Our corporate sustainability strategy

Our sustainability strategy is central to delivering our purpose, and founded on some guiding principles – upholding professional standards, being transparent and fair, fostering a culture of collaboration, and valuing the longer-term consequences of our decisions. It’s informed by our materiality matrix, delivered via our business model, and provides the structure for how we report.

Our 2013-2017 sustainability strategy

Over the last five years our sustainability strategy has been based around two key principles:

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

Doing the right thing - advancing an active agenda of sustainability initiatives which create value for our business and for our stakeholders. This includes acting in a way that upholds social and environmental standards.

We used our materiality matrix to prioritise four key areas: responsible business, workplace & diversity, community involvement and environmental performance.

Measuring our impact

To hold ourselves accountable over the years we’ve developed, assured and reported key performance indicators and targets for each of the four focus areas, using the same best practice standards that we recommend to our clients.  Being transparent about our performance - both positive and negative - has been a key principle underpinning our strategy, and we’ve reported our progress each year in our Annual Report, our sustainability scorecard, and this website.

In 2017 we report on our five-year results against these targets, and and are very pleased with what we’ve achieved over that period - particularly against our targets to decouple our environmental impacts from our business growth, and the impacts of our community programmes.  

We also report, for the fifth year, the estimated financial value of the economic, tax, social and environmental impacts that reflect the outputs of our business model, using our Total Impact Measurement & Management (TIMM) framework.  

Sharing our insights

As a knowledge-based organisation we also feel we have a contribution to make by sharing our insights with clients and other stakeholders. One way we do this is through our ‘lessons learned’ documents and videos. You can find these, and the many policies that help us to embed sustainability in our business, in the case studies and downloads section of this website.

The next five years

Our business, and the context we operate in, has changed considerably over the last five years accelerated by interdependent megatrends. In this context, and driven by our purpose,  in 2017 we took stock of the sustainability issues that are front of mind for our stakeholders and refreshed our materiality matrix as a key input to a more ambitious Responsible Business framework - see below. 

The framework focuses on eight key ways we feel we can make a positive societal impact through the work we do in our core operations, our supply chain and our community engagement activities.  You can explore these outcomes below.

Our new responsible business framework

Raising our sights to 2022

Our business and the context we operate in have changed a lot since we set our strategy for 2013 to 2017. So, we’ve refreshed our framework, and identified eight key ways in which we can make a positive impact for our business and society. Over the coming five years, from 2018 to 2022, we intend to drive these outcomes in a more integrated way, through our client work, our core operations, our supply chain and our community engagement. And, since they align to the Sustainable Development Goals that are the most relevant for our business, they should also help to tackle the important problems that governments around the world have prioritised.

Over the next year we’ll align our non-financial scorecard and reporting to this new Responsible Business framework.

Work with purpose
We believe we can make a big impact through our client work if we embed our purpose - ‘to build trust in society and solve important problems’ - into everything we do. This approach reinforces our role in creating trust in the capital markets and helping clients contribute to society, through their success. But ‘working with purpose’ also means using our research and thought capital to play a positive role in exploring the future of tax, the future of assurance and the future of work, as well as fostering inclusive growth and shaping an agenda that delivers sustainable development. ← Back to overview
Future skills
Our focus on future skills is about ensuring our workforce, and society, are equipped for the future of work. In a period of such profound change, this means not only attracting and retaining the best people in our business, but also appreciating skills diversity, and anticipating and identifying the skills needed in the future world of work. We will play a positive role in ensuring people can adapt to a rapidly changing world, with a particular focus on developing their digital skills and mind-sets suitable for the 21st century, in our workforce and through our community programmes, too. ← Back to overview
Social inclusion
Reducing inequality by promoting diversity and social mobility is a key goal for government, nationally and internationally. Diversity also ensures our business can access the best talent.
Our focus in the next five year period builds on our long-standing programmes to enhance gender, BME and other types of diversity in our workforce, and will extend to helping people from social mobility cold-spots and other under-represented groups to join PwC and prosper. It also extends to our community work with schools and social enterprises, giving better life chances to disadvantaged groups and contributing to better cohesion in society. ← Back to overview
Health & wellbeing
As people are central to our business model, their health and wellbeing is critical. Our future focus on this topic will build on long-standing programmes to emphasise our people’s mental and physical wellbeing, as well as updating our approach to allow for the technologically enabled era. We’ll also extend our support for good health and wellbeing to society more broadly, through our local community and charity related activities. ← Back to overview
Circular economy
We’ve had a programme to reduce our material consumption and increase the reuse and recycling of our waste for many years, and we’re proud of our results. As the ‘circular economy’ becomes a more mainstream goal for government and businesses, we’re renewing our commitment to help transition to it. So, we’ll focus on identifying circular solutions we can lease or buy - such as products made with recycled content or which are designed for longevity, disassembly, recycling or reuse. This will also help us operate in line with responsible consumption and production principles. ← Back to overview
Low carbon economy
Following the Paris Climate Accord of 2015, there is a global imperative to move to clean energy and to take action on climate. So, having reduced our absolute carbon emissions by 29% over the past ten years, we’re committing to go further reduce our carbon impacts, in line with science based targets. This will be driven by more action on the carbon emissions from our buildings and travel, and a transition towards 100% renewable and self-generated energy. Given the additional environmental impact of our supply chain, we’ll continue to engage our suppliers for reductions too. ← Back to overview
Fair business
It’s part of our culture to ‘work together’ and to ‘care’, and being fair in how we do business is important for both our reputation and our ability to access the best talent and service provision. At it’s core, this priority is about partnering for success, and includes how we pay our people and suppliers; our responsibility to uphold standards in our supply chain, including action to uphold human rights; and contributing to the communities in which we operate. ← Back to overview
Trusted business
The trust of our stakeholders and the wider public is critical to our business. So our commitment to earn our reputation by being transparent in the way we operate, by promoting the highest standards in ethics and integrity, by having effective governance, and by upholding information security. It also extends to new areas such as the way we approach technology, acknowledging the need to demonstrate leadership in applying it in a responsible way. ← Back to overview
Work with purpose in our client work
Future skills
Social inclusion
Health and wellbeing
Circular economy
Low carbon economy
Fair business
Trusted business

Contact us

Bridget Jackson

Head of Corporate Sustainability, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7213 2435

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