Impact management for sustainable business strategy

Identify and understand your business’s impact on planet and people.

What is the social cost of the transition to net zero? Should you source globally or locally? What happens if you reduce, reuse and recycle? 

By understanding the implications and environmental, social, and commercial trade-offs of strategic decisions, you can transform and reinvent, steering a path for growth and resilience that is inclusive, responsible and sustainable. 

PwC’s impact measurement and management solutions will give you a complete picture of your organisation’s impacts, unlocking value and providing insights into hidden risks and opportunities within the value chain. 

Using a common language, our solutions can then enable you to measure performance and drive strategy, both across the organisation and within particular projects.

Gain the full picture to drive strategy

Placing a monetary value on impacts goes beyond traditional reporting and allows you to compare different scenarios objectively and determine business strategy. 

  • Meet external obligations, including regulatory legislation and stakeholder concerns.
  • Gain a holistic view of impacts to make informed strategic decisions.
  • Use a common language to measure sustainability and benchmark performance.
  • Assess and appraise particular projects, or company-wide performance.

The issues at a glance

Delivering to investors’ expectations

PwC’s Global Investor Survey 2023 found that nearly 75% of investors globally say they want sustainability reporting to describe the impact a company has on the environment and society. 

  • 75% of global investors who seek impact information also want companies to disclose the monetary value of their impact.

  • 94% of investors think that corporate reporting currently contains at least some greenwashing.

Companies need an objective way to gain full transparency of their impact and a common language to report that impact. Our solutions put real values to a range of impacts to meet stakeholder expectations.

Increasing regulation

The EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) standards require companies to provide extensive and detailed disclosures about how sustainability issues affect their business. 

Measuring business impact in monetary terms can enhance your CSRD reporting, supporting materiality assessments, identifying impacts and supporting narrative disclosure, then enabling you to seize the opportunity this brings. For instance, CSRD requires companies to collect environmental, social and governance (ESG) data on their material impacts, providing actionable insights and helping to determine priorities.

More and more executives are leveraging regulatory mandates to bring sustainability into the heart of their strategy while uncovering opportunities for value creation.

Measuring impact through AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a vital role in measuring business impact by bringing organisations an ultra-efficient and speedy way to collect and process an unprecedented amount of data. Three key plays are particularly apparent:

  • Gathering and analysing data across operations for impact measurement.
  • Assessing and analysing data to enable decision makers to analyse performance, spot trends, reveal blindspots and compare strategies with results.
  • Modelling and testing solutions for a number of different scenarios to point the best way forward.

PwC can enable organisations to accelerate sustainability reporting through automated sustainability data collection, technology solutions and collaborations with our alliance partners.

External impacts & internal costs

Traditionally, if a company’s actions had a negative effect on the people or environment around them, there was no incentive for the business to mitigate its impacts or measure and manage progress in real-time. The widely-held assumption is that any actions a business takes that have a negative impact on others are paid for by society and the environment, not the company. 

However, these externalities are gradually becoming internalised and are increasingly affecting a company’s finances. This may be through regulation, where businesses are taxed or fined on their impacts, or through market share, as customers choose a competitor. And, as PwC's Global Investor Survey 2023 shows, investors will be driving change too.

76% of investors want to see companies report the costs and road map to achieve their sustainability commitments.

Leading the way in impact measurement and management

PwC has pioneered modelling approaches to impact measurement and valuation, with over ten years of experience supporting clients and industry bodies. We contributed to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the role that businesses can play, and we are continuing to build on our technical expertise and practical know-how to the leading initiatives developing impact measurement standards. 

PwC is a member of many of the leading bodies looking to standardise the way organisations approach impact measurement. Our impact solutions bring together our breadth of sustainability experience and our financial reporting experience, enabling businesses to assess trade-offs and address difficult questions.

Gain 360 degrees of expertise

Our community of solvers brings together a unique spectrum of expertise to deliver a 360-degree picture, drawing on social and environmental scientists, economists, reporting specialists, engineers, data architects and more. 

