Our 3-pronged approach to environmental sustainability
Korn Ferry is committed to environmental sustainability by focusing on three areas. When asked about the reasons for setting this commitment, Jonathan Kuai, Korn Ferry’s General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Managing Director – ESG & Business Affairs, explained, “One of Korn Ferry’s values is performance. We believe this principle applies not only to the impact we have for our clients but also to our responsibility to our colleagues and communities. We are proud to take a leadership role within our industry and look forward to enhancing our contribution to environmental sustainability.”
The three focus areas address reducing emissions, enhancing measurement and disclosures of emissions, and building a culture of environmental sustainability.
Environmental Sustainability focus 1: Reducing emissions
Korn Ferry seeks ways to reduce its environmental impact, whether that’s using natural resources more efficiently or minimizing waste. The company’s work to reduce emissions includes taking steps to lower energy usage in offices. It also encourages employees to limit travel when possible. Since beginning to measure greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in 2017, Korn Ferry has continued to reduce its GHG emissions. For example, Korn Ferry reduced its 2020 Scope 1 and 2 emissions (market-based) by 13% from 2019 to 2020.
To support its environmental sustainability commitment, Korn Ferry established a target in 2021 to reduce total Scope 1 and Scope 2 (market-based) GHG emissions for its global offices by 30% by 2025, compared to its 2019 emissions. The target has informed decisions related to Korn Ferry’s global office footprint and the company expects it to continue to do so over the coming years.
Environmental Sustainability focus 2: Enhancing the measurement and disclosure of emissions data
To demonstrate its commitment to environmental sustainability, Korn Ferry has consistently increased its measurement and disclosure of emissions data. Korn Ferry completed its first annual GHG inventory in 2017 (reporting on our 2016 emissions). This process began with the benchmarking of Scope 2 emissions, which are generated through purchased electricity and heat usage across Korn Ferry’s global office footprint. Over the last few years, Korn Ferry has enhanced the measurement and reporting of emissions data. In 2020, when reporting on its 2019 emissions, the company added Scope 3 emissions, reporting on employees’ air and road travel. Korn Ferry also engages a third-party to verify its greenhouse gas inventory process.
Environmental Sustainability focus 3: Building a culture of environmental sustainability
Korn Ferry seeks to build a culture of environmental sustainability among its employees. To this end, the company has formed a group of global Korn Ferry colleagues, the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee, to strengthen and extend the impact of its efforts, reflecting the passion and purpose of Korn Ferry colleagues and clients. Kuai explained, “We encourage our employees around the world to sponsor grassroots activities to increase awareness of the need to conserve our resources. Some offices have challenged colleagues to go a month without using plastic; others have given employees hoodies made from recycled water bottles. It’s all about embedding the idea of sustainability into our everyday actions and decisions.”
For its inaugural initiative, the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee engaged in a collaborative process with a third-party expert on carbon neutrality and climate finance to identify and select carbon offsetting projects that are designed to help address global climate change. The Committee reviewed a range of projects that were independently verified to international standards and benchmarked against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This vetting enabled the Committee to select carbon offsetting projects that engage with communities and offer opportunities consistent with Korn Ferry’s focus of enabling people to exceed their potential.
Heather Axe, Co-leader of Korn Ferry’s ESG Program and a member of the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee noted, “The Committee prioritized nature-based projects in each of Korn Ferry’s four regions (Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and North America) that intended to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and remove carbon from the atmosphere by reforesting areas. The projects also provide wider benefits to maximize the environmental and social impact of our carbon offsetting contributions, including biodiversity, education, jobs, health and food security.”
To learn more about the company’s ESG efforts and commitment to building a more environmentally sustainable organization, visit Korn Ferry's Corporate Responsibility and ESG page.