KPMG will stop using plastic water cups across its 22 offices in the UK by the end of the summer 2018, in a move that will save 3 million cups every year.
A successful pilot in the firm’s Manchester office saw plastic water cups phased out during March, with the firm’s 1,100 employees there receiving a free metal water bottle to use instead. The switch will save more than 150,000 plastic cups each year in Manchester alone.
The success of the trial means the rest of KPMG’s UK offices will now follow suit, according to KPMG’s environment manager, Sarah Lindsay:
“After giving our employees two weeks to collect a bottle, we removed the cups from all water points in our Manchester office. We made paper cups available so people would still have access to drinking water if they didn’t have their water bottle with them for any reason. We had less than 10 requests for a cup on our first cup free day, which just shows how committed our people are to this important agenda."
“Manchester as a city is striving to be more environmentally friendly so it was a good fit for the pilot scheme. We are now working on the next phase which will see us do the same in our offices across the rest of the UK by the end of the summer.”
“This project has huge environmental benefits. By supplying our employees with a reusable bottle, they don’t need to use cups in the office, and they can use it outside of work hours too. We are encouraging them to download the ‘Give Me Tap’ app, which they can use to locate free drinking water when they are out of the office.”
Along with the positive environment impact, there is also a clear business case too says Sarah Lindsay:
“The firm spends £60,000 on plastic cups every year. Even with supplying each of our 15,000 employees with a free metal water bottle, the scheme is projected to pay for itself within 18 months.”
The removal of plastic cups is part of KPMG’s 'Waste in our Time' programme, which will see the firm reduce its waste and increase recycling in a number of ways through 2018.
“As well as removal of plastic cups for water, saving 3 million cups across our UK offices, we will also phase out the use of plastic cups from our hot drink vending machines by August 2018, saving another 3 million cups per year. We are looking at two possible options to replace these, either a paper cup or a compostable cup, and these will be implemented on a site by site basis depending on the waste facilities available in the area.”
“We have already removed the use of plastic straws from our offices and we have also saved over a quarter of a million items of plastic cutlery this year by removing them from some of our smaller offices. We will be doing the same across the entire firm by the end of the year.”
KPMG in the UK is also supplying KPMG Malta with water bottles for staff as it looks to follow suit by removing plastic cups from use.
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About KPMG in the UK
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 14,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.2 billion in the year ended 30 September 2017. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.