Corporate responsibility is a high priority for us at PwC Switzerland. We work hard to find solutions and make a difference for our employees and clients. Our approach to corporate responsibility also means doing the same for the communities in which we do business.
PwC Switzerland’s corporate responsibility programmes and partnerships are an opportunity for us to give back to society. The best value we can contribute to society is our knowledge and expertise. So we believe in sharing our skills and experience within the community.
This includes offering free or partially free audit and consulting services for social organisations. It also includes running corporate volunteering programmes. For example, PwC staff can mentor a social entrepreneur under our SEIF mentoring scheme, or can work with our partners YES and WiWo to spend a week in a school teaching kids about business and economics.
Offices also get involved in their local communities at events such as charity walks and street food festivals. PwC is a member of the Zürcher Spendenparlament (donation parliament). We also help people in need (i.e. humanitarian disaster response donations) through our fundraising platform, and foster a culture of philanthropy by granting paid leave for employee-initiated volunteering projects.
Some figures from the 17/18 financial year will give you an idea of what we’re doing. Check out, for example, the number of PwC employees participating in skilled and general volunteering, the hours spent on volunteering, the total amounts of money donated, and the hours logged for pro bono work.
In the year under review we supported non-profit and charitable organisations with approximately 5,000 voluntary pro bono hours. This helped them concentrate their limited resources in more meaningful areas. Our pro-bono commitment is highly regarded among our clients, and not at all taken for granted. They recognise that it’s not just about the hours worked, but also a great deal of personal commitment. We also gave financial support to selected non-profit organisations.
Click here to read the interview with Thomas Blumer "A good deed goes a long way"
Volunteers add most value when they do things they’re particularly good at. We call this skills-based volunteering. In January, the Swiss start-ups Share A Dream SA and Hope it up SA finalised their merger and created the company Alaya SA.
PwC offers a corporate login to this new social enterprise platform to enable its people to engage in skills-based volunteering: Alaya provides a complete automatic solution for employee volunteering and corporate giving by enabling staff to get involved as volunteers in diverse ways. The mission is to help our employees make a positive impact in the world by connecting them with amazing non-profit organisations.
The SJF (Swiss Youth in Science) foundation is dedicated to promoting talented young people and the vital attributes that drive innovation in Switzerland: curiosity, creativity and problem-solving. Every year it holds a national competition to select and promote around 100 young talented people. Young people doing outstanding work also have the chance to win a special prize sponsored by PwC, which this year takes the form of participation in PwC’s breakout session at the SEF (Swiss Economic Forum).
In September PwC will then join forces with the SJF to host the fascinating informatics 2018 study week. Under the guidance of experts from PwC, participants will spend six days at PwC Experience Center engaging with eight emerging technologies and learning how to translate some of them into customer-centric solutions.
Youth debt often begins in early childhood. To help prevent it, since 2015 we at PwC Switzerland have been working with Pro Juventute, the largest children’s foundation in the country, on a project designed to teach children how to handle money and their financial affairs.
In 2017 the partners published ‘Geld zu verkaufen’ (‘money for sale’), an educational storybook for children of preschool and kindergarten age. As financial partner, PwC’s aim was to stop youth debt in its infancy by bringing financial literacy to 4- to 6-year-olds. The fundraising efforts for the project included taking part in charity runs and sending teams of cooks to the Street Food Festival.
The story (published in German, French and Italian) was written and illustrated by two highly respected members of the Swiss children’s literature scene: author Lorenz Pauli and illustrator Claudia de Weck. It tells the story of Alma and Milan, two kids with a big plan to build a tree house but not enough money to do it. The book is designed to help parents and teachers talk to children about important concepts such as money, consumption and entitlement.