Planet & Transparency

Making a positive impact for people and society

As the biggest professional services firm in the world, we believe it is our responsibility to use our capabilities to help our clients and society transform into a more sustainable and resilient future. For more than 175 years, Deloitte has been committed to running a responsible business, as rooted in our purpose: to make an impact that matters for our people, clients and the communities we are part of.

Our purpose defines who we are and why we exist. Our Shared Values illustrate how we live our purpose. Deloitte’s Global Principles of Business Conduct explain our ethical commitments, and our Commitment to Responsible Business Practices unfold the responsible business principles we believe in and the commitments we have made. Together they shape our policies and guide our decision-making.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect our clients, people and the society around us, serving them responsibly was never more important. Showing them support and helping them respond, recover and thrive was our number one priority - and if we failed, we would risk losing society’s trust and our legitimacy. Therefore, we stayed in close dialogue with our clients and helped them navigate this complex and often changing landscape of restrictions, economic aid packages and employee wellbeing concerns while building resilience.

We also continued to update our website with webinars, articles and blog posts where our experts guided businesses through this new reality where curveballs in the form of virus mutations and vaccine delays continued to be thrown at us. Moreover, to build awareness and help businesses uphold human rights during the COVID-19 crisis, we have published the guide: ‘Business and human rights dilemmas in the midst of COVID-19 - a guide for senior executives’.

On a societal level, we have collaborated closely with the Danish Ministry of Health on the development and rollout of the Danish vaccine programme. We have also continued to share our expert competencies with the Danish government and worked closely together with industry organisations to ensure Denmark could progress safely. Through our Small Great Nation initiative, we have also contributed to the public debate with the report ‘Life with corona - new opportunities for the climate and the economy?’, webinars and LinkedIn live talks about how Denmark was handling the pandemic and the scenarios we would face.

How we coped with COVID-19

Internally, we kept our colleagues in the loop with frequent and transparent CEO communications whenever the situation changed, and new restrictions or guidelines came into effect. Our leaders have also had an extensive focus on staying close to their employees by checking in on them regularly, introducing walks and talks, virtual meetings, and social gatherings. We have also shared advice and tools to working virtually as well as how to protect one’s physical and mental wellbeing by offering virtual wellbeing sessions and workout classes. To boost social cohesiveness and bring laughter and positive energy into the homes of our colleagues, we also launched a series of ‘Green Dot Live Shows’ where we live-streamed a series of events to all employees in Deloitte Denmark including comedy, concerts, panel debates and tastings.

Nevertheless, the efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Denmark and globally have resulted in severe restrictions of human rights, including the right to freedom of movement and liberty. But our offices have been open to those in need - for personal or professional reasons. All employees have also been offered home office equipment to ensure a good physical working environment - an offer that is here to stay, as we will bring the best learnings from the pandemic into the future, including more flexible working conditions. Through our various efforts, we seek to ensure the health and safety of our employees.

With our legacy built on audit and assurance services, serving the public’s trust is core to Deloitte. And it is our licence to operate. An enormous responsibility lies on our shoulders to ensure objectivity and provide credibility and transparency across the businesses and organisations we serve. If we fail to live up to these standards, we risk that people and businesses will lose faith in systems, authorities and fair practices in our capital markets, which in turn can undermine our capacity to uphold human rights accountability mechanisms in society at large. Consequently, we strive to cement our position as the leading professional services firm in the world every day by acting ethically and with integrity and serving as role models in our communities - while complying with external as well as regulatory requirements and expectations. To ensure this, we have set clear standards for professional practice and behaviour, which we will unfold below.

Human rights and ethical conduct

Deloitte’s Global Principles of Business Conduct outline our ethical commitments and reflect our core belief that ethics and integrity are fundamental and non-negotiable. The Principles articulate our firm stand against e.g. bribery, corruption and fraud, our support for efforts to eradicate corruption and financial crime, as well as our commitment to respecting human rights. Furthermore, we clearly communicate about our employee rights, their human rights, their ethical obligations as employees, and how Deloitte manages human rights risks and protects these rights through our culture and our daily activities.

Deloitte strives to be an ethical company that meets or exceeds the demands and expectations of society and clients. Our culture must be open and honest, we must treat each other equally and respectfully, and we must never bring our professional and individual integrity into question through corrupt and unethical behaviour. Our ‘Speak Up’ whistle-blower system allows our people to safely share concerns or report any form of unethical behaviour - including potential breaches of human rights or examples of corrupt behaviour. In these and other ways we strive to minimise human rights risks.

