Engaging with our stakeholders

We have a wide variety of stakeholders, without whom our business wouldn’t exist, and we have well established and comprehensive processes for engaging with them.

In mapping our stakeholders, we’ve identified those where we have a legal, commercial or moral responsibility – such as our regulators and clients, and the communities around our offices. Others, such as our people and suppliers, are important because our business operations depend on them. And, we’re conscious of groups who may become clients or employees in the future, such as our alumni and graduates. We also value other diverse perspectives on our business from groups, such as media and NGOs, who can highlight new opportunities or areas needing attention.

With such a broad range of relationships, engaging effectively with each of these groups is critical. So, we work hard to listen to their expectations and views on how well we’re meeting them, as well as collaborating with them for deeper insight and mutual benefit.

We gather qualitative and quantitative input, which informs both our strategic direction and our day-to-day performance. We increasingly draw on a wide range of techniques, from simple surveys of particular stakeholder groups, to multi-stakeholder deliberations such as our citizens’ jury on tax, depending on the need and objectives. And, where appropriate, we’ve established indicators to measure the coverage and quality of our engagement, and we report back to the relevant stakeholders on the results and actions we take.

Below, we’ve set out an overview of our engagement approach and rationale for each stakeholder group, together with a summary of the feedback we’ve received and how we're responding to it.

Stakeholders How we listen Why we do it What you’ve told us How we responded

Alumni

  • Personalised bi-monthly newsletters, regular series of events, dedicated alumni linked-in group, annual survey
  • Keep our alumni updated on PwC developments, share business insights; help alumni to build professional and personal networks
  • Part of broader relationship building
  • Value the opportunity to network and keep in touch with peers and former colleagues. Value being kept up to date with PwC activity and insights
  • Would appreciate more specific content
  • Identified new initiatives for FY17 to ensure the programme continues to deliver value, including tailoring content by business interest

Clients

  • Relationship management & dialogue via client teams; client satisfaction surveys; win/loss analysis
  • Brand health index monitoring; social media monitoring and dialogue; research on expectations of PwC
  • Participation in industry and client forums on responsible business (e.g. ‘Building Public Trust’ debates and awards); polls on specific topics on our website
  • Survey business leader opinions on key sustainability issues
  • Understand client, industry and business challenges; Identify opportunities to improve our service and products; Help clients understand how megatrends understand how megatrends and sustainability-related international agreements impact businesses
  • Understand the role that sustainability plays for clients
  • Appreciate the events we hold on best practice (e.g. non exec training on sustainability)
  • Expect us to manage environmental impacts of operations and supply chain
  • Lack the tools to identify the most relevant Global Goals (SDGs), and assess implications for their business
  • Increasing interest in potential risks and opportunities from climate change
  • Share our sustainability credentials and experience with clients as part of proposal process
  • Developed Global Goals Business Navigator diagnostic tool to help businesses assess SDG impacts and define business priorities
  • Ran ‘#Paris2015 and beyond’ campaign to help businesses understand the implications of the agreement
Employees
and
partners
  • Annual ‘youmatter’ people survey; regular career meetings; diversity networks; regular sustainability communications and campaigns
  • Staff and partner roadshows
  • Supervisory Board liaison meetings
  • Internal campaigns on specific issues
  • Inform our talent strategy; Support wellbeing of our people; Create a diverse and inclusive workplace; Understand attitudes, and change behaviours relating to corporate sustainability
  • Set direction for business; Confirm major decisions
  • Concerns, in parts of the business, over work pressures
  • Ongoing desire for more flexible working
  • Would like clarity on correct way to recycle specific waste items
  • Aware of online meeting tools, but unfamiliar with how to use them well
  • Extended resilience programme for staff to our Professional Skills curriculum 
  • Launched ‘25% challenge’ to reduce unnecessary work, meetings and travel
  • Launched ‘Green Light to Talk’ campaign to destigmatise mental illness and stress-related illness
  • Committed to ‘flexible hiring’ and joined the Hire Me My Way campaign
  • Ran ‘Climate Week’ campaign to promote awareness of COP21 and how staff can make a difference as individuals
  • Reconfigured recycling hubs and signage; established online forum to answer staff questions on waste
  • Refreshed online meeting campaign to focus on functionality

Global
& local
institutions,
advocacy
groups,
NGOs
1,2

  • Regular and ad hoc dialogue
  • Responding to consultations
  • Secondments, and participation in leadership teams and working groups
  • Contributions to new protocols
  • Understand emerging areas for business
  • Contribute to thought leadership and standards on megatrends and sustainable development
  • Work in partnership to develop solutions to global challenges
  • Appreciate our contribution to key areas including future of tax, trust in society, and valuing natural capital
  • Respect our achievements to date in recycling. Expect us to manage all waste streams.
  • Extended ‘Paying for Tomorrow’ tax reform campaign, including a citizen’s jury to explore intergenerational equality
  • Helped to create new indicators to identify where tax reform is necessary
  • Extended campaign to identify tangible actions business can take to build trust in society
  • Collaborated in the technical development and launch of the Natural Capital Protocol
  • Extended scope of ‘Going Circular’ programme to include all waste streams.

