Responsible Business and the Marketplace

At PwC, we play a significant role in the world’s capital markets. We take pride that our people and services help improve the credibility, transparency and reliability of financial statements and information that help guide investors and stakeholders to make informed decisions.

We believe we have a responsibility to uphold and embody ethics, transparency and integrity in all aspects of our work. Our people are leaders who can promote trust in business and use their skills and relationships to promote more ethical and responsible behaviour in the marketplace. By exemplifying responsible leadership and showcasing how sustainability is a core component of strong governance and organizational accountability, we know we can make a significant difference in the success of our people, clients and communities.

Our marketplace initiatives in FY15 reflected our ongoing efforts to integrate good corporate responsibility practices into our own business operations and to look for opportunities to lead the debate on issues impacting our profession. To that end, we continued to focus on enhancing risk management practices—not only for our own operations but also for our clients. We also continued to develop thought leadership on a variety of topics including trust in business, market transformation and sustainability to support our clients in addressing emerging issues related to responsible business. For the fourth year in a row, we conducted an economic impact analysis to help quantify our firm’s impact on the marketplace as well as provided a detailed summary of how our firm’s sponsorships are creating tangible impacts for our communities.

Focusing on ethics and transparency

A key component of our overall Corporate Responsibility Strategy is to integrate strong ethical and transparent business practices within our entire enterprise and all the work that we do. In addition to developing and fostering our people’s responsible leadership skills, we have many other initiatives that help us act ethically, responsibly and more transparently.

These include:

  • our code of conduct
  • dedicated ethics hotlines
  • eLearn sessions
  • risk management training for all our people
  • Canadian independence training
  • anti-money laundering training
  • clear privacy policies
  • an obligation to act and report according to rules of professional conduct

We also have an ethics and business conduct leader who provides oversight to our reporting processes. Each year, all of our people are required to participate in interactive independence training sessions. They must also complete an annual confirmation with respect to their personal responsibilities as they relate to independence and firm compliance.

Managing risks

At PwC, risk management is an integral part of delivering distinctive service and meeting the expectations of our clients and other stakeholders. We have documented risk management policies and procedures in place covering all aspects of our activities, from client and engagement acceptance to service delivery. We also carry out periodic independent quality reviews on a sample of engagements. Our risk management policies and processes are reviewed and updated regularly to ensure they’re in compliance with applicable regulations, professional standards and industry practice.

In FY15, Kai Brown, Senior Legal Counsel, was appointed as PwC Canada’s Chief Privacy Officer. The firm’s Chief Privacy Officer, together with the Office of the General Counsel, Risk Management and firm leadership, oversees the development and monitoring of the firm’s privacy and data protection program.

United Nations Global Compact

As a global network, PwC is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, which consists of 10 core principles focused on the areas of anticorruption, human rights, labour standards and the environment. Through this participation, PwC globally has committed to aligning the UN Global Compact’s principles into our decision-making processes, business strategy and daily business activities throughout all levels of the firm.

Marketplace recognition

In FY15, PwC was named the second most powerful brand in the world by Brand Finance, one of the world’s leading brand valuation and strategy consultancies. Brand Finance uses a number of criteria to rank brands (including financial performance, sustainability, brand familiarity, client loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation), creating an overall brand strength score for each organization.

Training our people to think ‘responsibility’

In FY14, we developed a Global Think Corporate Responsibility eLearn to raise awareness of the impact of global megatrends on our business and the businesses of our clients. The focus of this eLearn is to strengthen our people’s knowledge and understanding of how we can embed CR issues and opportunities in the work we do every day, while stimulating a sustainability mindset in which everyone can confidently articulate the business impacts of sustainability, consider social and environmental risks for our clients and identify new value-adding opportunities. In FY15, we piloted this training module with 100 select staff and received positive feedback. In FY16, we’ll continue to roll out the program to our various lines of service.

Fostering responsibility through new hire onboarding

Our new hire onboarding experience includes in-person, online and experiential learning modules to introduce new employees to our culture and experience. In FY15, our onboarding at our Toronto office included an experiential case study in which new employees helped to solve real-life corporate responsibility challenges. The case study allowed participants to learn about the complexities of corporate responsibility and share their feedback in an open and collaborative environment while raising awareness of the importance of CR. We engaged over 250 new staff in this experiential case study and we plan to continue this work in FY16.

Our role in creating a sustainable society

We are market leaders in providing sustainability consulting and assurance services. Our Canadian practice is part of the global Sustainable Business Solutions network, which comprises 700 practitioners in 60 countries. As we strive to be catalysts for change, we advise our clients in delivering meaningful and effective sustainable development strategies and initiatives that positively impact their operations and stakeholders.

We’re also proud to have achieved accreditation from the American National Standards Institute as a Greenhouse Gas Verification body, accreditation as a certification body for the Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Standard as well as accreditation as an ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 management system certification body from the Standards Council of Canada.

We appreciated the professional attitude and work that was provided by the PwC Environmental Audit Team. The team’s collaborative approach allowed for open and meaningful discussions around improvements which would bring overall value to OPG. It was a refreshing experience and we look forward to our continued working relationship!

— Barbara Reuber, Vice President, Environment, Ontario Power Generation

Acting as a catalyst for dialogue and thought leadership

Every day, we work with clients to tackle business issues, exchange ideas and look ahead to new opportunities. We use our thought leadership to share diverse perspectives and help lead conversations related to sustainability and corporate responsibility.

We launched the following conversations in FY15

What’s driving the future? Five global megatrends

In FY15, we built on the Global Megatrends study and participated in community and online forums about how to manage and mitigate risk in a changing world.

The female millennial: A new era of talent

This report shares interesting research results, case studies and voice of the female millennial profiles. In addition, it brings the unique approach of taking a deeper look at the female millennial using a ‘career stage differential’.

What are CEOs globally and in Canada saying about making the most of workforce diversity and adaptability?

We launched our 18th Annual Global CEO Survey centering on the topics of growth, technology, talent and competition.

Making the case for charity

Bruce MacDonald, President and CEO, Imagine Canada, an umbrella group that represents the interests of the nation’s 86,000 charities, talked to PwC’s Up front about why the not-for-profit sector is an integral part of the national fabric.

NextGen: Our global generational study

NextGen is the largest research-based generational study ever conducted and represents the insights and perspectives of more than 40,000 PwC partners and employees from around the world.

How do you make vision a reality?

Our Vision to Reality conference brings together over 500 entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and influencers to share perspectives and collaborate on how innovation can — and is — reshaping the Canadian market in new and unexpected ways.

How do you manage the risks of economic crime?

We believe that understanding economic and cybercrime issues is very important for companies that want to act responsibly and to promote responsible business among their sectors and supply chains. Our Global Economic Crime report focused on how crime may be affecting organizations—and what they can do about it.