Being responsible professional service providers


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 within all aspects of our work. Our people are leaders who can promote trust in business, and use their skills and relationships to influence the marketplace to promote more ethical and responsible behaviour. 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 FY14 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 third 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 numerous other initiatives that help us act ethically, responsibly and more transparently. These include:

  • our code of conduct
  • dedicated ethics hotlines
  • e-learn 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. In FY14, similar to FY13, we achieved a 100% compliance with respect to this obligation.

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 are in compliance with applicable regulations, professional standards and industry practice.

In FY14, we launched an enhanced mandatory Risk Management e-Learn that was customized based on each learner’s profile so that that it could meet the unique needs of each of our employees based on their staff level and line of service. This customization resulted in significant time savings across our firm as learners were directed to content that was only relevant to them.

PwC assists clients with risk management
During FY14, PwC Canada was named a leader in Canadian business consulting services for Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) in a IDC MarketScape report by the International Data Corporation (IDC). The IDC MarketScape assesses the capabilities and business strategies of leading business consulting firms in key areas. The organization uses a comprehensive framework and set of parameters to evaluate which firms are expected to provide the most successful organizational consulting services in both the short-term and the long-term. The report showed that we’re a leader in both capabilities and strategies when it comes to Governance, Risk and Compliance.

Training our people to Think Responsibility
In FY14, we developed a Global Think Corporate Responsibility e-Learn to raise awareness of the impact of global megatrends on our business and the businesses of our clients. The focus of this e-Learn is to strengthen our people’s knowledge and understanding of how we can embed CR issues and opportunities into 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 be able to identify new value adding opportunities. In FY15, we will pilot this training module with select staff.

Fostering responsibility through new hire onboarding
Our new hire onboarding experience includes in-person, online and experiential learning modules to introduce new employees to PwC’s culture and experience. In FY14, our onboarding at our Toronto head 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. We engaged over 250 new staff in this experiential case study and, in FY15, we plan to expand this training opportunity to other regions.

Conducting Tax Training for Private Company Services (PCS)
In FY14, we leveraged the lessons learned from our award winning Virtual Tax Conference and expanded this technical conference to include partners and staff who work in our PCS group. Previously delivered as an in-person conference, we looked for an alternative delivery format that is consistent with our commitment to reducing our air travel and greenhouse gas emissions. Pushing the boundaries of existing learning technologies, we blended them to deliver a virtual interactive learning experience that mimicked a face-to-face conference. Sessions were also recorded and available on-demand postconference. The results: the virtual conference provided a high-impact learning experience for over 1,000 participants (600 Tax and 400 PCS) including 40 clients. Over 80% of participants stated that they would recommend the conference to others. This work will continue in FY15.

Building foundations for the future in Consulting
Foundations for the Future is our onboarding program for new graduates entering our Consulting practice. Designed to build strong and consistent base-line consulting skills in our junior staff as well as create opportunities that empower them to deliver high-value client experiences, the program has two main components. First is an eight-day formal learning experience upon arrival to the firm, which introduces networking opportunities and real-life client simulations. The second component is on-the-job learning opportunities over the course of the year including rotations in different Consulting groups, numerous client engagements, monthly Lunch and Learn sessions and quarterly peer-to-peer review meetings with coaches, Learning and Development and Human Resources. After receiving positive feedback, we expanded the program to Calgary and Vancouver in FY14. We will continue to foster new candidates through the program in FY15.

Not-for-profit business services
PwC has always had a strong commitment to servicing the not-forprofit sector. We have a practice servicing the not-for-profit sector with dedicated practitioners and advisors who continue to serve and support the sector with thought leadership and with strategic guidance. Our extensive not-for-profit client base in Canada includes organizations of varying sizes. The quality and breadth of our clientele conveys the dedication of our firm to the sector. As a firm, we decided to commit leadership resources to the sector, not just in audit, but also in tax, governance, regulatory service and consulting areas. This means we’re able to provide cross disciplinary team and experienced professionals who specialize in working with not-for-profit organizations – individuals who are passionate, experienced and knowledgeable about the issues specific to the sector.

