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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.Find out more
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
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.Find out more
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.Find out more
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.Find out more
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.Find out more
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Corporate Affairs, PwC United Kingdom