Skip to article navigation Skip to content

A page refresh occures when a subject is selected.

Skip article navigation.

5. Emerging impacts

5.1 Nature and biodiversity


Why we consider nature and biodiversity an emerging impact

Our society and economy need nature to prosper but nature is declining at an unprecedented rate. Restoring biodiversity comes at a cost. If anything, the current nitrogen crisis in the Netherlands shows that we have to be willing to do things differently, taking the limited space that nature has into account and protecting it. If we transform the way we do business, we can put vital ecosystems back on a path to recovery and enhance economic resilience and our future prosperity. Failing this transformation, we stand to lose more than the great variety of species that nature has to offer to us. 

Our activities to date

Deloitte’s direct impacts in the area of biodiversity are limited. A study we concluded in 2022 has pinpointed the areas where we can mitigate negative biodiversity impacts. These areas are: offices and buildings, cafeteria, energy, IT, transport and mobility, office equipment and events. As a result we are implementing actions such as a greater offering of vegan and organic products in our cafeteria, and the deployment of refurbished iPhones.

But rather than only doing less harm, we have the ambition to contribute positively to nature and biodiversity. This is one of the drivers behind our mangrove project, our commitment to replant mangrove forests in the Dutch Caribbean starting with a one million tree pilot on Curacao. With this project, we aim to capture carbon on the one hand (study in cooperation with Wageningen University) while contributing to biodiversity on land and below water on the other hand. In addition, our project aims to provide employment to the local community and educate local people on the importance of the protection of biodiversity and nature.

Next to our active involvement in the mangrove project, we are a longstanding partner of The Ocean Cleanup, an organisation aimed at reducing the amount of plastics in surface water and of World Wildlife Fund, where Deloitte and a consortium of public and private entities have developed a tool that predicts deforestation through automated assessment of spectral satellite imagery and other geospatial data.

What we plan to be doing

 In the coming year, we are planning the following activities:

  • Study into the applicability of the framework of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures that is due to be finalised in September 2023;

  • Successfully conclude the current mangrove pilot in Curacao and the studies that are conducted in its context: What is the best way to replant mangrove forests in this part of the world? How can we efficiently calculate and track carbon sequestration? What are measurable biodiveristy gains of this reforestration project?;

  • Assess the feasibility of a Nature-positive ambition for Deloitte;

  • Continue and build our partnerships with organisations that promote biodiversity.

5.2 Sustainable procurement

Why we consider sustainable procurement an emerging impact

We buy goods and services to operate our business, with a total influenceable spend of around €250 million. Our main procurement categories are:

  • Contingent Labour: our flexible workforce structurally consists of a variety of independent experts. In addition, we have contracts with staffing agencies through which we can employ temporary specialists on demand;

  • Real Estate & Office Services: all our office space is rented, and all our facility services (such as cleaning, security, catering, maintenance) are outsourced;

  • Travel: we operate a fleet of approximately 3,500 leased cars and have preferred suppliers for (international) travel;

  • Technology: we purchase hardware, software, telecom, data centres and cloud services to deliver our services.

Due to the nature of our business, most of our suppliers are based in the Netherlands. In the reporting year there were no major changes in our strategic supplier base.

Our procurement activities have both positive and negative impacts. The main positive impact is that we fuel economic activity and growth. Secondly, by maintaining long-term relationships with strategic suppliers, we believe that we are able to grow together, not only economically, but as responsible businesses that are coming up with new solutions to the challenges that we jointly face. Examples of such relationships are our standing relationships with LeasePlan, CBRE and Shell.  

On the downside, for certain goods there are potential risks of undesired activities further down the supply chain. These risks can be in the areas of ethics, environmental impact, or human rights compliance and require adequate mitigation.

Our activities to date

To ensure that we make the right purchasing decisions, we have implemented due processes. Every new vendor must be assessed using our Business Relationship Assessment Tool (BRAT). After an assessment request has been made, the supplier is subject to a due diligence process for independence issues (Does working with the supplier jeopardise our independence as an (audit) firm?), integrity related issues (Does the supplier have a known case history for corruption, money laundering or other unwanted behaviour?) and other relevant topics (What is the general reputation of the supplier? Is there a known case history regarding breaches of commonly accepted standards?). We maintain a list of preferred suppliers who are fully vetted in our BRAT process.

