Living our Purpose
Our Purpose binds all that we do
Emma Cox explains what Purpose means to her Transcript
Emma
Cox
Our Purpose is about who we are and how we operate as a business. Hear more from our Head of Purpose, Emma Cox, as she explains what PwC's Purpose means to her.
We’re a hugely diverse business.

What binds all that we do is our Purpose: to build trust in society and solve important problems. It sums up our ultimate role beyond profit generation and how we contribute to society more broadly.

Explore this page and our Purpose framework to see how we’re living our Purpose through our client work, our core operations, our supply chain and our community engagement.

And hear from our Head of Purpose, Emma Cox, as she discusses how Purpose resonates with her, and her ambition for everybody to really understand how the work that they do drives a positive impact, and to challenge ourselves to do more.

Our Purpose is at the heart of everything we do, informing the work we do for clients as well as how we run the business.
Working with Purpose
We advise on important societal problems.

We’re addressing big issues such as the future of pensions, cyber threats, housing shortages and the Sustainable Development Goals. In a digital world, there’s increased focus on using technology responsibly to solve rather than exacerbate problems. Examples include working with the World Economic Forum to see how technological breakthroughs can address environmental challenges; applying artificial intelligence to transform the analysis and interpretation of healthcare information; and using machine learning to detect patterns of problem gambling.

Explore how our work is helping to detect and mitigate harm from problem gambling Find out more
Purpose helps us
see the bigger picture
It helps us look at the wider impacts of our work day to day and in challenging situations it gives us focus. This has been essential for our role supporting the Official Receiver of Carillion, the facilities and construction services company that went into liquidation earlier this year.
Click on a pin to see more about the work we’ve done with Carillion across the country.
London and South East
Kept the Crossrail Surface Works programme moving in London and saved 4,509 jobs across in London and the South East.
Midlands and East
During the coldest months of the year we kept motorists on the move, spreading nearly 2,000 tonnes of salt on the M40 and saved 1,636 jobs in the Midlands.
North East and Yorkshire
Worked with staff at the Carillion Customer Experience Centre in Sheffield staff to provide 24/7 advice to rail passengers from across the country and saved 2,479 jobs across the North East.
North West
Our people helped the North West Rail electrification programme stay on track, ensuring the installation of over 250 masts and booms, as well as safeguarding 1,155 jobs across the North West.
Scotland
Delivered services to keep residents warm in West of Scotland Housing Association housing stock before successfully transferring the contract to a new provider and saved 880 jobs in Scotland.
Northern Ireland
Provided key maintenance and improvements services to nearly 30,000 homes in and around Belfast and saved 496 jobs in Northern Ireland
Wales and South West
Kept the Great Western Swindon Hospital operational, one of 11 hospitals we supported across the country, and saved 1,050 jobs across Wales and the South West.
Working with the Official Receiver and Carillion staff, as of 30 June 2018, we've helped save 12,205 jobs and ensure the continuity of vital public services.
Our Purpose sets a high goal

In a complex world, our Purpose provides a lens through which to make decisions and evaluate if we’re living up to our ideals. Our Purpose sets a high goal - we know there is work to do. Transparency is important to us and we publish a wide range of metrics in our non-financial scorecard. This year, we’re publishing, for the first time, the number of issues raised with our Professional Behaviour Team through our confidential ‘Speak Up’ helpline and other channels: 32 in total both from our people and third parties. We're also publishing our first statement in response to the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure.

“Keeping our Purpose front of mind helps us to learn from our experiences and get better at what we do.”
Kevin Ellis, Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC UK
Running our business with Purpose
Our operations and supply chain

We work to build trust by being transparent in the way we operate and fair in how we do business with others. We engage regularly with our key suppliers on environmental and social issues, sharing our insights and working on joint initiatives. The number of our key suppliers with a human rights policy has increased to 72% from 66% last year, and we’re the only professional services business to have been named on the CDP Supplier Engagement Leaderboard for our work with suppliers on carbon emissions. The commercial arrangements with 72% of our key suppliers now have some form of sustainability criteria.

