Our Impact stories
Deloitte’s first unique crypto-wallet
At the heart of everything we do is a set of Shared Values which serve as the basis for the decisions we make and the actions we take, enabling us to deliver impact how and where it matters most for Deloitte clients, our people, our communities and our planet. One such value is to lead the way – by utilising our unmatched scale, scope, skill and service excellence, our goal is to not only to lead the profession but also reinvent it for the future. A project that has given us the opportunity to share and execute this shared value is the development of our first unique crypto-wallet. At Deloitte, we believe that blockchain is less a technical learning curve than adapting to a new way of thinking, something that our people understand. Our teams have taken this new way of thinking on board and have used it to create communities and ecosystems that enable new business models. Delving into this new way of thinking, we believe that blockchain is the technology that will have the greatest impact on the world over the next few decades. To realise a client’s vision, our blockchain consulting team devised innovative approaches to well-known complications of key recovery, blockchain search performances and user transaction cost. By using cryptography, a method of storing and transmitting data in a particular form so that only those for whom it is intended can read and process it, our team developed a unique wallet, circumventing known limitations associated with scaled blockchain use cases. The reach that this unique development will have makes the solution hugely impactful, not only for the client, but for thousands of their customers, who can finally approach the blockchain world in a straightforward and hassle-free manner. Our team has not only raised the standards across a number of dimensions for end users of blockchain but has created opportunities for our client to develop many new features. The technology allows users to securely store their digital assets locally on their phone, send and receive assets and recover assets if the wallet is lost, all without needing to have knowledge about blockchain technology. The unprecedented functionalities of this crypto-wallet will impact an entire technology ecosystem and community, and the solution itself can be used in security, transfer and accreditation of international standards, logistics, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, security, consumer products and any other industry that uses digital certificates.
Sustainability through conservation of fish species
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is the second largest Government Department in Ireland, accounting for 7.1% national employment and over 11.2% of all exports in 2019. Its mandate includes a wide range of different functions including implementing national and EU payment schemes for the agriculture sector, animal health and welfare, policy and regulation, and food safety. For the past ten years, Deloitte has worked with the Department in the delivery of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to design, develop and implement solutions, which would support the fishing industry here in Ireland. In December 2018, the first phase of the Quota Balancing system for pelagic fish or fish that live away from the bottom of the sea, like Atlantic Herring, was delivered. In an effort to conserve species, Ireland is provided with an annual fish quota specified by species by the EU, which vessels in Irish waters are permitted to catch. The Department is then responsible for allocating this quota across the Irish fishing fleet. Our Quota Balancing system allows the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), an external agency serviced by the Department, to perform quality assurance of landing declarations submitted by vessels to ensure that they are compliant with their fishing quotas. In addition to this, our team also developed the ieCatch system, which records the activities performed by fishing vessels at sea, including landing declarations of species caught. Annually the Department conducts a balancing process for each species, to determine if the quota was adhered to or not and where necessary, balance this with the quota for the next period. By conducting this balancing process, the Department is ensuring a fair distribution of quotas across the vessel fleet, with future quota allocations adjusted where vessels have exceeded quotas. The most recent phase of this project delivered a new Fishery Management application to integrate with the Quota Balancing application to cater for demersal species or fish who reside on the seabed. The Quota Balancing process is a strategic project for the Department and helps to address the conservation of fish species. It enforces a limit on fish caught per vessel and provides a process where future quota allocations are adjusted for those who fish in excess of the allocated quota. The solution ensures compliance with quotas and European sustainability in the fishing industry. This project was awarded a Certificate of Excellence at the Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards in December 2019 in recognition of the value it delivered in supporting the business to ensure compliance with quotas, activating our purpose of making an impact that matters for our clients, our people, our community and our planet.
