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Connect for Impact

As Deloitte, our purpose is to make an impact that matters: on our clients, society and our people. We strive to be an adaptive organisation that continuously evolves to meet new challenges, solves our clients’ problems and contributes positively to the society we live in. We want to be the first choice for clients and talent, to be the undisputed leader in professional services and to be known as a firm that embraces differences and encourages talent to reach their full potential. With a heritage that spans over 175 years, adding value to our clients, our people and society is at the core of who we are: without it, we simply wouldn’t have survived.

We want our purpose to be part of how we take decisions and how we deliver projects to clients. But we also want to make it the centre of how we interact between colleagues, how we make our voice heard in society, and how we operate our own business in a responsible way. That is the ambition. We cannot get there alone, and we certainly don’t have all the answers yet. We need to connect across Deloitte, engage with (business) partners in ecosystems, listen to what society tells us, and use those ideas to propel us further ahead on our purpose journey. Simply put: We need to ‘Connect for Impact’.

"As Deloitte, our purpose is to make an impact that matters: on our clients, society and our people."

We believe purpose and profit can go hand-in-hand. We can impact clients to become more resilient, successful and responsible, offer engaging work to people, contribute to society, and be profitable at the same time. Projects that help clients transition to more responsible business models are a great example of earning money and creating an impact. Doing this is not always easy. We have and will be facing tough dilemmas about the types of clients and engagements we want to have in light of our purpose. Whether we are doing enough for inclusion and diversity and at the right speed. Rather than pretending to be picture perfect, we want to be honest about our struggles and work together with our stakeholders in finding the right solutions. And we have to remain flexible: what matters tomorrow, might be something different than what matters today. How purpose translates into actions will evolve over time.

We aim to put our purpose into action by consciously embedding purpose throughout our business focusing on impact within four domains: Clients, Society, Talent, and Business Operations. Consequently, we have set clear goals supported by initiatives and results (proof points) for each of the four domains. We realise that we cannot have an equally big impact in everything we do, but even in our core expertise work, there is often a purpose mindset. Large parts of our Audit and Tax organisations, where client work contributes to a financial reporting system that people can trust, and thus results in more responsible businesses, are good examples of this.

Clients

Client impact is about ensuring that we connect across internal borders to work on our clients’ most critical, complex challenges and that our work continues to be of consistent high quality, every single day. We want to be top of mind for helping clients become more resilient and responsible. They face large transformations, for example in the areas of technology, sustainability and reporting, where we can bring in capabilities from across our businesses and industries. It is also the reason why we have invested in new areas such as our multidisciplinary Sustainability offering that brings together some 230 professionals from various service lines within our Dutch practice. When we connect, our impact is significant. This is illustrated in the client work for Erasmus MC where we joined forces to propel preventive health care forward through AI (predicting COVID-19 with 87% accuracy before it can be picked up by testing) and Transaction Monitoring Netherlands (TMNL) where we built a new interbank organisation to combat financial crime (see also our impact stories 'Health(care) future of the Netherlands' and 'A collective fight against financial crime' ).

Making an impact for clients will result in stronger and satisfied clients, and a more responsible society, a win-win. We keep an eye on this by tracking and setting ambitious targets for client NPS (Net Promotor Score) at C-level and project satisfaction. We prefer clients, ecosystems, and projects that are aligned with our values and purpose. We have an ongoing, transparent internal and external dialogue on who we work for and the type of projects we do. Our Responsible Business Practice framework serves as a mechanism for flagging dilemmas and has been implemented in processes across our organisation.

We regularly decide not to proceed with certain client work. Most of the time this is not a black and white decision. It is not just a matter of refusing certain clients or projects in certain industries. We always look at opportunities to help move the industry forward and to support the client in becoming more responsible and resilient, contributing to society in a positive way.

