Corporate sustainability governance and function at PwC

Governance keeps our corporate sustainability strategy on track. It makes sure the strategy remains effective, and that accountability for it runs sits right at the top of our firm.

Governance

Executive Board

The Executive Board develops and implements our firm’s policies and strategy. It’s also responsible for managing and directing our firm as laid out in the Executive Board Terms of Reference.

The Executive Board meets with our Corporate Sustainability Director at least every six months to review our sustainability strategy and the progress we’ve made against it, and helps make sure sustainability is integrated within our business - supporting our firm’s overall goals. The Executive Board also has responsibility for approving significant investments or direction for major innovations relating to corporate sustainability.

In 2016, they the firm’s progress against our public targets on two occasions,  and considered some of the challenges and options relating to carbon emissions from our business travel in particular, as well as performance against some of our quality and ethics metrics.

Gaenor Bagley (Leader of Corporate Purpose at PwC UK, Community and Sustainability) is the nominated partner responsible for corporate sustainability. In this capacity, she also chairs the Corporate Sustainability Governance Group and the Reporting Sub-committee.

Corporate Sustainability Governance Group (CSGG)

The Corporate Sustainability Governance Group meets quarterly to oversee the implementation of our strategy and to hold our Corporate Sustainability team to account in terms of the progress we’re making. Leader of Corporate Purpose Gaenor Bagley chairs the group, which includes various leaders from across our firm and representation from each Line of Service, as appropriate.

In 2016, the topics covered by the CSGG included: our sustainability reporting, our performance against the PwC global network’s leadership ladders, our supply chain sustainability programme, the implementation of our new sustainability data platform for monitoring our community affairs programme, and various campaigns to engage our people around online meetings as an alternative to travel, and our journey towards a circular economy.

Reporting Sub-committee

The Reporting Sub-committee was established as a subset of the Executive Board, to oversee our external sustainability reporting and includes other relevant parties including corporate reporting experts from our client facing teams. The sub-committee is responsible for approving changes to the way we report the progress we’re making towards our sustainability goals. It meets regularly, as required, each year. 

The Reporting Sub-committee’s primary focus in 2016 was on building on the success of the digital Annual Report we launched in 2015, while continuing to combine our sustainability reporting more effectively, in a way that supports our journey towards Integrated Reporting, and making the content more easy to engage with.

Risk Council

Our Risk Council, a sub-committee of our Executive Board, makes sure we have the right controls in place to identify, evaluate and manage risk. This means the council has oversight of any major sustainability risks to our firm and a review is undertaken each year to update those risks and take action as appropriate.

Corporate Sustainability function

Our Corporate Sustainability (CS) function sits within Internal Firm Services, and is led by our Corporate Sustainability Director who focuses on coordination of our corporate sustainability activities right across the firm, connecting teams responsible for brand, communications, human capital, infrastructure, property, procurement and quality. The Corporate Sustainability function comprises two dedicated groups. The first focuses on innovation in our corporate sustainability reporting, our supply chain sustainability, and our sustainability education and behaviours programmes. The second coordinates, administers and measures the effectiveness of our Community Affairs programme.

Supervisory Board

Independent of our Executive Board, our Supervisory Board generally meets monthly. This board guides our chairman on matters of actual or potential concern to our partners. Other responsibilities can be found in the Supervisory Board Terms of Reference which include approving our firm’s Annual Report.

Senior Management Remuneration Committee

A sub-group of our Supervisory Board, our Senior Management Remuneration Committee makes profit share-related recommendations to the Supervisory Board.

Audit and Risk Committee

Another sub-group of our Supervisory Board, our Audit and Risk Committee owns the policies and processes we use to spot, assess and manage our firm’s risks – including sustainability risks, where appropriate as laid out in the Audit and Risk Committee Terms of Reference

This group reviews the Corporate Sustainability report and agenda each year.

Public Interest Body

This body enhances confidence in the public interest aspects of the firm’s activities, through the involvement of independent non-executives. It complements the firm’s well-established governance structure as laid out in the Public Interest Body Terms of Reference.

You can find out more about our approach to our governance in relation to our audit business, specifically, in our Transparency Report.

Global Corporate Responsibility Board

The Global Corporate Responsibility Board is responsible for the corporate sustainability strategy across the global network of PwC member firms. This board also communicates network-wide policies and helps share best practice across the regions. Bridget Jackson, our Corporate Sustainability Director, represents our UK firm on this board.