CR Strategy

At PwC we commit to do the right thing in our own business and to be a catalyst for change in the world around us.

 Creating value through responsible business

Creating value through responsible business

Our commitment to corporate responsibility goes well beyond embedding social, environmental and economic integrity into the fabric of our business.

We aim to leverage our core skills and activities to help our clients address CR issues while acknowledging the need to also address them in our own business.

We want to be part of the global conversation and movement towards responsible business practices that create positive change in the world. We want to be part of the solution.

Our CR strategy focuses on two key elements:

  • Do the right thing, which means playing our part in promoting responsible business issues that are central to our business – from the quality of our services and building an inclusive workplace, to our engagement with communities and our environmental footprint.
  • Be a catalyst for change, which is about using our skills, voice, and relationships to work with others and influence activities that make a difference, create change and have a lasting impact on the world around us. 

Today we’re helping organizations around the world strengthen their own corporate responsibility agendas through the many services we provide every day.

  • We review, consult and transform thousands of businesses around the globe every year. 
  • We offer services that focus on enhancing trust and transparency between government, business and society. 
  • We contribute to the development of the standards that underpin financial systems and industries. 
  • We’re developing new ways of measuring environmental, social and economic impacts, managing risks and providing assurance to our clients through our Sustainable Business Solutions practice. 
  • We’re managing our own impact, but we’re also uniquely positioned as a professional services firm to help integrate and foster change around corporate responsibility issues in ways that have more widespread effects.

PwC firms support these network-wide goals. During FY2013, we worked collaboratively with firms from across our global network to develop a set of leadership ladders to provide practical yet flexible guidance on Corporate Responsibility strategy implementation.

Our leadership ladders set minimum standards and provide guidance for each focus area about how PwC firms can achieve leadership in corporate responsibility. Each of the four steps of the ladder considers four dimensions: behaviour change; strategy and policy; measurement and engagement; and impact assessment. All PwC firms are required to fulfill foundation level requirements highlighted below. Our 21 largest firms, including PwC Canada, are committed to progress to the next levels of the ladder over the course of the next two years.

We also launched a new global PwC communications initiative called ‘part of it’ to help articulate tangible ways our employees can integrate CR into their day-to-day work with clients, each other and our communities. This initiative, combined with continued work embedding CR into our Canadian vision and business strategy, has helped us increase our Global People Survey scores and our employees’ perception of our CR efforts.

We have made significant progress within the people dimension of CR thanks to the implementation of a diversity and inclusion strategy. We launched a National Inclusion survey and workforce census; rolled out our 360 equitable leadership assessment tool; and took important steps forward in understanding bias within recruitment, performance and career advancement processes. We also began monitoring our progress through a new diversity and inclusion dashboard.

Our employee resource circles were able to enhance their profile and effectiveness by supporting our teams in rolling out a first ever diversity & inclusion week celebration. We also launched a Communities CEO award in recognition of the ways our employees work with multiple stakeholder groups to make a difference.

Our focus on enhancing employee leadership capabilities through community volunteering led to an increase the number of PwC employees serving on not-for-profit boards from 238 in FY2012 to 368 in FY2013. We also increased our ratio of skills-based volunteering offered through the PwC Canada Foundation from 14% to 28% of total volunteer experiences year over year. These successes earned external recognition for our thought leadership, including a 2012 Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Award from Green Living Enterprises.

Our achievements were not without challenges. We planned to complete a Theory of Change – a road map to help leadership teams better understand how to measure their inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts – to help refine our social impact measurement processes but put the project on hold because of resource constraints. More work will be completed in FY2014.

After experiencing a decline in membership of our environmental committees during FY2012, we were able to stabilize membership during FY2013 by streamlining our support for local employees to assist with time management, local communications and employee recognition. We brought everything under the banner of Corporate Responsibility committees to help us focus our efforts. We chose to discontinue our annual commuter survey, shifting our focus on engaging employees in locally based health and wellness campaigns to help transform behaviours.

We completed an analysis of our firm’s economic impact on the Canadian economy for the second year and have highlighted the results within the responsible business section of this report. New this year is a responsible business heat map: an analysis of PwC’s own core services, defined sectors and competencies highlighting those that are most exposed to risks extending from social, environmental and governance issues.

Over the next year, we will continue to take action on priorities identified within our FY2013 to FY2015 strategy plan. We will stay focused on our medium and longer term goals: to use our combined skills, voice and relationships to build trust, ethics and integrity within the marketplace, and enhance our impacts associated with measurement frameworks, community education and capacity building initiatives. We will be emphasizing a focus on working with our stakeholders throughout FY2014 and have made additional resource investments to affirm our commitment to this important work.