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SDG impact measurement in six steps

We have developed a method that provides insight into our contribution to the SDGs. The results of our SDG impact measurement show how our impact develops from year to year and forms the basis for a dialogue about our next steps and actions. Our SDG impact measurement method consists of six steps.

Overview of material and focus SDGs

Step 1: determining most material and focus SDGs

We regularly assess which SDGs are most material to our stakeholders, from the perspective of our business operations, services and our broader role in the value chain. These SDGs represent the social, environmental and economic issues to which we can contribute most.

We are convinced that we are most effective when we focus. To this end, we select focus SDGs for which we can make the most difference. Currently, these are our focus SDGs:

SDG 5: Gender equality
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
SDG 13: Climate action

Step 2: defining indicators

For each of our material SDGs, we create a list of potential indicators from existing reporting standards, including those of GRI, UNCTAD and the WEF IBC Metrics. We hold interviews with experts within PwC, in which they assess the indicators in terms of relevance, contribution to the SDG, influenceability, independence and availability of data. We select the most appropriate indicators per SDG and also add PwC-specific indicators. The selection of indicators is the basis for our SDG impact measurement.

SDG Ambition for 2030 Target 2024 Target 2022

Achieve gender balance and equal opportunities

Yearly target of 30/40% intake and 30/25% promotion of female directors and partners respectively.

Achieve sustainable growth within the boundaries of social and environmental systems

In 2024 we measure and report our contribution to the SDGs through our client work

Development framework to measure our contribution to the SDGs through our client work

Achieve an inclusive and diverse culture and equal opportunities irrespective of age, disability, cultural background, sexual orientation or other status

Yearly target of 12.5% intake and 12.5% promotion of non-western origin directors and partners.

Achieve a positive environmental impact across our value chain

A science-based emissions reduction from our operations of 40% by 2024 with 2019 as a baseline year Maintain a minimum of 25% reduction of pre-COVID mobility

Step 3: defining ambitions and targets

We define ambitions and targets for our focus SDGs to minimise our negative impact and maximise positive impact. Our current ambitions reflect what is needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Our targets for 2022 and 2024 emphasise specific aspects of the ambitions.

Step 4: collecting data and calculating impact scores

For all indicators, we collect the required data and calculate an impact score. These calculations are made in the Responsible Business Simulator (RBS): an approach and tool developed by PwC to enable strategic decision-making based on financial and non-financial information.

For each indicator, we define a threshold value that determines whether there is a positive, neutral and negative impact. Indicator values are converted by the RBS into one unit of measurement so that we can add up and compare impact scores per SDG. 

Results of 2020/2021 SDG Impact Measurement

Step 5: visualising and interpreting the results

The results of our most recent impact measurement show our relative impact per SDG. A green bar shows our positive impact on an SDG. Grey and red bars visualise neutral and negative impacts. A result of 50% green means that 50% of the indicators for this SDG show a positive impact.

By repeating our impact measurement annually, we can assess our progress and take additional measures if necessary. The results of our impact measurement are included in our annual report and discussed by the Board of Management.

Step 6: exploring opportunities for improvement

We see that the indicators for direct impact of our business operations are more embedded in reporting standards than indicators with a broader scope across the value chain. We can therefore assess the impact of our business operations reasonably well, but our impact across the value chain less so. We envisage developing additional indicators for the latter.

Furthermore, we welcome the efforts of business, standard setters and policy-makers to improve the quality and consistency of non-financial reporting. We are happy to contribute to this ourselves and we adjust our impact measurement to new requirements and standards.

Read more about the background to our SDG impact measurement: the Responsible Business Simulator, assumptions and indicators.

Contact us

Wineke Haagsma

Wineke Haagsma

Head of Corporate Sustainability, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 170 13 44

Myrthe van der Plas

Myrthe van der Plas

Senior Manager, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 295 32 31

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