Accenture: Offering a sustainable alternative to business travel to reduce our carbon footprint

Accenture LogoYear:


Company Description:

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 275,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is


Business Issue:

One of the main Accenture environmental impacts is emissions to air through business travel.  To address this impact and demonstrate commitment to environmental responsibility, Accenture has set out to reduce business travel and its related CO2 emissions through the investment and innovative use of the latest high definition communications technology.

As a professional services company, business travel makes up 77% of our Ireland and UK carbon footprint, with 81% of emissions coming from air travel.  Travel may be in the DNA of our consulting business but so is bringing innovation to change the way the world works and lives.  Efforts to drive down carbon emissions from business travel, reduce our cost base, and improve our people’s work- life balance are core to our business strategy.

Solution Applied:

Implementing our Smart Work policy which promotes flexible work options and investment in collaborative technologies leverages virtual collaboration tools Cisco® TelePresence® System EX Series Personal Videoconferencing Systems and Microsoft® Lync®.

Now implemented in more than 85 Accenture locations worldwide, including a number of client sites, the technology connects our people and our clients.  It also includes the installation of more than 50 personal Telepresence units, expanding our number of Telepresence facilities to more than 135.  Further, in September 2012, a Lync upgrade was rolled out to all Accenture employees in all locations.  This helps our people interact and communicate closely with each other and with our clients, reducing the need to travel to our clients and colleagues, as well as increasing productivity.

The aim is to influence and change employee behavior towards business travel by offering real time face to face alternatives, either point to point or point to multiple locations and address a wider social aspect by helping to improve work life balance by reducing the amount of time employees need to be away from their homes.

Company Benefits:

 Through capital investment in the latest virtual collaborative technology, Accenture has tripled its virtual conferencing capability across Ireland and UK offices.  These facilities offer a sustainable alternative to business travel helping to drive down carbon emissions, reduce our cost base and improve our people’s work- life balance.

Specific video conferencing figures are captured by the Video Conferencing service help desk based in Dublin.  Since being implemented in May 2012, the Service desk has handled 721 requests for virtual meetings of which 160 replaced business travel which equated to a CO2 saving of 688 tons.


According to Mark Ryan, MD of Accenture Ireland “Through implementing our Telepresence facilities, we have reduced our flight bills by 9%, reduced our carbon emissions by over 6.37%, improved our employees work life balance, got people thinking in a different way about meetings and the technology is enabling Accenture to showcase its commitment to sustainability to our clients, becoming for us a differentiator in the market”.


Stakeholder Benefits:

Our Smart Work programme enables us to offer employees the chance to work one or more weeks per month from their local office or home-office locations, and the reminder of the month at the client site.

In 2012, Accenture introduced a new personalised online tool, My Travel Summary. This tool makes it easier for our people to understand their travel-related carbon impact by providing a monthly and year-to-date summary of their carbon emissions. Further, our local offices develop programs aimed at decreasing carbon emissions through alternative travel arrangements, such as carpooling and public transportation.


We have more than 300 eco teams in 40 countries, encompassing 4,000 employee volunteers.  Our people lead local efforts to promote telecommuting and alternative travel options.

Departments Involved:


Solution Champion:

IT Telecoms Teams