Accenture: Corporate Citizenship

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Business Type:
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 477,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
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Overview of CSR Initiatives:
With the passion of our people, our technology expertise and a broad ecosystem of partners, we develop and scale innovations and programs that help address society’s pressing problems. We believe as a global business, it is our responsibility to help create societies that offer more opportunities to more people. From gender equality and climate action to decent work, economic growth and quality education, we are committed to addressing the United Nations’ Global Goals and contributing to the new sustainable development agenda.

Nearly a decade ago, we took a defining step in our corporate citizenship journey. We launched our Skills to Succeed initiative to focus Accenture’s expertise in growing talent to address the global need to close skills gaps and prepare individuals to get a job or build a business. This set a meaningful precedent for our company and for our people—a commitment to taking the best of Accenture and applying it in a concentrated, strategic way to address complex social issues.

Today, our focus on innovating for society has grown well beyond what we envisioned when we launched Skills to Succeed. We remain committed to skilling—in May 2018, we committed more than US$200 million over three years to help equip people around the world with job skills for the digital age. At the same time, we are also excited to continue exploring new horizons with our nonprofit partners, and often our clients, innovating together to change lives for the better.

How was/is this initiative promoted?
Discover how we are innovating to help build societies that offer more opportunities to more people, all around the globe by visiting the Accenture website and downloading our 2018 Corporate Citizenship Report which tells our story through videos, personal stories, case studies and updates on our goals and progress.

Do you report on CSR in the Annual Report?
We produce a bespoke CSR report which you can view on our website here.

CSR Dimension
Towards Responsible Business’ Ireland’s National Plan on CSR 2017-2020 identifies 4 core dimensions of CSR – Environment, Community, Workplace and Marketplace.

• Environment - minimising negative environmental impacts
• Community - interaction with your local community partners and organisations
• Workplace - supporting and engaging with your employees
• Marketplace - interaction with your local community partners and organisations.

Please select the dimension(s) that you apply to your CSR Initiative and why?

Environment:


Being a responsible business means doing our part to protect the planet. We are continually innovating to improve our sustainability performance—and we encourage our suppliers and clients to do the same.

Taking climate action
Our science-based target reflects our commitment to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions 11% by 2025 against our 2016 baseline.

Assessing and reducing environmental impact
100% ISO®14001 Environmental Management System-certified globally—evidence of our commitment to integrate environmental practices into our operations.

Driving supplier sustainability
More than 74% of our suppliers disclosed their targets, and more than 80% disclosed their actions toward emissions reduction.

Our people are also passionate about protecting the planet. In fact, they are the driving force behind much of our progress in this space. Our Environment, Workplace, IT and Procurement teams bring our environmental strategy to life, collaborating with our global network of more than 10,500 Eco team members across 70 countries to promote eco-volunteering activities, including a mix of virtual and in-person events and challenges.

Community:


We are using technology and building skills to make a positive impact:

Closing critical skills gaps: We have skilled more than 2.8 million people toward our goal of helping more than 3 million people gain the skills to get a job or build a business.

Breaking down barriers to employment: Together with our partners, we are building a next-generation digital workforce and bringing young people into a more-inclusive future of work.

Addressing urgent social issues: We are using the power of new technologies such as AI, blockchain and extended reality to address complex societal challenges in areas including health, human rights, inclusion and environmental sustainability.


Workplace:


A critical part of our talent strategy is continuously investing in developing and growing each of our 477,000 people as they work together solving industries’ and organizations’ most challenging issues. From engaging employee experiences to providing an environment where everyone feels like they belong—our commitment to equality for all starts at the top with our CEO and Board of Directors, and we expect leaders at all levels to help create and sustain a culture of equality where everyone can advance and thrive.

Volunteering is one of the many ways our people can fulfil a purpose, connect with their communities and make a difference while growing their careers. In fiscal 2018, our people contributed approximately 854,000 hours to company-sponsored corporate citizenship activities during work hours, including pro bono consulting projects. Additionally, Accenture people gave more than 311,000 hours of their own time through Accenture-facilitated volunteer events. These valuable contributions add up to more than 1.1 million hours of giving back to the communities where we work and live. Accenture people have the flexibility and freedom to choose when, where and how they give back, contributing their time and skills in whatever way works for them.

Marketplace:


Skills to Succeed: We convene or participate in cross-sectoral partnerships, both nationally and internationally. This year, we launched Inclusive Future of Work: A Call to Action to build an ecosystem of partners to support workers in roles at risk of automation by developing solutions for “new skilling.”

Environment:

Recognising that no single organisation alone can prevent the effects of climate change, collaboration is a critical component of both our environmental strategy and our client sustainability initiatives. In addition to reducing the environmental footprint of our own operations, we also help our clients define and achieve their sustainability goals through our commercial services and through research with external thought leaders.