Leading the way in sustainable finance
Sustainable Finance refers to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) into business or investment decisions, for the lasting benefit of investors and society at large, leading to increased investment in longer-term and sustainable activities. Our ambition is to contribute to the climate debate and to create solutions that will deliver benefits to the planet and its people. Because of this, sustainable finance is a priority area for our sustainability services team. Together with building circular economies and addressing climate change, our research into sustainable finance has helped us make a lasting impact on the planet. In 2019, Sustainable Nation and Skillnet Ireland approached Deloitte Ireland to complete research into the future skills and talent requirements that would be needed by the sustainable finance sector in Ireland. The review was intended to contribute to ‘Ireland for Finance: the strategy for the development of Ireland’s international financial services sector to 2025’ launched by the Government in April 2019 and aligns with the trend for leading financial centres around the world to seek to boost the sustainable finance sector. “We view this as a national imperative and an opportunity for government, businesses and consumers to come together to strengthen measures against climate change and develop forward-thinking sustainability policies. It is really becoming clear that sustainability is a megatrend that simply isn’t going away.” Our research findings are relevant across the Financial Services (FS) sector. With sustainability and embedding ESG considerations as key priorities for all our clients, a key message from the report highlights the fact that sustainability has moved from a specialist corporate responsibility initiative to a mainstream business concern. Our research shows that Ireland’s existing educational framework needs to adapt to facilitate this change. “Sustainability, once regarded as a niche area, is by necessity becoming the new business as usual. If Ireland is to continue to be a top tier location for international financial services, we need to significantly invest in education on sustainable finance. Our report highlights the need for improved sustainable finance skills across the FS sector as organisations bring their sustainable products and practices to the market.” Through the research project, we developed relationships with key industry bodies and sustainable leaders in financial services firms in Ireland and internationally. Sustainable finance is a relatively new service area within sustainable finance, and it’s expected to be a high priority for the financial services industry for years to come. The results also underpinned the 2020-2022 funding proposal to Skillnet Ireland to support Irish located capital market capacity building efforts in the ESG space. As a result of the report, just over €800K will be invested between now and 2022 into capacity building efforts, representing a major boost to Ireland’s efforts to advance the ESG agenda across the FS sector.
The impact of blockchain technology on audit
It is clear that technology is changing the way organisations do business across all functions and industries. At Deloitte, we believe that audit is about much more than just numbers. It is about attesting to accomplishments and challenges, and helping to assure strong foundations for future aspirations. We pride ourselves on illuminating the what, how and why of change so that our clients are always ready to act ahead of the curve, which is why Audit partner Jamie Schmidt and his team recognised the opportunities that blockchain technology can offer our clients. It is these pairings of tool and team that carry game-changing potential. Deloitte’s 2020 Global Blockchain Survey found that 53% of respondents say blockchain has become a critical priority for their organisations while 83% of respondents believe there are a number of compelling uses for blockchain. As new technologies like blockchain are adopted by businesses, we recognise that the audit profession will need to evolve and transform their audit methodologies in order to adapt to the market, address new risks and improve the solutions that they offer clients. The Blockchain Audit and Assurance team here in Deloitte Ireland, led by Audit partner Jamie Schmidt, acknowledged the potential opportunities in upskilling our audit professionals, understanding that more of our audit clients will engage in such technology in the near future. In taking this proactive approach to upskilling our people, we stand ready and able to serve our client’s needs. Blockchain technology brings unique opportunities in transforming audit to be more resilient, effective and valuable. Understanding these unique opportunities, Jamie and his team have invested significant time and effort in developing blockchain skills amongst our people. Using these skills, our blockchain Audit and Assurance team designed and delivered training on blockchain assurance in Deloitte firms across Europe, creating thought leadership for the wider Deloitte network and enabling our teams to become leaders in the space. Following the team’s hard work and forward thinking, Deloitte won a significant global audit engagement for a digital asset exchange client in March 2020. Teams from Ireland, the UK, Japan and the US are carrying out this group audit. This particular audit and our specialist knowledge in offering blockchain assurance will increase our capability in auditing digital assets, allowing our teams to comfortably provide assurance and advisory services to businesses that use blockchain technology. Deloitte Ireland has been at the forefront of developing and delivering methodologies to audit digital assets. Our teams have been heavily involved in developing the Deloitte COINIA offering for audit clients. A proprietary technological advancement to assist auditors in efficiently analysing multiple types of digital assets, Deloitte COINIA’s agile design means it can be applied to supply chain tracking, digital rights management, real estate title transfer and other forms of real-world asset digitalisation. We are at the forefront of transforming audit by developing and utilising blockchain assurance on digital asset engagements. As blockchain technology becomes more widely used across industries, we are ready to support our clients. We have found that it pays to act early with a readiness review in preparation for the longer term audit requirements. We have helped clients through this process and it has proven to be the best starting point. When it comes to digital currencies as part of a blockchain, it’s not just the technology that matters but also the technical accounting and where and how these assets should be recorded in the financial statements under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Deloitte has the experience across all these areas to make an impact that matters for our clients.
