In an effort to reduce its heating bills and carbon emissions, a large employer has lowered the temperature in its UK offices by 2C.

The accounting and consulting firm announced the plan to its 23,000 staff in the UK this month, following similar measures by public and private sector organizations across Europe.

A person briefed on the plan said that the temperature had been cut to between 19C and 22C, with thermostats set to the higher end of the range. The person said the reduction was expected to save up to £75,000 in December.

The savings in December will be donated to charity. The firm said that it had lowered the temperature in some of its European offices.

The temperature of public office buildings was capped at 19C.

A combination of soaring energy costs, the rise in remote working and net zero targets have aligned to push some employers towards more significant building shutdowns this year.

One of the Big Four accountants, PwC, will close eight of its UK offices in December and January and only open a small portion of its other buildings. It said it would be enough to power the sites for a year.

Businesses and households in the UK and Europe have been hit by rising energy costs since Russia invaded Ukraine, while authorities in several countries have warned of a risk of power shortages.

Many large companies have made high-profile pledges to limit their impact on the environment. There is an added incentive to cut back as they try to bolster their credibility as advisers to companies on their net zero emissions plans.

According to an analysis by data provider Source Global Research, the global market for "sustainability consulting" is set to grow by 10 per cent to $45.4 billion in the next four years.

The main contributor to climate change is the reduction of business travel by large consultancies.

The rebound in travel after the Covid-19 Pandemic made it difficult for some firms to hit their targets. A senior partner at a Big Four firm told the Financial Times that his business was at risk of missing its target for the current financial year and that it could be forced to stop most travel in the coming months if it didn't get back on track.

The sustainable delivery clause will be included in client contracts next year.

There would be no repercussions for clients who decided not to work with us. Houston said it would help them to open a dialogue with their clients on the path to net zero.