Stakeholder engagement

To create the most value for their businesses and communities, firms in the PwC network consult with their stakeholders and their own people to help decide business priorities.

At PwC doing the right thing is fundamental to our culture. We take our public interest role, and our broader role in society, very seriously. A key element of this commitment is the strong relationships that PwC maintains with a vast range of global institutions and international bodies.

For example, we help the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) to develop their standards and participate in several working groups with the UN Global Compact (UNGC), including ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ and ‘CR Reporting and Transparency’. We also participate in the UN CEO Water Mandate, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

The PwC network continues to work with various organisations to help shape the renewable energy agenda. For example, PwC UK acts as an advisor to the World Economic Forum’s project ‘The Energy Access Partnership: Unlocking business opportunities’ and is engaged in projects with the WBCSD. Through these relationships PwC firms gain inspiration and insight from the work of others, and share the wide experience of their people.

Engaging with stakeholders is also essential for each of the firms in the Network to understand their stakeholders’ needs and create the value they’re seeking. Below are some examples of how PwC firms are listening and responding to their stakeholders.

Clients

A growing number of PwC firms’ clients are taking significant steps to incorporate the consideration of risks and opportunities related to CR into their business strategies and some are starting to make CR policy and performance a condition of doing business. This is a trend we expect to continue and grow in the future. Many PwC firms use relationship management processes and programmes of client activity including participation in industry and client forums, satisfaction surveys, and dedicated interviews to understand their clients’ needs and views on the CR agenda.

Employees

Every year PwC conducts its Global People Survey to gauge our employees' views on a range of issues including CR. In FY13, 76% of our people believed that PwC was taking appropriate steps to be socially responsible, maintaining the score from FY12. In terms of environmental stewardship the favourable responses increased from 66% to 68%. However there is still progress to make here, even though many individual firms do very well in this area. We responded by reporting on the Network’s GHG emissions for the first time and by making a public commitment to managing our environmental impact more effectively. We are also encouraging local firms to develop and implement their own environmental policies in line with the published Network environmental statement.

Suppliers

Suppliers are important stakeholders within the global value chain. At a local level, many PwC firms have regular dialogue with suppliers as well as formal supplier assessments. These mechanisms are used to understand supplier challenges and enhance the quality of service and CR standards in the supply chain.

PwC firms also have an opportunity to leverage their purchasing power to influence social and environmental performance in their supply chains. The responsibility to understand and manage the social and environmental impacts of these procurement activities is an important area of focus for many PwC firms.

Examples of progress in this area can be found in many PwC firms’ sustainable supply chain policies and practices including: PwC Australia, PwC Canada, PwC Czech Republic, PwC Russia, PwC UK and PwC US.

When it comes to responsible business, we want to make as big a difference as possible.

PwC’s stakeholder groups are varied. PwC firms operate their businesses in accordance with the requirements and guidelines of local and international regulators and maintain regular dialogue with them. PwC firms have an exceptional client base extending across the private, public and third sectors. Their people, potential recruits and alumni, suppliers, communities they operate in, non-governmental organisations and the media are all essential to their businesses.

As a result, there are also many possible priorities for CR programmes across the Network. While the four broad focus areas of our global CR strategy have been agreed across the Network – responsible business, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, and environmental stewardship – each country will set local priorities within each area depending on local market conditions.

Most engagement is carried out locally in order to gain in-depth insights into the needs and wants of all our stakeholders in different parts of the world. Here are further examples of these activities.

Stakeholder group

Types of engagement

Engagement outcomes

Employees, partners, potential recruits, alumni

Annual Global People Survey, focus groups, regular career meetings; recruitment fairs, university lectures and contests, publications and webcasts; alumni events and newsletter; local corporate responsibility champions

  • Inform about our talent strategy and working opportunities
  • Wellbeing assessment of our people
  • Create a diverse and inclusive workplace
  • Recruitment, retention, referral
  • Understand and enhance our people’s attitudes and knowledge of corporate responsibility

Clients

Relationship management, annual satisfaction surveys, participation in industry and client forums

  • Understand client industry and business challenges
  • Identify opportunities to improve our service and products
  • Building trust-based relationships

Global institutions and non-governmental organisations, local government regulators, professional bodies and general marketplace

Participation in expert forums and continuing dialogue, reports, publications and surveys, collaboration on projects, participation in standard-setting bodies, ongoing discussions with regulators

  • Contribute to marketplace thought leadership
  • Help shape policies, regulations and standards
  • Identify emerging developments in policy
  • Engage in relevant debates

Local communities and not-for-profit organisations

Board positions, participation in forums and platforms, collaboration on non-profit projects, review meetings with local community partners, provision of professional expertise, mentoring and volunteering

  • Inform about community investment decisions
  • Shape joint community programmes
  • Develop opportunities to broaden our people’s experiences
  • Work in partnerships to develop solutions on specific challenges

Suppliers

Formal supplier assessments, regular dialogue with suppliers

  • Understand supplier concerns
  • Mutual support to enhance quality of service and corporate responsibility standards in our supply chain

Media

News releases, surveys and results announcements, conferences and roundtables, and continuing conversations with journalists

  • Opportunity to communicate our performance and success stories
  • Share our thought leadership, insight into public and business concerns
  • Understand market sentiment

See also...

“At our best, we hear and understand the goals of our clients, our people and other stakeholders, and work with them to create value.”

Dennis M. Nally
Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited