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As we celebrate corporate leaders who recognize the value of doing well by doing good and continue their dedication to supporting communities and nonprofits through robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, we want to take it one step further and shine a spotlight on these individual companies that care.
HandsOn Network shared their picks for socially conscious companies to watch this year. Among those, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is helping drive sustainable change and foster a corporate culture that takes responsibility for its actions, promotes responsible business practices and supports the growth and development of their employees and the communities in which they operate and beyond:
PwC recognizes that college students today are committed to investing in their communities and the planet and want to work for companies that are responsible corporate citizens. This winter, PwC hosted a contest, offering college students an opportunity to spend three days volunteering with HandsOn New Orleans in June alongside partners and PwC employees. Students will create projects focused on PwC’s four CR pillars (marketplace, people, community, and environment).
We interviewed Shannon Schuyler, Managing Director of Coprorate Responsibility to learn more about their commitment to doing well by doing good.
Sokunthea: What are PwC's greatest challenges in the area of corporate social responsibility?
Shannon: There are really two significant challenges that we face related to Corporate Responsibility (CR). The first is finding the right balance between leveraging the enthusiasm of our people and containing their passion, so that we channel it in a consistent and focused manner to drive meaningful behavior change and high-impact results. The second is embedding our CR efforts into every facet of the business -- cross functional areas, lines of business, human resources, ethics, client service, performance development, recruiting, etc.-- in a cohesive manner that ensures accountability throughout the organization and not simply within a centralized CR office or group. That said, these challenges are tempered by the unyielding support and commitment of our Firm leaders who provide the resources needed to undertake a distinctive CR strategy.
Sokunthea: As new recruits are entering the corporate sector, they are coming with heightened levels of idealism and a desire to give back. Do you think that your CSR/CR work is attracting a new kind of employee?
Shannon: When I was involved in campus recruiting 10 years ago, it was all about students going to the company that offered them the highest compensation. Five years ago, students switched to worklife and flexibility as ways to differentiate employers. Today, students are looking at a company's investments in community outreach and sustainability. Our CR efforts allow us to give the full picture of the PwC experience -- there are high expectations to deliver superior quality work products, but also to give back to our communities, demonstrate leadership and respect our environment. These ideals resonate with the current generation of new hires and help build a foundation of trust and loyalty that is pivotal to a successful and sustainable business future.
Sokunthea: Can you share with us a favorite example of a project you’ve undertaken in the past year?
Shannon: I am extremely proud to be part of an organization that is a leader in the marketplace, that embraces a culture of growth and development among its people, and that cares about the communities in which we live and work, both socially and environmentally. This question is difficult because I don't have just one project that's my favorite. This year has been very special, we:
- contributed 60,000 work hours to over 175 projects during our third Annual Summer of Community Service,
- adopted four schools in Belize City to help develop future leaders,
- became global signatories of the UN Global Compact,
- cancelled our holiday parties and then donated the $1.5 million to charities, and
- were one of the first US organizations in our industry to voluntarily commit to reducing our carbon emissions by 20% by 2012.
When I look over the past year, I am grateful for the overwhelming support of our people, our clients and our communities, and proud about the lives that we have positively impacted through our CR efforts, which continue to grow and flourish. For more information about our CR strategy, visit www.pwc.com/us/CorporateResponsibility.