 0.32 0.36
Total waste generated (t) 2,782 2,345
Waste not recycled (t) 1,396 843
Waste recycled (t) 1,386 1,502
Percentage of waste recycled 50% 64%


In 2018, after a review of our environmental reporting approach, we determined that a more robust data collection and reporting methodology was required to enable accurate capture and calculation of our footprint. We engaged environmental consultancy EcoAct to develop and pilot a new approach in 14 key markets representing 80% of our worldwide operations. The methodology is context-based, considering different activities and consumption behaviors of headquarters, branch offices and data centers to make informed estimates where consumption data is unavailable. The approach also considers other Scope 3 impacts not previously reported. We were not able to reverse-apply the new methodology to prior years and comparison with previously reported data is not meaningful. Therefore we have established 2018 as our new baseline year.
Some 2018 figures have been restated following receipt of corrected data.
Unless otherwise noted, all data is uplifted to represent 100% of worldwide operations.

SeminiAmo: A Model for Sustainable Development

Milan has long been considered one of Europe’s leading financial, fashion and business centers. For the past few years, the city has been reinventing itself as a green hub, with an architectural makeover that includes plant-covered buildings, green rooftops and innovative parks. We’re partnering in the creation of one these sustainable greenspaces while also providing meaningful work for people with disabilities.

The project – SeminiAmo (“Sowing Love”) - combined the restoration of Piazza della Scala with the cultivation of thousands of plants, turning this historical urban space back into a beautiful and sustainable community gathering place where sensors measure the reduction of noise and capture of CO2 from the environment.

Integral to the project was the mission to train people with disabilities, upskilling them to provide ongoing maintenance of the space. “SeminiAmo perfectly represents our idea of sustainability because it combines the commitment to upskilling, inclusion and sustainable work with the sustainable development of our country,” said Riccardo Barberis, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup Italy.

SeminiAmo has scaled to other areas of the city, with 10 projects planned through the end of 2020.

Learn more