Business Impact
How has the CSR initiative benefitted your business and demonstrated a win:win in the short-term and/or long-term?
Global economic and social uncertainties, coupled with ongoing technology change, continue to upend markets and intensify competition. In times of disruption, trust is paramount. Organisations have an opportunity to create and maintain trust by responding to growing demands for inclusive and responsible business—and by innovating with integrity.


At Accenture, we have always believed that a responsible approach to business is fundamental to success, protecting our people, our company and clients, while differentiating us in the marketplace. The size and scale of our business gives us the opportunity to help shape business practices and society for the better, whether by creating innovative solutions with our clients or by working alongside our partners to support the communities in which we live and work.


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):


Please identify which SDG goal(s) apply to your CSR initiative:
This report serves as our tenth Communication on Progress to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) that we signed in January 2008, and it documents our progress to implement the 10 Principles as a member of Global Compact LEAD, which focuses on raising sustainability performance. For a detailed look at our progress toward addressing the 10 Principles, see our UNGC Index.


As a LEAD member, we are committed to working toward implementing the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership and sharing related outcomes and learnings with the broader universe of companies in the Global Compact. As part of our ongoing commitment, we actively engage with the UNGC’s UK Network’s Modern Slavery Working Group and its Diversity & Inclusion Network and are participants in the UNGC’s Decent Work in Supply Chains Action Plan Program.


We also aim to align our Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) goals with the Sustainable Development Goals. Our goals represent Accenture’s commitment to the seven Sustainable Development Goals most relevant to our business and society, contributing our resources and encouraging others to do likewise to realize the shared value of these 2030 objectives.


Demand-led skilling: By the end of fiscal 2020, we will equip more than 3 million people with the skills to get a job or build a business.
(SDG 4: Quality Education)

Inclusion and Diversity: By the end of 2025, we will achieve a gender-balanced workforce, with 50 percent women and 50 percent men.
(SDG 5: Gender Equality)

Inclusion and Diversity: By the end of 2020, we will increase the diversity of our leadership by growing our percentage of women managing directors to at least 25 percent worldwide. (SDG 5: Gender Equality)

Employment and Entrepreneurship Outcomes: By the end of fiscal 2020, we will increase our focus on the successful transition from skill-building programs to sustainable jobs and businesses and improve our collective ability to measure and report on these outcomes. (SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth)

Supplier Inclusion and Diversity: Through our Diverse Supplier Development Program (DSDP), we will develop a total of 170 small, medium and diverse suppliers by the end of fiscal 2020.
(SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities)

Reducing Greenhouse Gases: By 2025, we will reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 11 percent from our 2016 base year, which represents a 65 percent absolute reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions and represents a 40 percent per unit of revenue intensity reduction for scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions over the same time period.
(SDG 13: Climate Action)

Enabling Client Sustainability: By the end of fiscal 2020, we will begin to measure and report the impact of our work with clients and suppliers in key areas of sustainability.
(SDG 13: Climate Action)

Supplier Sustainability: By the end of fiscal 2020, we will expand to 75 percent the percentage of our key suppliers who disclose their targets and actions toward emissions reduction.
(SDG 13: Climate Action)

Ethics Training: We will strive to maintain employee completion rates in the high 90th percentile for our Ethics & Compliance training each year.
(SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions)

Collaboration for Systemic Change: By the end of fiscal, we will bring together organisations across sectors to create large-scale, lasting solutions aimed at closing global employment gaps.
(SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals)

Learning:


What did you learn from your experience of creating and implementing a CSR initiative?
What advice would you give a business starting on their CSR Journey?

“What’s the point of having the best technologies—and living in the world we are living in - if we are not joining forces to make this world better?” Pierre Nanterme (former Accenture Chairman & CEO)


We believe businesses must step up and positively impact society at a scale that makes a difference. Corporate citizenship has always been fundamental to the way Accenture operates. Guided by our responsibility to our people, clients, communities and the environment, we use our understanding of technology and its impact to help create more inclusive societies that offer more opportunities to more people.


“Businesses have an opportunity and a responsibility to be a force for good in the world. One important way we do this at Accenture is by applying the passion and expertise of our people, our deep knowledge of technology and its impact, and our strategic partnerships to create innovations that help address urgent social issues.” Jill Huntley Managing Director – Global Corporate Citizenship


Every day, we use our understanding of technology and its impact on people to transform society at scale, in a responsible way. The ideas we have, the innovations we create and the partnerships we develop all have a ripple effect that changes the lives of millions for the better.

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Case Study provided by
Accenture
May 2019