Annual report 2016: Our corporate impact


Our sustainability strategy is central to delivering our purpose, and is based around two key principles:

Being a catalyst for change - using our knowledge, skills, voice, and relationships to work with others and become “part of the solution” through activities that make a difference and influence change in the marketplace, with clients and suppliers.

Doing the right thing - advancing an active agenda of sustainability issues which create value for us and for our stakeholders.

We focus on four key areas: responsible business; workplace and diversity; community involvement; and environmental stewardship. To help us embed our strategy, and hold ourselves accountable, we’ve established a holistic set of measures and targets for each area. We also publish the key initiatives we plan to implement to address areas we feel need extra focus as ‘commitments’. We track and review our progress with both the Corporate Sustainability Governance Group and the Executive Board throughout the year.

See our sustainability scorecard, which is externally assured by our financial auditors.

Stakeholders and materiality

Sustainability is a broad topic, so we developed our materiality matrix to help us prioritise which areas to focus on and how to allocate time, resources and investment effectively. Our matrix is aligned with our purpose and principal risks, and has shaped both our strategy and our approach to sustainability reporting.

We review the matrix each year to make sure it’s still relevant and adjust it if the external and business context changes, engaging with a broad set of stakeholders regularly, to understand their views and expectations of our business.

Find out more about:

Doing the right thing

We have an active agenda of issues that are central to responsible business and which create value for our stakeholders, whether it’s our focus on ethics and quality, information security, diversity and inclusion or our community and environmental programmes.

Our community programme covers four main areas: our education programmes aim to give school children a good start in life; our social entrepreneurs’ club helps start-ups address social and environmental challenges; our team volunteering helps our people gain an environmental mind-set; and we have extensive programmes to raise funds for a range of charities via the PwC Foundation.

From an environmental point of view, our operations require limited natural resources, but we still seek to minimise adverse impacts and to pioneer sustainable solutions. We're on track to achieve most of our ten-year 2017 targets, which aim to decouple our environmental impacts from our economic growth.

Catalyst for change

We use our knowledge, skills, voice, and relationships to work with others to make a difference and influence change in the marketplace, collaborating with clients, NGOs and suppliers.

One way we’ve done that this year is via our ‘Going circular’ programme, which seeks to apply the principles of the circular economy to our business. It’s helping us get closer to our aspirational target of 100% reuse and recycling, and driving better environmental, social and financial performance.

We’re also promoting sustainability in our supply chain, encouraging our top 100 suppliers to reduce their carbon emissions, responding to the Modern Slavery Act, and committing to support social enterprises as a founder member of the ‘Buy Social Corporate Challenge.’

We also work with clients on a wide range of sustainability issues.

Our impact

Being transparent about our performance is one of our key values, and means we can meet the growing demands of stakeholders for detailed sustainability information.

We approach our reporting using the same best practice standards that we recommend to our clients. We therefore not only report on our financial and non-financial performance, but also estimate our broader contribution to society, reflecting the outputs of our business model.

Total Impact Measurement & Management (TIMM) is our framework for measuring a holistic set of impacts - economic, tax, social and environmental. This year, we’ve again used it to estimate our total impact.

Our sustainability performance has also been recognised through a range of benchmarks and awards.

Environmental performance

Please select the individual environmental target to see specific information on our performance
10 year target to 2017
% change from baseline
    For further information, please see our sustainability scorecard

    Case study: Climate Week

    We launched our own Climate Week initiative to engage our people and clients in conversations around the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

    Find out more

    We spend




    suppliers each year

    Running a responsible supply chain

    Aiming to maximise social impact and minimise environmental impact

    Our business can only be as sustainable as the goods and services we purchase from our suppliers. We spend more than £600m with suppliers each year, so their performance can impact our ability to build and sustain trust. Our ‘total impact’ analysis also shows that the environmental impacts from our supply chain are over 180 times those of our direct operations. So, as part of our overall sustainability strategy, we‘re engaging with our top 100 suppliers – who account for the majority of our contracted spend - on all aspects of their sustainability.

    Click through to see our progress this year.

    Find out more
    Reducing our impact by asking our suppliers to measure and manage their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

    Key suppliers
    reporting to CDP

    2016 result
    2017 target

    Key suppliers reporting
    GHG reductions targets

    2016 result
    2017 target

    Key suppliers reporting GHG reduction

    2016 result
    For more details about our metrics and baseline data, please see our sustainability scorecard
    Promoting sustainability through our suppliers

    Key suppliers
    assessed by PwC
    sustainability survey

    2016 result
    Target exceeded
    2017 target

    Key suppliers with a
    human rights policy

    2016 result
    2017 target

    Collaborating for
    a circular economy

    Visit our ‘going circular’ microsite
    For more details about our metrics and baseline data, please see our sustainability scorecard
    Partnering for long-term sustainability success

    Key suppliers with sustainability
    in commercial arrangements

    2016 result
    2017 target

    PwC average supplier
    payment days

    2016 result
    Ongoing target
    <30 days
    For more details about our metrics and baseline data, please see our sustainability scorecard

    Our contribution to the UK economy

    Can a company's total contribution to the economy and society be measured? At PwC we think it can.

    We use a unique framework we call Total Impact Measurement and Management (or TIMM) to gauge our contribution to the economy and society, and weigh it against the impact we inevitably have on the environment.

    Here are our 2016 results.

    Find out more

    Our work in the community 

    In 2016, more than 6,000 of our people volunteered during working hours – benefitting some 16,000 people.

    In this video, find out more about the sort of work we do and why we think doing the right thing in the community also creates value for our people and our business.



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    Case study: Trees for Cities

    We remain the largest supporter of Beyond Me, tapping in to the energy of our partners and young graduates, and linking them with our community partners and social enterprises.

    One of our volunteering teams has been working with Trees for Cities to support the strategic review of their edible playground programme.

    Find out more

    Contact us

    Corporate communications

    Tel: +44 (0)20 7213 1768

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