Inspired by a journey to the Arctic, KPMG Advisory Manager Lauren Napheys writes about how she’s working to create a more sustainable future and encouraging others to get involved in helping to preserve the planet.
By Lauren Napheys
This summer I was on top of the world…quite literally. Reaching as far as 600 miles from the North Pole, I saw up close and personal the effects of climate change as part of the 2041 Foundation’s ClimateForce: Arctic 2019 leadership development expedition.
We saw shrinking glaciers and heard the sound of ice melting. There was a constant cracking and popping noise. The sound was a persistent reminder that the world is warming.
The Arctic is an environment seemingly untouched by humans, yet we still managed to find traces of consumption, from fishing gear to food packaging. There will be more plastic (in weight) in the ocean by 2050, compared to fish, so each and every decision we make as consumers has an impact.
KPMG sponsored a colleague and me on this eye-opening, 14-day Arctic adventure. We were chosen based on our strong commitment to the environment, a passion for volunteerism and non-profit board service, and our continued contributions to our communities. This was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I am proud to work for an organization committed to philanthropy, environmental sustainability and community involvement.
These values are embedded in KPMG’s strong legacy. The renowned Arctic explorer Robert Swan, who established the 2041 Foundation and led our ClimateForce expedition, happens to be the great grandson of KPMG co-founder Sir William Barclay Peat. During our trip, he would often remind us, “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” And he looked to us for hope. “If you can move others to join you in making several small changes, you can make a big impact.”
Since returning from the expedition, I have put Swan’s words into action. I’ve been on a mission to reduce single-use plastics by encouraging my colleagues in KPMG’s Denver office to bring in their own coffee mugs, invest in reusable shopping bags, and opt for ‘dine-in’ tableware over take-out containers. I also promote recycling as much as possible and support establishments that do the same.
Lauren Napheys is a manager on KPMG's Accounting Advisory Services team in Denver. For more information, please contact Joy Belgiovine.