To ensure that we walk the talk, we have a continuous focus on ethics training and storytelling campaigns where we showcase real-life examples of ethical dilemmas and guide employees on how to take the right action. During the past year, our people have completed global training courses such as ‘Respect and Inclusion’ and ‘Anti-Corruption’. We have also run several phishing drills to ensure that all employees are aware of cyber risks and rolled out a mandatory ‘Secure the Future’ e-learning course for all employees. The course raised awareness of the risks relating to confidentiality, privacy and security to reduce the risk of security breaches and ensure compliance with e.g. the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other requirements.

Information security controls are a core element of our workplace culture, and we continuously reinforce and communicate our information security policy to ensure all our people maintain a clear understanding of what is expected of them and how we protect their rights to privacy and confidentiality. We have ramped up our cyber security efforts with an extensive cyber culture programme that has been run throughout the year across all of Deloitte NSE. The campaigns within the programme covered a broad array of security areas regarding working from home, social engineering attacks, data security and the use of connected devices. In FY21, we updated and reinforced our risk control systems and - after passing both internal and external audits – we had our ISO27001 certification renewed. The certification demonstrated our commitment to running a responsible business while keeping our own and our clients’ data safe.

These efforts are all part of our extensive risk control system in Deloitte, and we take action when any breaches come to light. Actions range from warnings to termination of employment.

In our annual Ethics Survey, our people are encouraged to share how they experience our culture, including our focus on human rights, professional conduct and conflicts of interest. According to the FY21 survey, 99 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that Deloitte is an ethical place to work, and 97 per cent believed that action would be taken if unethical conduct was reported. We are happy to see that the survey results show that our continuous training and communication have proven effective in fostering an ethical culture in Deloitte, but we acknowledge that this is an ongoing effort and an area with room for improvement. Therefore, during the past year, we have had a particular focus on articulating the societal issues we still see in our society concerning sexism and racism. To combat this, we have launched several initiatives, including a new anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy. Read more in the Respect and Inclusion section.

Our responsibility as a corporate citizen is embodied in Deloitte’s global WorldClass ambition; to support 100 million people by 2030. We believe that we make the greatest societal impact when our talents worldwide use their skills and expertise to help others succeed. Therefore, our goal is to create a positive impact through education, skills development and access to opportunities, so no one is left behind in the ‘new normal’. Globally, we have reached 8.2 million lives and invested a total of USD 223m in our communities throughout FY21, but the disruption caused by the pandemic has only worsened the education inequality, unemployment and skills gap. That is why we have raised our commitment to impact 100 million people by 2030 - a doubling of our original commitment. We believe that a global organisation like Deloitte has the talent, resources and reach to truly make an impact - and therefore we must do so.

Just before the close of FY21, Deloitte launched the WorldClass Education Challenge in collaboration with the World Economic Forum to advance education solutions. The joint initiative invites educators, entrepreneurs and innovators to work alongside Deloitte professionals to advance solutions that will support access to a quality education for more of the world’s students.

WorldClass unfolded in Denmark

In addition to our global initiatives, we have several Danish initiatives that support our WorldClass ambition, with Small Great Nation being our main social impact initiative. Small Great Nation is a collaboration with think tank Kraka with the purpose of creating a fact-based discussion on Denmark’s strengths, opportunities and challenges as a country. Through analyses, events, podcasts and press activities, we have engaged business leaders, politicians, organisations and the public sector in discussions on Denmark’s future. Naturally, the pandemic and its effect on our economy permeated our latest reports which focused on COVID-19s’ impact on climate and economy and the future of the EU. In autumn 2020, our Small Great Nation Youth Panel also launched a bold vision for Denmark with a high focus on ensuring equal opportunities through education. Read more about their vision here or visit SGNation.dk.

Our Female Academy is another ongoing initiative where we gather a group of female students every year and provide them with a space to develop their competencies and inspire future female leaders. Read more about Female Academy here.

Another initiative to highlight is the Co-Business Graduate Program launched in collaboration with Education Esbjerg and a few other companies. The two-year graduate programme provides young talents with a unique opportunity to build professional and personal skills through a tailored graduate programme. The graduates work across three of the participating companies and receive ongoing mentoring. The programme is designed to attract ambitious graduates to companies in and around Esbjerg. Through such initiatives, we can help educate young graduates and counteract recent years’ population development where the highly educated flock to the largest cities.

This year, we reached 13,545 people through our various WorldClass programmes in Denmark. The number of people reached is lower than last year, as we have not been able to have as many physical events and activities due to COVID-19.

Share this insight

Currently reading

Making a positive impact for people and society

Read more impact stories

Related themes