All suppliers are subject to our General Purchasing Conditions. These govern the relationship between the supplier and Deloitte, and contains – among others -  the obligation for the supplier and their subcontractors to adhere to the Deloitte Supplier Code of Conduct. The Code contains provisions around human rights, labour, environment, ethics, and integrity and anti-corruption. In addition, the Code creates the possibility and channels to report suspected breaches of the Supplier Code .

General oversight and support for our procurement process lies with our Procurement team. The Procurement team based in the Netherlands is part of our global procurement​ team (CoRe). CoRe Procurement manages global and local procurement programmes on behalf of Deloitte member firms. With subject matter experts located around the world, CoRe Procurement oversees our global supplier spend, while leveraging the full capabilities of the Deloitte network to reduce costs, create efficiencies, and improve supplier service levels.

As a large part of our total CO2 emissions are caused by the goods and services that we buy, as part of our WorldClimate programme DTTL has committed to 67% of our suppliers (by emissions) to adopt Science Based Targets (SBT) congruent with the Paris 1.5⁰ ambition by 2025.

We have put a lot of focus on our strategic suppliers developing Science Based Targets to help them create a strategy to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement . A part of this is that we are working with our strategic suppliers to have them report their carbon emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

Furthermore, even though our Supplier Code of Conduct contains a lot of requirements around sustainability, we have developed a sustainable procurement team that specialises in creating awareness around sustainability and how to ensure that sustainability aspects are becoming more apparent in our supplier selection, contracts and negotiations. Following analysis, we have developed ESG contract clauses and ESG questions for our sourcing process.

All of our procurement professionals are trained in our WorldClimate ambitions. They are equipped to support our businesses in sustainable decision making throughout the procurement process.

As our General Purchasing Conditions are mandatory in all our purchasing agreements, we believe the coverage of our Supplier Code of Conduct to be 100%. Our General Purchasing Conditions contain provisions on numerous topics, such as a general payment term of a maximum of 30 days for all suppliers.

We can still improve on including more sustainability requirements in our existing contracts. In order to achieve this, we need to continue connecting with our longer standing suppliers to start the conversation.

What we plan to be doing

In the near future we are working towards an environment where we have more data available to us about our suppliers and their environmental impact. We are looking at ways to evaluate our suppliers through sustainability scores. Based on this, we will work with our suppliers to help them achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.

Currently, our global procurement sustainability team drives smart sustainable supplier selection, supplier engagement, and sustainable sourcing processes. It embeds sustainability into our processes with an additional focus on standardised Net Zero aligned principles, in support of the published WorldClimate goals, and will continue to mature in these areas.

5.3 Energy availability, affordability and transition

Why we consider energy availability, affordability and transition an emerging impact

Following Russia's invasion in Ukraine in February 2022, the countries of the EU - among other countries - have implemented trade restrictions with Russia. In response, Russia has ceased to supply natural gas to the EU. In a further escalation of sanctions and counter sanctions, also Russian oil has been affected leading to a global rearrangement of supply lines, pressure on supply and high prices for energy in a market where energy was already becoming increasingly scarce. This has had an effect on inflation affecting almost all economic sectors and a call to private and public sector employers to compensate workers for the consequent loss in spending power. Increased labour costs in turn have led to further price increases.

We are directly affected by rising costs as are our clients. Our people are affected by unpredictable energy costs and higher costs for their daily products.   

Our activities to date and what we plan to be doing

Helping society to transition to more sustainable energy sources was already part and parcel of our Future of Energy programme. For more details on this initiative, please check out our website .

For our employees, we have raised most salaries as a result of our annual benchmarking exercise. In addition, we will be looking into ways to help our employees to become less dependent on fossil fuels in their private life, among others with the aid of practical tips on GiKi Zero.

