Life at Deloitte
The Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity and allow for sustainable development by 2030.
At Deloitte Ireland, we work towards SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities and SDG 17: Partnerships for The Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals at Deloitte Ireland
There are 17 SDGs in total which came into effect in January 2016 and call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solve sustainable development challenges. The SDGs present an opportunity for business-led solutions and technologies to be developed and implemented to address the world’s biggest sustainable development challenges.
At Deloitte our purpose is to make an impact that matters for our clients, our people, our communities and our planet, we have used the SDGs to benchmark our Corporate Responsibility activity to ensure that our agenda and our programmes are aligned to achieving the 2030 goal.
Through our volunteering programmes, we commit to investing our time and our people in education, skills development and access to opportunity through our WorldClass ambition which aims to prepare 50 million futures for a world of opportunity by 2030, which also aligns to the UN SDG timeline and targets. We do this through our six charity partnerships which allow our people to positively contribute to their local communities and activate our purpose.
Deloitte’s global societal impact initiative – WorldClass aims to impact fifty million futures through education, skills development and access to opportunity thus empowering people to succeed in a rapidly changing global economy.
SDG 4: Quality Education
To reach our WorldClass ambition, we partner with Age Action, Early Learning Initiative, Junior Achievement Ireland, Nurture Africa, Solas Project and Suas which all align to SDG 4 – Quality Education.
Our partnership with Suas helps us to work towards SDG 4 which relates to Quality Education. According to Suas, one in ten children in Ireland has serious difficulties with literacy. Through our partnership with their Paired Reading Programme, we work towards lowering this statistic. Furthermore the charity states that in some disadvantaged schools, this rises to one in three children which is why we try to always volunteer in schools who are experiencing this disadvantage.
Our partnership with Solas Project also enables us to work towards SDG 4. Through Solas Project, we offer our people three programmes which relate to education. The Solas@School Programme, which is a Dragon’s Den style volunteering activity, takes place in partnership with schools in Deloitte’s locality over a 5-week-period where students develop a business idea or product and present it to ‘The Boardroom’.
Another programme, Solas College permits our people to join one of the CR team’s campus day trips where they can take on the role of a business mentor to students. The Solas College Programme allows our people to share their skills and experiences with students who are only beginning their careers.
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
According to the UN, over the past 25 years the number of workers living in extreme poverty has declined dramatically, despite the lasting impact of the 2008 economic crisis and global recession. However, as the global economy continues to recover we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities and not enough jobs to keep up with the growing labour force, especially in developing countries.
Our partnership with Nurture Africa sees Deloitte voluteers travel to Uganda for two weeks every year. To date, over 100 Deloitte people have travelled to Uganda to donate their time, labour and professional skills to Nurture Africa and it’s partner organisations in the community of Nansana, Uganda.
This programme and our partnership with Nurture Africa enables us to work towards SDG 8 as our trips generally involve upskilling locals in their technology abilities with workshops in excel and powerpoint, along with helping local businesses with their accounting skills and spending time with the local children in schools.
Prior to each trip, each volunteer is expected to fundraise a minimum of €1,700 which goes directly to Nurture Africa which ensures that the necessary supports are in place to maintain sustainable development in the community.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
Age Action’s Getting Started Programme was established in April 2007 as a free programme for older people to help them gain confidence and basic skills in computers, internet and mobile phones. The Getting Started programme has developed a very effective response to the ICT knowledge gap that exists for older people in Ireland.
As Ireland’s population continues to age, Age Action estimate that by 2021 there will be 775,000 people living in Ireland over the age of 65. Older people are the most digitally excluded group in Ireland with less than 20% of people aged over 65 and only one third of 50-64 year olds being digitally literate. Through our partnership with Age Action, we want to tackle these statics and reduce the digital inequalities that exist for older people.
Our Age Action partnership began in 2016 and since then we have welcomed over 175 learners to Deloitte who were partnered with 160 Deloitte people. This programme is one of the most popular programmes amongst Deloitte people and so we know we will welcome many more learners through our doors in the future and continue to work towards reducing inequalities for older people.
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Reducing our impact through sustainable consumption is a core principle of our Green Agenda programme. We are committed to embedding sustainable consumption into our operations and we have implemented several initiatives in the areas of food waste, procurement, employee engagement and single use plastics.
Our recent plastics project aims to eliminate all single use plastics from our offices, in response to the global plastic pollution problem. This project involved working with stakeholders to eliminate single use plastics from our supply chain, where possible, and introducing the Deloitte KeepCup for our employees.
KeepCups are available to Deloitte employees in exchange for a €5 donation to Leave No Trace Ireland. We also work with Leave No Trace Ireland on Impact day, when volunteers from Deloitte join them on an environmental clean-up project and gain an insight into the impact of waste on our environment.
SDG 13: Climate Action
We have been committed to climate action since the launch of our Green Agenda programme in 2008.
Our aim is to reduce our carbon emissions by addressing several of our key environmental aspects.
We have taken many steps to improve our energy efficiency and have signed Business in the Community Ireland’s Low Carbon Pledge, a commitment to reduce our Scope 1 & 2 emissions by intensity by 2030.
We also engage our employees on the issue, offering advice and practical solutions to enable staff to reduce their own carbon footprint. In addition to our regular Green Agenda newsletters, we offer employees access to both the Cycle to Work and TaxSaver commuting schemes, while continuing to invest in technologies that can help reduce the footprint associated with our business travel.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
We realise that the SDGs can only be reached by implementing and maintaining strong partnerships which will allow the success of the SDGs. Through all of our programmes here at Deloitte Ireland, our CR Team ensures that every active partnership is aligned to at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals.
We understand that to make real change we must work together.
Through our six established volunteering programmes in addition to our annual IMPACT Days, we partner with several charities and organisations who are all working towards the same goal as us; end poverty, protect the planet, ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity and allow for sustainable development by 2030.