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Annual Report 2020/2021: people still make the difference

The COVID-19 pandemic has made one thing clear again: it’s people who make the difference. I found it impressive to see how we instinctively seek one another out when we’re under pressure. I saw that with my colleagues at PwC too. So I’m proud of “our” people, who have pulled through this crisis together.

The past year has taught us that we need to connect and cooperate even more, not only with our clients and society in general, but also with one another. Together, working from our different perspectives, we will jointly arrive at better solutions, build trust, and achieve sustainable progress.

Ad van Gils – Chair of the Executive Board of PwC in the Netherlands

Annual Report 2020/2021
Jaarbericht 2021
Annual Report 2020/2021

More collaboration and connection is needed

The world has changed at tremendous speed in the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us to work from home and put us at a greater physical distance from one another. At the same time, though, it also connected us more. In many places, creative solutions emerged to ensure effective cooperation.

The pandemic also accelerated global developments such as digitalisation and the energy transition. The complex issues of our time demand an integrated approach. That’s only possible if we communicate openly with each other and establish sustainable relationships. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that even clearer.

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Thinking along with our stakeholders

Continuing the dialogue with our stakeholders gives us a better understanding of what matters to our stakeholders, what they expect from PwC and what we need to do to meet those expectations. During discussions in the past year, they clearly indicated that we must engage with them far more, that we must involve them more in our own transformation towards a purpose-led and values-driven organisation, and that we must make clearer how we fulfil our role within society. This compels us to constantly ask ourselves how we can maintain our right to exist in the longer term.

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How we continue to transform 

Global trends and society’s changing expectations are also accelerating our transformation that we initiated a few years ago. More than we sometimes realise, our success is not only determined by ‘what’ we do, but also more over by ‘how’ we do it. By connecting more with the client we have a greater view on their (actual) problem. Together we then can find better, integrated solutions.

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A look at our strategy

The acceleration in global changes caused by COVID-19 has led to a recalibration of our strategic vision. To meet the challenges of our time, be successful and to meet the expectations of their stakeholders, companies and organisations need to build trust and deliver sustainable outcomes. We want to contribute by developing new and sustainable solutions.

We develop these solutions by deploying a wide variety of people in unexpected combinations, by offering quality, our knowledge, creativity, and our ingenuity to look at things from multiple perspectives and by using technology. This way we build trust and create sustainable progress towards a new tomorrow. We call this sum The New Equation.

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Working towards a better world after COVID-19

Now that vaccination programmes seem to have brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control and we are returning to “normal”, we are venturing to look further ahead, and we are asking ourselves what the post-COVID-19 world will look like. That world will not be entirely the same as before. Doing business, working, and living in an online environment have really taken off. Entire sectors and business models have been rendered obsolete or radically altered by the developments. There has been a change in people’s views on what makes businesses sustainably successful, and there is increased public support for strong government.

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Annual Report 2020/2021
Annual Report 2020/2021
Jaarbericht 2021

Projects that we are proud of

Personal stories of inclusion

We have been made aware of the vulnerability of diversity by the Black Lives Matter movement. That’s why we started an internal email chain, in which colleagues shared personal experiences very openly and intimately. We also invited all of our people to participate in dialogue sessions to discuss their own experiences and views around discriminations and inclusion. We are also introducing an “inclusive leadership badge” network-wide to enable and encourage all of us to learn more about an inclusive mindset and behaviour and creating inclusive leaders.

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Understanding CO2 emissions

To help organisations make their employees more aware of their contribution to the ecological footprint, we have developed an “Environmental Footprint Insights” tool. This app not only gives employees insight into their personal CO2 emissions as regards work-related mobility; it also shows them how much the entire organisation emits or how much CO2 is produced within a particular project or by a branch office. We are also using this tool within PwC. This way, we are supporting our Net Zero ambition and our new way of working.

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Support for the vaccination programme

During the Dutch government’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, we assisted the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in drawing up a feasible schedule. Allowing for delayed vaccine deliveries and the priority order of certain target groups, we analysed dozens of scenarios and alternative timelines. Working closely with the Covid Vaccination Logistics Coordination Centre (LCC), we ensured that the plan could be implemented with minimum disruption and maximum speed.

A hug that transmits positive energy

After the 2021 World Press Photo was announced, we displayed Mads Nissen’s winning photo prominently on our head office building in Amsterdam, thus emphasising our partnership with World Press Photo. At the same time, we wanted to send out a positive signal during the pandemic. As Mad himself put it: “When someone sees my photo, I hope they’ll think ‘let me also hug my wife, my children, my mother, or even a colleague, and spread the positive feeling.”

Read more about the winning photo and our partnership with WPP

Contact us

Thomas Galestien


Tel: +31 (0)64 242 51 45

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