Behind the daffodil: Deloitte and the Irish Cancer Society
With a vision of a future where no-one dies from cancer, the Irish Cancer Society are dedicated to preventing cancer, detecting it early and fighting it at every level. They are a community of survivors, families, patients, friends, nurses, doctors, scientists, professionals, supporters and volunteers who have been working together for over 55 years for and on behalf of those affected by cancer. We have been proudly supporting the Irish Cancer Society in achieving their goals for over 10 years now by running an in-house fundraiser in support of their annual Daffodil Day; however this cause was especially important for one particular group of our people as they literally went above and beyond to raise funds for this charity. In 2019, four of our people from our Audit CTB department decided to take on the mammoth challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro all in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. Kicking off their fundraising campaign in early 2019, Brian, Cathal, Keith and Stephen planned an array of events for our people to get involved in. Deciding to ease themselves into the challenge of Kilimanjaro, the group of four along with a larger group of Deloitte people climbed Ireland’s tallest peak, Carrauntoohil. Lucky to avoid our typical Irish weather, the group were met with mild conditions allowing them to safely ascend the ‘devils ladder’ and climb through the clouds to arrive at Carrauntoohil’s peak. Raising over €800 for their efforts, the group then went on to hold a table quiz to maximise their fundraising. With incredible prizes up for grabs, the table quiz was a huge hit with our people helping to continue to exceed fundraising targets. After setting off on their quest to Kilimanjaro in early July, the group trekked their way to Mandara Hut passing the picturesque Mawenzi Mountain reaching Kibo Hut where they rested overnight, allowing their bodies to acclimatise in preparation for the midnight hike to Kilimanjaro’s summit. They successfully reached the mountain’s summit despite freezing conditions and low oxygen levels after an incredible 5 days of hiking. Met by the sun rising over the clouds, they had reached their 19,340ft goal for the Irish Cancer Society – an achievement the whole firm were immensely proud of. Managing to raise a phenomenal €11,000 for the charity, their ascent on the world’s highest freestanding mountain was all worth it. Our annual fundraising plans for the Irish Cancer Society’s national fundraiser, Daffodil Day, unfortunately came to a halt in 2020, due to COVID-19, as our offices began to close and our people embraced a new working routine from their homes. However, COVID-19 did not stop our people’s desire to continue supporting the Irish Cancer Society and their national fundraising appeal. So our Corporate Responsibility team pivoted the usual fundraising approach to a virtual fundraiser where donations specified by each individual through simple voting options were processed directly from our people’s April salary by our Finance Team and therefore allowing us to continue to support the charity that has been there for so many of us when we needed it most. Raising an incredible €10,230, our people embraced the Digital Daffodil Day with no hesitation at all, despite the uncertain times that COVID 19 put to us. Our commitment to the Irish Cancer Society is driven by our ambition to make an Impact that Matters in our community and we are extremely proud to be able to say that we have raised over €70,000 for the Irish Cancer Society in the last 10 years. Working with a charity like the Irish Cancer Society to create moments that matter for both our people and those who depend on the organisation is something that is embedded in our Deloitte DNA and something we hope to continue doing well into the future. “The Irish Cancer Society would like to thank all at Deloitte for their unwavering support and generosity to date. So many people throughout Deloitte have embraced our partnership which is now stronger than ever. The Irish Cancer Society provides support and care to those with and affected by cancer all over Ireland. Our services are free of charge, and with just 2% government funding, are almost entirely funded through the generosity of the public and Corporate Partners such as Deloitte. Your incredible support and generosity will continue to bring real benefit to the lives of cancer patients, survivors and their families. Together, we will continue to make a difference in the lives of people affected by cancer in Ireland.”
This annual fundraiser for LauraLynn is one led by our people. Championed by consulting partner Donal Lehane and supported by the Corporate Responsibility team, this fundraiser is very much a firm effort. Typically, this fundraising initiative takes place in the form of a table quiz, which, since its inception has become one of the most anticipated social events of the year. However, in 2019, the Deloitte team wanted to make an even greater impact for LauraLynn and so a group of our people including two partners, one director and a senior consultant signed up to take part in Paris2Nice all in aid of LauraLynn. Paris2Nice is a charity cycle that aims to raise much-needed funds for charities across the island of Ireland. Totalling just over 700km, the cyclists begin their journey in Paris and six days later arrive in the beautiful coastal city of Nice. Although the cycle itself took place in September 2019, our Deloitte team began their Paris2Nice journey almost a year in advance, with training and planning kicking off in August 2018. With a goal to make as big an impact for LauraLynn as possible, our Deloitte team put plans in motion not only to raise as much money as they could but also to bring our people along the journey with them. The first Deloitte fundraisers took place in our offices in early 2019 when the team held a yoga morning, followed a few weeks later by a golf tournament ran by our Audit department. As the team began to ramp up their training and do one last fundraising push, they decided what better way to prepare for Paris2Nice than to have a daylong ‘spin-a-thon’ in our Dublin offices. This event took place across three of our buildings, which saw 25 of our people take part, including our CEO, