Tracking our efforts to accelerate potential for underserved communities, students and the nonprofits that serve them.

FY20 update

Why we focus on accelerating potential.

Individuals, communities and organizations are navigating an unprecedented level of disruption. On top of that, inequity in opportunity continues to be a major societal challenge that systemically holds back underserved communities and populations. This can affect their ability to gain the education or skills they want, land the job they are qualified for, invest in the neighborhood they came from and help break a cycle that inhibits diverse ideas from making much needed societal progress.

At PwC, our purpose is to solve important problems and build trust in society. To do that, we are investing our time, skills and resources to make meaningful social impact and support all people’s ability to thrive. We believe it is our responsibility to use the power of business to help build a more secure and equitable future for all.

In our fiscal year 2020 (FY20), we made strides in helping address disparities - especially those around digital skills - in underrepresented communities and in helping create a more inclusive work environment. We also identified what worked and what didn’t, and are now addressing that.

Inequity in opportunity is a major challenge our country has faced since its founding. This is not something that can be solved in one year, nor by one company. This is a long-term journey that we believe we should address together in order to secure the future of our communities, clients and business.

Responsible Business Leadership is committed to deliver business value, make meaningful societal impact and provide our people with ways to live and act on their purpose. We track our performance* against our key initiatives and investments in education, inclusion and environmental stewardship. As a professional services firm, our people are our greatest asset, they drive everything we do. Click below to see our investments and initiatives to accelerate potential and how our people’s contributions of time and dollars added up in FY20.

*The information and performance data disclosed in this report are for FY20, which ran from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 — except where noted.

Eductaion

Launched in FY17, Access Your Potential (AYP) is PwC’s five-year $320m commitment to accelerate the potential of underserved communities through digital inclusion. We know that technology is changing the way we live and work. Through AYP, PwC is investing in and making resources available to help to build a more diverse, tech-enabled workforce in order to secure the future for our communities, clients and our firm.

We recognize that today’s job market requires a digital skills baseline - regardless of industry. We also recognize that many students don’t have the opportunity to learn about technology. This is especially true for Black and Latinx students, and COVID-19 is only exacerbating this already sizable access and skills gap.

In FY20, we addressed this technology skills gap by providing resources to help students and educators upskill through our AYP curriculum and Digital Fitness App for Educators, and by making our resources available virtually to account for at-home learning due to COVID-19.

Transitioning to 100% virtual to support students who need it most during the pandemic

When COVID-19 closed schools, in-person mentoring and afterschool programs, we knew that we needed to act fast to move our AYP programming to 100% virtual to try to combat the all but certain COVID education slide that would impact all students, but especially those in underserved communities.

  • We made platforms like CareerVillage.org and UPChieve available for our people to help students navigate uncertainty and support them by answering career questions and through virtual tutoring sessions.
  • We created an AYP remote learning webpage to showcase our AYP curriculum, lessons and tools available for students and educators, as well as a single site that consolidated available resources from companies and nonprofits for those that need it, such as technology devices, virtual connectivity tools, healthcare and food security.
  • We added videos and resources to our Digital Fitness App to help address the needs of students, parents and educators during the global health crisis.

FY18-FY22 5-year commitment

  Progress to date
Investment

Students reached

Students mentored

Teachers and counselors trained
$320m

10m

10,000

100,000
56%

125%

146%

120%

Breaking down the numbers

In FY20, we achieved our AYP five-year beneficiary goals, to reach 10m students, mentor 10,000 students and train 100,000 educators, two-years ahead of schedule. Although the impact of COVID-19 affected participation and investment in the last few months of FY20, we were still able to increase the number of students reached through several virtual platforms to mentor and train students at scale. There was also a significant increase in students mentored, primarily because of investments made in FY18 through the PwC Charitable Foundation Reimagine Grant program. Moving forward, we are working to refresh our Access Your Potential strategy since beneficiary goals have been met. We will focus our new strategy on Black and Latinx college aged students, as we believe this population is where we can have the greatest impact in changing the face of the future workforce by creating a more diverse pipeline.

Education FY19 FY20

Investment*

Youth education hours

Students reached

Students mentored

Teachers and counselors trained

$61.8m

211,854

4,478,470

1,957

51,001

$53.3m

178,263

4,790,919

11,588

45,565

*Includes nonprofit contributions, student loan paydown for eligible PwC staff and 178,263 youth education service hours. 

The people of PwC inspire us to take on issues where we can make a difference. That includes being more intentional in taking action on issues that help support inclusion and opportunities for all. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made and are committed to go further and faster, and help others on their journey.

Learn more about our diversity journey and see how we’re holding ourselves accountable by sharing our progress through the release of our first Diversity & Inclusion Transparency Report.

Environment

Climate change and its related impacts, such as extreme weather events, pose great risks to us all, but especially vulnerable communities. Because of this, it’s vital we do our part to help tackle the causes of climate change and other forms of environmental degradation. Throughout the first part of FY20 we continued our efforts to reduce emissions from our operations, most notably our data center, and to eliminate unnecessary travel by encouraging virtual collaboration. The widespread COVID-19 breakout late in FY20 eliminated nearly all air travel and shifted us entirely to virtual, which we were prepared for given the previous broad adoption of virtual meetings and collaboration tools.

Our perspective

To manage our environmental footprint, we focus primarily on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and waste reduction. When it comes to GHG emissions, we complement reductions in our operational footprint with the purchase of carbon offsets. These offsets include a substantial amount of forestry credits from a reforestation project in seven states along the Mississippi River Valley, a multi-regional project that to date has planted more than 42 million trees. We work closely with our internal Office Services and Real Estate teams on the implementation of centralized waste and recycling programs. By doing so, we simplify waste and recycling collection across our largest offices leading to improvements in landfill diversion. In collaboration with a third party provider, we also continue to divert almost 100% of our used electronic waste from landfills, instead having it refurbished, reused or recycled.

Breaking down the numbers

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on all aspects of our business, and the environment is no different. Our offices closed beginning in March 2020 and air travel, our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, has fallen to near zero. These shifts explain the year-on-year reductions in our emissions data. Our Scope 1 and 2 emissions fell by 28% and scope 3 by 31%. We expect our emissions to remain at this artificially low level as a result of the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Despite these reductions, the split of our emissions remained the same, with 13% resulting from energy use in our offices and data centers and the remaining 87% from air travel.

GHG emissions (tCO2e) FY19 FY20

GHG emissions (Gross)

GHG emissions (Net)

RECs

Offsets

351,655

6,321

-38,589

-306,745

243,594

0

-27,208

-216,386

Composition of GHG emissions (Gross) FY19 FY20

Scope 1 & 2 (workspace: diesel, fuel oil, natural gas, purchased electricity and heat)

Scope 3 (air travel)

13%

 

87%

13%

 

87%

For further detail on how we calculate emissions and for our process, please see our Carbon Methodology.

Through our pro bono programs, PwC professionals use the same skills, experience and purpose they bring to clients to help nonprofits solve complex organizational challenges. By addressing these challenges, we help increase nonprofits’ capacity and impact, and advance social justice within the communities where PwC operates.

How our people are making meaningful impact

  • PwC’s digital team worked with AXS Lab, a group building a coalition to boost inclusion and accessibility, to put end users at the heart of design to help transform their existing platform into a user-friendly app that crowdsources and rates the accessibility of public locations for people with disabilities. Read the case study.
  • A project for the nonprofit iMentor, which matches high school students with college educated mentors, saw a PwC team analyze their data in ways that would help them understand what contributes to a more meaningful mentorship experience in order to expand and improve their reach. Read more.
  • A PwC team used our BXT approach to help The Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention among LBGTQ youth, revamp its volunteer program through technology. Thanks to new digital efficiencies, The Trevor Project is on track to increase crisis counselors ten-fold from about 300 to 3,000 by 2022. Read the case study.
  • We provided tools to all PwC professionals that serve on nonprofit boards as it became evident that COVID-19 could be crippling to nonprofits, including on the CARES Act, technology trainings, and offers for pro bono support. One PwC Advisory Director said the following of a NYC-based healthcare nonprofit: “It’s rewarding to support an organization on the frontline of both the COVID-19 and opioid pandemics by sitting on their board of directors, as well as organizing a pro bono project, which gives the nonprofit access to even more of the firm’s skills in addressing pressing needs during these uncertain times."