5.4 Human rights

Why we consider human rights an emerging impact

People are at the heart of our business. Respecting human rights therefore is inextricably linked to our shared future. We believe all people are endowed with fundamental human rights, including the right to equal treatment, liberty and security, freedom of religion, expression, health, education and culture, humane treatment, and safe and healthy working environments.

Currently, respecting, protecting and remedying human rights in our own operations as well as in our wider value chain is receiving increased attention from our professionals, clients, regulators and investors:

  • In the previous years, we have discussed human rights in focus groups with our professionals. This has led to the conclusion that Human Rights are considered especially relevant in the context of the clients that we work for and the suppliers we source from. The human rights of people working for Deloitte are considered less at risk due to existing Dutch legal safeguards. Deloitte's Global 2022 GenZ & Millennial Survey on the other hand shows that new hires have a specific interest in human rights related topics such as wellbeing and work-life balance, income and cost of living, inclusiveness, diversity and equality, social impact and training and development. This provides a basis for ensuring that these themes are respected and supported in our operations as well as in our broader value chain;

  • Especially larger corporate clients and public sector clients are aware that their responsibility reaches beyond their direct operations and also involves their value chain. We therefore are in increased need to report on our efforts ourselves to respect, protect and remedy human rights;

  • Corporate Human Rights transparency and due diligence is becoming mandatory for Deloitte Netherlands as part of new European regulations such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the EU taxonomy and the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). We are also seeing the effects of new human rights regulation coming into effect in Norway, Luxembourg and Germany, in addition to the Modern Slavery Acts already in place in the UK and Australia;

  • Our banks have indicated that upon completion of our new business strategy, they want to consider the inclusion of additional targets around inclusion & diversity and talent (engagement).

Our activities to date

Deloitte is committed to protecting human rights in accordance with the principles of the UN Global Compact and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a People oriented organisation, our Talent is of the upmost importance. This is inherent in our Shared Values and ALL IN, our Talent, global diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. We will continue to operate and enhance those as times and demands process.

Regarding our wider value chain, we publish our human rights intentions and expectations through our Annual Impact Reports, Supplier Code of Conduct, Responsible Business Pledge and Global Principles of Business Conduct. This entails that we commit to respecting all fundamental human rights, including humane treatment of workers, and fostering a workplace culture of equality, dignity and respect. We expect a similar commitment of our Suppliers, sub-contractors, clients and business partners. Every new vendor, client and business partner is therefore assessed for independence issues, integrity related issues, and other relevant topics. We ensure that all of our new suppliers are approved by our Reputation and Risk Leadership office and we perform regular checks to confirm that this process is followed.

In the event of any human rights related misconduct or concern, we want to know about them. Any Deloitte employee, supplier, business relationship or other third party may contact any Deloitte personnel with whom a Supplier or member of the public is comfortable directly discussing the matter, report to our Complaints Committee or use Deloitte Speak Up. Deloitte Speak Up is our hotline for confidentially (and anonymously if so desired) reporting unwelcome conduct or suspicions thereof and for asking questions about rules of conduct and integrity.  

What we plan to be doing

We are responsible global citizens and have the size, scale and reach to inspire others and help drive collective action. Like with our WorldClimate strategy, we have the ambition to raising awareness and empowering people across our value chain to uplift human rights. Collaborative action is vital for positive change. We will therefore collaborate with clients, alliance partners, NGOs, industry groups, suppliers, and others to address human rights at a systems and operations level. 

Some of the practical actions we plan to initiate in 2023/2024 include:

  • Conduct a human rights risk and impact assessment to deepen our understanding of our priority areas;

  • Develop and publish a human rights statement that furthers our commitments;

  • Enhance our tooling and visibility on human rights related data across our value chain;

  • Further embed human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for human rights impacts in in our supplier, business relationship and client acceptance and monitoring processes;

  • Enhance awareness around human rights with our partners in our value chain and explore opportunities for collaboration to improve our salient human rights risks;

  • Raise awareness of our grievance mechanisms and ensure that our case management and follow-up processes are in good order to handle increased communications and integrate early warning signs and thematic patterns into our human rights due diligence insights;

  • Ensure due diligence findings are integrated in our business practices and processes;

  • Track the effectiveness and regularly assess our due diligence process.