Know the cost of doing nothing

When it comes to addressing environmental performance, many businesses struggle with the cost of doing nothing. We can help put tangible figures to that cost, translating it to profit and loss, and enable businesses to compare different paths forward. 

Implement and execute

By going beyond the data, we can help companies create a strategy, and then pinpoint the path to execution. 

Transformation with trust

Our impact measurement solutions enable businesses to understand their environmental impact as they consider different scenarios for business model reinvention and take action to build growth and resilience. The result is a roadmap that businesses can have confidence in through the future.

Our pragmatic approach to impact measurement

Quantify how a business’s activities affect stakeholders in all quadrants, across the value chain. 

Our total impact measurement and management framework (TIMM) helps companies understand and manage impact, enabling strategic decision making and performance management. Measurement can be flexed across the four quadrants, tailored to cover material impacts for any organisation and business context. 

A 360 degree picture

Economic impact
Measures the effect of business activity on the economy in a given area, by measuring changes in economic growth (output or value added) and associated changes in employment. 

Tax impact 
Values a business’s contribution to the public finances, including taxes on profits, people, production and property, as well as environmental taxes. 

Environmental impact
Puts a value on the impact business has on natural capital, e.g, emissions to air, land, water, and the use of natural resources. 

Social impact
Measures and values the consequences of business activities on society, such as on health, education and livelihoods.

Tangible and actionable outcomes

Our impact measurement solutions provide you with evidence-based, quantifiable information to enhance understanding across a range of areas, including:

  • research and development
  • purchasing
  • sourcing
  • capex appraisals
  • performance management against commitments and targets
  • external reporting.

Seeing the trade-offs to make informed decisions

As our scenarios show, our impact measurement solutions put a value on impacts to enable your business to compare strategies and investment choices, evaluating the total impact to assess your best route forward.

Should a brewery import barley or grow a crop locally?

A brewer wants a balanced, holistic analysis to assess its sourcing. Our impact measurement solutions help to assess both options to make an informed decision. This new perspective could help to address security of supply and foreign exchange exposures. It could also allow the brewer to develop a clearer long-term strategy for the business and demonstrate the impact of business decisions to stakeholders.

Should an enterprise build an "impact aware eco-friendly" hotel or keep its traditional hotel business model?

A hotel group has the option of building and operating a new hotel on a greenfield site on a Caribbean island. Our impact measurement solutions can help the enterprise to weigh up the economic, tax, environmental and social impacts on the island, as well as the financial performance of the two options.

Should a company widen and repair the existing access road, or build a new road entirely?

Understanding and comparing the long-term impacts of widening an existing access road or building a new one will help the mining company make informed decisions and mitigate and manage challenges for approvals on the mine design. These external impacts will also affect the company’s ability to obtain and maintain its social licence to operate, which means the analysis will help the business understand the costs and benefits involved, in terms of brand value, reputation and the bottom line. 

Should a government department invest in a major project to improve transport infrastructure?

A government department is unsure whether a proposed investment in transport infrastructure will add value, given the high costs and the increased demands across the network. Our impact measurement solutions assess two possible scenarios for the local and national economy in the future: one without the initiative, i.e. continue with business as usual, and the other with the initiative included. Findings can then be used to show stakeholders how the department’s activities will make a difference to the region and the economy. 

How can a wastewater treatment company reduce its impact on the marine environment?

A waste water treatment company is discharging its effluent water into nearby coastal waters. The company is under pressure to reduce its impact on the marine environment and wants a balanced view on the wider long-term impacts of its options. Our impact measurement solutions can help the company understand how its decisions will affect the environment and society, enabling it to develop a strategy, while managing stakeholder challenges by showing that the company is making an informed decision.

Impact management case studies

PwC has already helped some of the largest organisations across the globe with their impact measurement and reporting. 

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Contact us

Nadja Picard

Nadja Picard

Global Sustainability Reporting Leader, Partner, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 (0)211 9812978

Tom Beagent

Tom Beagent

Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 7973 565380

Superna Khosla

Superna Khosla

Director, Global Sustainability Reporting, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: + 44 (0) 7801 916783

Paisley Ashton Holt

Paisley Ashton Holt

Director, Sustainability, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7701 295959