Dalberg’s Climate Commitment: An Update on Our Progress

Dalberg, a leading social impact advisory group, today announced an update on its Climate Commitment, sharing the progress it has made to reduce carbon emissions and counter the environmental damage of plastics.

Initially announced on Earth Day in 2020, Dalberg’s climate commitment commits the company to reach net zero by 2025. The company aims to first reduce emissions and waste in line with science-based targets and to offset what cannot be reduced. Dalberg has signed the UN Global Compact Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees, pledging to help limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reach net-zero by 2050 for the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

Across all of its projects around the globe, Dalberg now includes a geography- and sector-appropriate ‘climate lens’ to incorporate climate considerations across our work. These programs support the firm in upholding its mission to create a more inclusive and sustainable world where all people, everywhere, can reach their fullest potential. We provide an update on our 2020 climate commitment announcement below.

1. Measuring and Reducing Our Carbon and Plastic Footprint
Dalberg’s emissions baseline in 2019 found a total footprint of 6,070 tons of carbon, or 12.1 tonnes per employee. In 2020, our emissions were a total of 2,816 tons, or 4.9 tons per-employee, representing a 60% drop from the per-employee baseline. This demonstrates clear progress against our ambition to reduce per-employee carbon emissions by 55% (by 2025) from the firm’s 2019 baseline. While much of this reduction was driven by 2020 global travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dalberg aims to inspire and demonstrate ways in which a global consulting company can maintain a reduced footprint whilst delivering excellent client service in a post pandemic world.

Dalberg’s baseline office plastic footprint was measured at 7,914 kg in 2019, or 15.7 kg per person. In 2020, our plastic consumption was a total of 2,101 kg, or 3.7 kg per person, representing an 77% drop from the baseline. This exceeds our target to reduce per-person plastics footprint by 30% by 2025 from the firm’s 2019 baseline — but again, much of this reduction was due to the impact of office closures during the pandemic. We also offset 40,880 kg of our employees personal plastic footprint to help accelerate further action towards plastics reduction and removal from nature, which equates to 71.3 kg per employee, a 16% drop from 2019.

2a. Offsetting Carbon Emissions to Reach Net Zero
Dalberg has offset our 2020 emissions with our partner BeZero Carbon, supporting high quality projects that avoid and sequester carbon to ensure that Dalberg is net zero. These projects were chosen to reflect the firm’s global footprint and its mission to support diverse communities and solutions. Projects that received offset funds include an afforestation project in Mozambique, mangrove restoration in Myanmar, and grassland protection in Kenya.

2b. Offsetting Plastics Usage Through the Collection and Recycling of Waste at Other Sources
Dalberg has offset all remaining plastics usage via the sponsorship of additional high-quality, verified plastics collection and recycling through rePurpose Global. We are excited to continue our partnership with rePurpose Global, an innovative firm pioneering the plastics offset space. This year, we continued to support Taka Taka in Kenya and are also working with a new offset project, Coliba, in Ghana.

3. Applying a Climate Lens to All Dalberg Projects
Dalberg has taken steps to implement a ‘climate lens’ across all of our advisory projects. This means adding meaningful recommendations — and on occasion, also making tough trade-offs regarding climate. Dalberg has established climate lens training and is implementing a full rollout of the climate lens thinking across all global projects. Throughout this process, we are committed to learning and sharing our insights to reach better outcomes for the environment and for society.

Dalberg has increased our work on projects focused specifically on climate change. Examples include:

4. Catalyze Climate Innovation
Dalberg is upholding its commitment to engage emerging and innovative climate solution providers to test their solutions with us. Thus far, we have worked with the following organizations:

      • Dalberg’s carbon measurement and offset partners, BeZero Carbon, are a new decarbonization start-up whose quality-based framework for carbon credits aims to drive efficiency in the voluntary offset market
      • Dalberg employees have worked with Joro, an innovative carbon footprint tracker founded by a Dalberg alumna, to help measure and reduce their footprints and test Joro’s latest app technology
      • Dalberg works with innovative start-up RePurpose to measure and offset our plastic footprint and have supported their first plastic innovation pilot with Saathi Pads

In 2021, we are also inviting climate innovators to test their solutions with us by pitching their ideas as part of our new Climate Action Innovation Hub.

5. Build Climate Coalitions
Dalberg continues to build partnerships and coalitions towards climate goals. We are engaging with partners including the UNFCCC High Level Champions Team, TEDx Countdown, and Count Us In to ensure that our efforts build towards the global goals.

Dalberg is proud of the progress we have made but recognizes that we need to do more to address the defining challenges of our time: the climate crisis, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. We remain committed to learning, sharing, and taking even more ambitious steps in the future while helping others do the same.

About Dalberg
Dalberg is a leading social impact advisory group that brings together strategy consulting, design thinking, big data analytics, and research to address complex social and environmental challenges. We work collaboratively with communities, institutions, governments, and corporations to develop solutions that create impact at scale.

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