Professional services giant PwC announced today the launch of a new global strategy, The New Equation, with increased prominence given to areas including action on climate change and ESG.

According to PwC, following the firm’s analysis of global trends and thousands of conversations with clients and stakeholders, the new strategy was launched to focus on two interconnected needs facing clients in the coming years. These include building trust across a wide range of topics that are important to their stakeholders, and delivering sustained outcomes, in an environment where competition and the risk of disruption are more intense than ever and amidst ever-rising societal expectations.

Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of PwC said:

“The profound changes in the world mean that to succeed, organisations need to create a virtuous circle between earning trust and delivering sustained outcomes. By bringing our unique combination of capabilities together, and matching it with serious investment and our commitment to quality, we can help them do that. In doing so, we will help clients unlock value for shareholders, stakeholders and wider society.”

As part of the new strategy, PwC announced that it plans to invest $12 billion over the next five years, creating over 100,000 net new jobs, with ESG one of the key focus areas for investment. PwC’s ESG investments will include expanding Centres of Excellence for specialists on key ESG topics, including climate risk and supply chain. The company also plans to launch a global ESG Academy which will enable all PwC partners and staff to integrate the fundamentals of ESG into their work.

Other key investment areas include the creation of Leadership Institutes to support clients and stakeholders, technology investments such as the expansion of the use of cloud, artificial intelligence, technology alliances, virtual reality and other emerging technologies, and investments to further enhance quality across PwCs businesses.

PwC updated its own progress on key sustainability areas. In September last year PwC announced a series of commitments, including pledges to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions globally by 2030, decarbonize its supply chain, embed ESG factors in the work it does with clients, and support efforts to develop ESG reporting frameworks and standards. With the launch of its new strategy, PwC stated that it will submit science-based climate targets to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and that each of the company’s member firms has appointed a Net Zero leader to enable progress based on local plans. PwC also announced efforts to increase transparency around its own operations, through expanded reporting based on  the World Economic Forum/International Business Council metrics, as well as the recommendations of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.

Moritz added:

“There is a strong need for stakeholders from across society to work together. Whether it’s the pandemic, climate change, social injustice or the digital divide, there is a growing expectation that businesses have a role to play in addressing broader societal issues. Our new strategy is about helping clients address their toughest challenges and delivering for society and the planet.”