Our role in creating a sustainable society
PwC is a market leader in providing sustainability consulting and assurance services to large global organizations, including 50 of the Fortune 100 companies. Our teams help companies across a range of industries to understand their sustainability challenges and their associated business impacts, whilst integrating sustainable business practices into the very fabric of their processes, systems and supply chains. We provide assistance to clients to build business value by evaluating their entire sustainability framework— including challenges and opportunities— and incorporating effective solutions for CR programs, climate change, CR reporting, and chain of custody/supply chain risk management and sustainability management systems. Our Canadian practice is part of the global Sustainable Business Solutions (SBS) network comprised of 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 take a holistic view of the social, environmental, economic, and tax dimensions of our clients’ activities, and we help them to better understand the relevant issues important to their stakeholders, while driving sustained growth. We work across a range of industry sectors including retail, entertainment and media, mining, energy and utilities, and forest and paper. We are also proud to have achieved accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a Greenhouse Gas Verification body, accreditation as a certification body for the Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Standard, as well as accreditation’s an ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 management system certification body from the Standards Council of Canada.

Acting as a catalyst for dialogue and thought leadership
As a way to help lead conversations related to sustainability and corporate responsibility, and the ways we’ve integrated leading practices into our own business operations, we launched the following conversations in FY14:

What is driving the future? Five global megatrends

Over the last few years, we have observed that many of our stakeholders have been studying global megatrends – and using their knowledge to adjust and refine their business strategies. We believe that developing an understanding of how key megatrends will affect business in the future, we can create a dialogue on how to manage and mitigate their effects.

How do you make vision a reality?

PwC’s Vision to Reality Conference is our firm’s exclusive forum for emerging Canadian technology companies, including many that are focused on creating solutions to complex environmental and sustainability challenges. In FY14, we provided an opportunity for over 500 entrepreneurs and industry influencers from across Canada to forge new relationships, meet potential new business partners and to discuss the results of our annual survey and report on the emerging technology company space. The first afternoon of this year’s two-day conference consisted of workshops for pre-selected applicants to access mentorship opportunities led by some of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs. The second day was an open session for the entire start-up community, consisting of a series of insightful and inspirational talks by leading entrepreneurs and innovators. Key themes included building bigger business in Canada and developing a company culture to attract and retain top talent.

What are CEOs globally and in Canada saying about sustainability and corporate responsibility?

In FY14, PwC released the results of our 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, which aimed to inform and stimulate the debate on how businesses are facing today’s challenges. The survey was conducted during 2013 and included interviews with more than 1,300 CEOs from over 68 countries, including 52 from Canada. This year’s survey explored key items on CEO agendas around the world, including sustainability. For example, results from the survey showed:

  • 46% CEOs agreed that resource scarcity and climate change is a significant megatrend that will transform their business
  • 74% CEOs told us that measuring and reporting their total impact (financial and non-financial impacts) contributes to their long term success

One of the key outcomes of the survey was a though leadership piece entitled, Business success beyond the short term: CEO perspectives on Sustainability – which shares insights on issues driving leadership decisions as they relate to sustainability and the environment. We are currently using these insights to drive internal and external discussions around the topic.

How do you manage the risks of economic crime?

Our 2014 PwC Global Economic Crime Survey reinforced that, despite the efforts of organizations, regulators, law enforcement and antifraud practitioners, economic crime stubbornly persists. That’s why this year’s report focused on how and where economic crime may be affecting organizations – and what they can do about it. We highlighted stories and strategies suggested by our survey respondents because, while economic threats are a major challenge, they also present strategic opportunities—not only for the sound management of risk—but also for business success and achieving competitive advantage.

We believe that understanding economic and cybercrime issues are very important for companies that want to act responsibly and to promote responsible business among their sectors and supply chains. We plan to continue to use this survey in FY15 to create dialogue with business leaders so they can understand how economic crime is evolving and mitigate any impacts.