Society

We want to play an active role in building a more responsible and resilient Dutch society. We will continue to make an impact through the Deloitte Impact Foundation and want to grow our impact on society through our client work by being even more selective in the types of clients we work for and the engagements we perform. We want to keep building trust in the financial reporting ecosystem. We do this by being at the forefront of developing and innovating Audit services, and by adding non-financial indicators to help resolve tension between short-term financial pressure and long-term sustainable goals. We are advocating integrated reporting linked to the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), and aim to walk the talk ourselves through this Integrated Annual Report.

It is not only about audit and reporting. With all our businesses and clients united, we can have an even bigger impact on society. This report highlights a number of examples. That is why we made this a key part of our Connect for Impact strategy. One example is the ‘Future of’ initiative. Professionals throughout our organisation contribute to tackling societal challenges within Health, Mobility, Food, Security, Work, and Energy head on, for and with our clients.

The Deloitte Impact Foundation (DIF) is our vehicle to perform pro-bono services to societal partners. To amplify the impact of DIF, we concentrate our efforts on three key areas (that are fully aligned with our global strategy) and are working together with partners in ecosystems:

    1. WorldClass, with initiatives to expand education and employment opportunities for those who need it most. Think of the National Money Exam (teaching kids how to consciously handle money), the Future Academy (giving refugees a valuable network), and the Maatschappelijke Alliantie (tackling inequality and teacher shortage in primary education in the metropolitan regions);

    2. Sustainability, Deloitte’s new global strategy to drive responsible climate choices, also including initiatives to help protecting our natural world. Therefore we partner with the World Wildlife Fund (finetuning an early warning system to predict deforestation patterns) and The Ocean CleanUp (supporting their ideation and launch);

    3. Inclusive society, with employee-led initiatives that address challenges including health, inclusion and diversity, loneliness, safety, and economic welfare. Examples are Alice the Social Robot (creating a robot to support elderly and their care takers) and NGO SchuldenLab (professionalising debt support).

For more information on Deloitte Impact Foundation, please click here.

Talent

We continue to provide our talent with opportunities for personal growth and development. Our Employee Value Proposition provides a career that is personalised and meaningful. This serves not only our goals but enables them to excel and be happy in their profession, contribute to their communities, and become the next generation of leaders in and outside of Deloitte.

We will step up our approach to provide an inclusive workplace and leverage the diversity of our talent regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, cultural background, ethnicity, faith or ability. Different people, different skills, and different perspectives combine to create value through diversity of thought. Not only is this the right thing to do. It is a business imperative. We have three key points of focus:

  • Keep unconscious bias out of recruitment, promotion and development processes and drive a culture where differences are understood;

  • Increase representation and retention by bringing and keeping more diverse talent into the workplace, especially women and people from different cultural backgrounds. Our aim is to create a diversity mix that reflects the available talent pool and the clients and markets we serve;

  • Foster inclusive leadership. We have a programme in place to prepare leaders to be role models for inclusive behaviour and decision making. Results are measured through an inclusive leadership assessment.

We will continue the dialogue around cultural diversity. We have started with a reverse mentorship programme between culturally diverse mentors and senior leaders to help them become better stewards in creating an inclusive environment for everyone. Also, the panel promise has gone live in 2020/2021. This is a firm-wide commitment to not take part in non-diverse panels, while championing diverse panel and proposal teams.

Business operations

When we talk to clients about doing business in a more responsible way, this also raises the bar for our own business: we shall need to practice what we preach. The climate crisis is becoming increasingly urgent. To engrain sustainability in the DNA of Deloitte and empower our partners and people to become true sustainability ambassadors, we have created an approach that is aimed at reducing our negative operational impacts and maximising the positive ones. Our Internal Sustainability Team is tasked with the execution of this approach and to further strengthen our performance. They are challenged and supported by the Sustainability Taskforce and the Sustainable Operations Team.

One of our key programmes evolves around the reduction of our carbon footprint with the aim of achieving net-zero emissions by 2025 (for mobility and housing), five years ahead of the targets set by Deloitte on a global level in the WorldClimate programme. The work to make this happen is already underway: we will travel less internationally, move to a fully electric or hydrogen powered fleet, and our offices will become even more sustainable. For details of our climate approach, please see our Goods & Services  section.