On 27 July 2015, two Frenchmen set off from Toulouse, beginning a KPMG-sponsored ‘round-the-world’ adventure.
In July 2015, two Frenchmen begin a KPMG-sponsored ‘round-the-world’ adventure.
On Monday, 27 July 2015, two Frenchmen set off from Toulouse, beginning a KPMG-sponsored ‘round-the-world’ adventure, cycling 25,000 kilometres on bamboo bicycles to raise awareness of climate change issues. Over the next year, Theo Rohfritsch and Simon Valdenaire will ‘Cycle for Water’, visiting 21 countries across Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, stopping off at KPMG offices along the way.
During their travels, the duo will be joining meetings with the World Business Council for sustainable development (via roadside Skype sessions) in the run up to the COP21 in Paris in December, offering their insights on the importance of water in the context of climate change.
Theo and Simon’s adventure was inspired by the first Cycle for Water in 2010, when KPMG supported two Dutchmen (now KPMG consultants), Joost Notenboom and Michiel Roodenburg, to cycle 30,000 kilometres on bamboo bicycles from the Arctic to the Antarctic on the Pan-American Highway. The men’s goal was to raise awareness of the importance of clean water for sustainable development.
The global water crisis is a critical sustainability issue, impacting KPMG’s people and communities, as well as its clients. According to 2015’s World Economic Forum in Davos, the water crisis is the number one global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation), and the number eight global risk based on likelihood (likelihood of occurring within 10 years). The challenges and risks that water represents have yet, despite the efforts of the international community, been mitigated. Not only is the human loss significant, economic losses are also substantial. According to the UN, economic losses due to the lack of water and sanitation in Africa as a result of the mortality and morbidity impacts, are estimated at US$28.4 billion or about five percent of GDP. Investment, according to the World Health Organization, in water management, infrastructure and services can yield a high economic return by avoiding costs related to water pollution, contamination and disasters which are likely to increase because of the impacts of climate change. Estimates show that every US$1 invested in improved water supply and sanitation yields gains of US$4-US$12.
Theo and Simon will be doing KPMG events in many of the countries they visit. You can follow their progress via:
With an MSc from Aston Business School in Sustainability, Theo was the only French student selected for the International Antarctic Expedition 2012, Robert Swan’s (OBE) leadership programme bringing together people from across the globe to debate, discuss and determine first-hand the effects of climate change.
A social entrepreneur and business school graduate, Simon is the founder of CSR-Resources.com, a collaboration platform for corporate responsibility practitioners. He was also a youth ambassador at the European Commission in 2013 at its EuDevDays. Simon is also an IDEX Fellow and founder of SENSD.org, a student's network for sustainability.