Breaking down the numbers

In FY20, we saw an increase in short-term pro bono projects through our Skills for Society program, particularly those that deliver digital transformation outcomes to nonprofits to help increase their efficiency and impact. However, overall pro bono activity decreased due to the impacts of COVID-19. Pressures on nonprofits were unprecedented, and many organizations were laser-focused on crisis response, their beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and solvency. To help address these pressing needs, we made tools available to nonprofits including resources around the CARES Act. We made our Digital Fitness App, which boosts digital skills through personalized learning and gamification, free to nonprofits and the broader community because we understood that some nonprofits were reflecting on how to upskill their staff in order to improve their operations and viewed automations and technology solutions as a way of rapidly adapting to the changing, virtual environment. In FY21, we will focus on scaling Skills for Society to provide accessible pro bono services to nonprofits while providing purpose-led, fulfilling experiences to our people.

Pro bono FY19 FY20
Pro bono value delivered $49.2m $47.5m
Pro bono hours delivered    
Total
165,168 156,635

By cause:

Youth education

Non-youth education

 

63,238

101,930

 

62,967

93,667

By type:

Fee-waived hours

Board seat participation

 

99,796

65,372

 

94,497

62,138

Giving

Our people, and collectively, our firm are committed to helping the communities we live and work in thrive. We understand that we have a responsibility to do our part to take action and help support others. In calendar year 2019, (CY19), our people gave generously in response to pressing needs like natural disasters, the global health crisis and nonprofit needs to support investments in underserved communities.

Using technology to make giving easier

In CY19, we focused on using technology to make giving to nonprofits simple and fast for our people. One way we did that was through “Text-to-Give,” which allowed people to easily give through a simple one step process. We also worked across PwC teams to turn our badges into a swipe-to-give mechanism. By doing so PwCers could easily give when attending a training, holiday or volunteer event by swiping their employee badge to make a donation from their next paycheck. These easy ways to give also enabled our people to donate during key moments when they felt most moved to contribute.

 

The PwC Charitable Foundation

The PwC Charitable Foundation’s grantmaking continues to evolve as new opportunities emerge to invest in creative solutions, platforms and people. Ultimately, the Foundation strives to support the people of PwC in times of need and effectively tackle society’s greatest challenges in education and humanitarianism. Since 2001, the Foundation has committed more than $100m in charitable grants.

Read more about the Foundation and its impact.

Breaking down the numbers

Throughout CY19, our people gave through new and different ways rather than through a traditional giving campaign. That includes 4,200 people giving with their employee badge, 4,200 people giving at firm events and several hundred people even engaging with bots to automate their contributions. Utilizing these tech-enabled giving tools helped our employee giving rate hit an all-time high of 71% in 2019.

Charitable contributions FY19 FY20
Charitable contributions — Firm    $65.9m

$67.4m

  CY18 CY19

Charitable contributions — Our people 

Partner and staff participation

Partner participation

$34.2m

70%

86%

$34.1m

71%

85%

Employee engagement

At PwC, our people are our greatest asset, and the backbone of our firm. This is why we focus on making opportunities available for our people to use their time, talent and dollars to accelerate the potential for the communities we live and work in. Our goal is to engage 100% of our people in Responsible Business Leadership (RBL) activities each year. While this is a big goal, we also know our people are generous and seek out opportunities to give back.

We strive to meet our people where they are, in order to make it most accessible for them to engage in ways that are most fulfilling to them. This includes expanding our virtual volunteering options - and going 100% virtual in early March due to the COVID-19 pandemic - using tech-enabled giving tools to make it easy for our people to give when they feel most compelled, and finding ways for teams to engage together as a way to act on our firm’s purpose and values.

We believe we can do well by doing good, and that we have a responsibility to step up and address pressing needs in the communities where we live and work.

Breaking down the numbers

In FY20, while we saw overall participation decrease slightly due to COVID-19, we also saw a change in ways our people were engaging. While the country was in crisis due to the pandemic, PwC professionals sought out immediate and creative ways to help support those that needed it most. This included sewing masks, donating food and supporting essential workers in our neighborhoods. As immediate needs were filled, we began to shift back to ways we could use our skills and experience to help nonprofits, students and educators adjust to the new reality. During this time, we heard from our people how meaningful it was to have firmwide support to make impacts where we could during the pandemic. In a time when many across the country felt hopeless, our people immediately mobilized to help provide solace and support in ways that were badly needed in all communities.

Employee Engagement FY19 FY20
Participation in at least 1 RBL activity 84%

75%

Participation in more than 1 RBL activity 30% 25%
PwC service hours, including nonprofit board seats and pro bono 411,594 359,571

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Shannon Schuyler

Shannon Schuyler

Chief Purpose and Inclusion Officer, PwC US

Jeff Senne

Jeff Senne

Responsible Business Leader, PwC US

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