Local
communities

  • Review meetings with local councils, community and charity partners
  • Provision of professional expertise; volunteering and social impact measurement
  • Senior management team advisory positions
  • Survey of key community partners
  • Inform community investment decisions; Shape joint community programmes that maximise shared value; Focus capacity building support through PwC Foundation; Develop opportunities to broaden our peoples’ experiences
  • Appreciate our help in achieving their organisational goals
  • Want more regional activity, networking opportunities and master classes
  • We could do more to introduce them to wider business and supply chain opportunities
  • Held new masterclasses, on winning work and accounting skills
  • Extended programme of activity, including creation of new regional hubs, and more regional events
  • Joined Buy Social Corporate Challenge to increase procurement from social enterprises

Media

  • News releases and results announcements; conferences and roundtables; continuing conversations with journalists; social media discussion; responses to our opinion pieces, blogs etc.
  • Openly communicate our performance and strategy; Manage our reputation; Share our thought leadership and insight into public and business concerns; Discuss our response to responsible business issues
  • Provide trustworthy analysis and informed debate to our stakeholders
  • Recognise PwC for being informed on key business issues
  • Recognise our contribution as  a major employer, particularly, for graduates
  • Recognise our contribution to the debate about diversity in the workplace 
  • Keen to understand policies on dress code – and shoes in particular - for women at work
  • Published research and insight around ‘Brexit’  in the run up to and following the referendum
  • Made public commitment to maintaining graduate hires, to maintain post- Brexit confidence
  • Published social mobility statistics in our 2017 Annual Report
  • Extended progressive employer focus to include campaigns on shared parental leave, and ‘Back to business’ for women who have been out of the workplace
  • Worked with suppliers to update their dress code policies; contributed to social media debate.

Policy
makers

  • Consultations on and issuance of standards and legislation (e.g. proposed Ethical Standard, better workplace pensions); participation in round tables or other forums; advisory panel positions
  • Proactive engagement through ‘Citizen’s juries’
  • Sharing our thought leadership and research on tax reform
  • Dialogue and input to new policy on a wide range of responsible business issues (e.g. tax system reform, social mobility and apprentices, climate change, natural capital)
  • Provide business perspective and help inform policies; Provide new insight through collaborative exchange; Create a more responsible business environment
  • Feel we make a positive contribution to the debate
  • Recognise us as experienced advisors in international climate negotiations
  • Assessing appropriate approach to reforming tax legislation
  • Supported developing countries in preparation for COP21 negotiations, through the Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)

 

Regulators

  • Responding to inquiries inspections, reviews and consultations
  • Proactive engagement on expectations and concerns
  • Ensure compliance with existing regulations
  • Help shape new regulations and standards by collaborating  to create a better regulatory landscape
  • Value our contribution to the regulatory agenda
  • Recognise our expertise and knowledge of the market
  • Recognise our emphasis on quality through systems and controls; identified areas for further focus
  • Worked to enhance the understanding and application of new audit regulations
  • Ongoing refinement of audit quality metrics, which we report our performance against

Shareholders

  • Meetings with shareholder representatives to understand areas of focus, including audit quality, regulatory and governance issues, and to educate them on the audit process
  • Secretariat to the Corporate Reporting Users Forum (CRUF)
  • Surveys of shareholder views on a variety of topics
  • Facilitation of meetings between shareholder representatives and senior audit partners
  • Act as a responsible member of the corporate reporting community so we can educate companies on what investors want from their reporting
  • Educate the investment community about PwC’s role in serving the public interest
  • Help us to improve audit quality through better understanding of shareholder expectations
  • Help give investors a voice in the corporate reporting debate (via the CRUF)
  • Perceive us as having an active and responsive shareholder engagement programme
  • Noted improvement in the quality and usefulness of our audit reports
  • There is still some misunderstanding about how audits work
  • There is scope to improve various areas of corporate reporting, to make it more useful, for current and potential shareholders
  • Continued to hold regular shareholder feedback sessions across a number of specialisms and hosted round-table discussions on  future of reporting
  • Held first PwC Investor Update event for shareholders and analysts
  • Published our largest investor survey, comparing the views of investment professionals with responses from  CEOs in our CEO Survey
  • Continued to hold ‘meet the auditor’ meetings for investors and analysts to discuss relevant issues with senior industry audit partners

Students

  • Recruitment events, publications and webcasts, surveys, online employability training; paid work experience and internships
  • Classroom discussions through our PwC Classroom programme
  • Understand career motivations and job search behaviours of students, and perceptions of PwC
  • Inform candidates about career choices to widen talent pool and access to our professions
  • Inform our tax and other thought leadership programmes
  • Want to be assessed on capability and potential rather than historical school performance
  • Lack relevant work experience opportunities at school
  • Mentored students from under-represented backgrounds through our Diversity Mentoring Scheme Introduced ‘Business Insight’ internship weeks for 6th form students
  • Educating students about the tax system and public finances

Suppliers

  • Tendering process, formal supplier assessments, key supplier sustainability workshops, conversations with individual suppliers, research to understand barriers to sustainability performance
  • Understand supplier concerns; Mutual support to enhance quality of service and sustainability standards in our supply chain; Identify opportunities to collaborate on innovative solutions for sustainability
  • Many suppliers appreciate the impetus arising from our engagement on sustainability performance improvement (e.g. human rights, carbon reductions)
  • Keen to collaborate on sustainability issues, but would welcome support
  • Do not all have technical capability to measure carbon emissions
  • Engaged suppliers on human rights requirements and reported number of suppliers with relevant policies in our sustainability scorecard
  • Developed and delivered a bespoke game and workshop to help suppliers calculate carbon emissions and set realistic reduction targets

1. Non-governmental organisations
2. Includes A4S, BITC, CDP, IIRC, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Tax Justice Network, WBCSD, World Natural Capital Forum, CDKN, UNGC, Natural Capital Coalition