We’ve been supporting social enterprises for more than ten years. Through our Buy Social programme, we buy products and services for our offices from more than 40 social enterprises, ranging from chocolates to video production, and also help them with advice on scaling up and selling to businesses like us. We’re founding members of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge and were delighted to celebrate its second anniversary this year with Mediorite - a creative agency we support through our 250-strong Social Entrepreneurs Club.

This year, we were proud to be presented with the ‘Buy Social’ Market Builder Award at the 2017 UK Social Enterprise Awards in recognition of our work with social enterprises.

“Every job we produce for a client creates paid work for a young person that we've trained.”
Lucy Ferguson, Director and Founder, Mediorite
Lucy Ferguson, Director and Founder of Mediorite, talks about how they're working to tackle youth unemployment Transcript
Lucy
Ferguson
Mediorite's Lucy Ferguson talks about working with PwC, and explains how the films they make provide opportunities for young people, helping to tackle youth unemployment.
Our environmental footprint

As a responsible business, we want to play our part in addressing environmental challenges, and our clients, our people and our other stakeholders expect this. We successfully completed our five year environmental strategy in 2017 and, this year, set challenging new targets to 2022. We’re continuing to make good progress, extending our programmes on ‘Acting on Carbon’ and ‘Going Circular’, in particular through ‘reimagining’ our office space to introduce new and more flexible ways of working. These short stories highlight some of the successes we've made this year and what we plan to do next.

Watch our low carbon story
See how we’re making a sustainable impact
Empowering people and communities

Social mobility is a significant issue for our country and our economy. As a major UK employer, we’re committed to making a difference to social mobility, and ensuring opportunity is open to all through our inclusion and community programmes. We’re making this happen in our own business and through our work in communities and with other organisations. This year, we've supported more than 10,000 young people with skills development, as well as providing additional support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds applying to join our summer work experience programmes, and we are focused on doing a lot more.

If we really want to broaden aspiration and opportunity, we know we have to do more to reach people from a young age. We’re working as a Cornerstone employer in Bradford - the sixth biggest City in the UK, and also the youngest - to help ensure thousands of school students have meaningful interactions with employers.

Will Richardson explains why social mobility and our work in Bradford is so important and how, by working with other businesses, we can have maximum impact. Transcript
Will
Richardson
Working together, businesses can make a real difference to social mobility. Will Richardson outlines an ambitious project to improve life chances for young people in Bradford.
“It’s about supporting a much wider group to help them progress as far as their talent and determination will take them.”
Will Richardson, PwC Leeds Office Senior Partner

As well as social mobility, our community programmes focusing on social enterprise and mental health have delivered a whole host of other activities this year to open up opportunity and empower people across our communities. It’s an area our people feel strongly about and want to contribute time and energy to. Across our business, more than a quarter of our people collectively volunteered a total of over 66,000 working hours this year, 47% of which were ‘skills-based’, and which have benefited more than 23,000 people. Some examples of our activities are outlined below.

Our overall community contribution this year was valued at £7.4 million.
PwC drives change in communities

We took part in a unique 11-day journey to inspire 100 young leaders to be creative and entrepreneurial, and to take ownership of driving change in their communities.

Find out more
Making a difference: One Firm One Day 2018

This year’s One Firm One Day (OFOD) on 18 May, showed the difference our firm can make when we all come together in the communities where we live and work.

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Scale | Impact programme: accelerating the growth of impact ventures

PwC’s Scale | Impact programme has been working with purpose-driven scale-ups in the UK to increase their commercial opportunities through mentoring and business support.

Find out more
‘This Is Me’ - working together to end stigma surrounding mental health

We joined employers from across the North West to wear green ribbons in a new drive to end the stigma of talking about mental health in the workplace.

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Next generation: PwC tech degree apprenticeships launched

We have launched a range of new degree apprenticeships to give more young people from a broader range of backgrounds the opportunity to get into a career in technology.

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From Birmingham to Abu Dhabi: Tahir Rabani shares his career journey

Tahir Rabani, Director of Capital Projects and Infrastructure shared his experiences of working with organisations in the Middle East at a ‘breakfast with a leader’ event in the Midlands.

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Green Light To Talk about Mental Health at PwC

Green Light to Talk is our way of encouraging open and honest conversations about mental health and wellbeing, to make them a normal part of our culture and show that we care about our people.

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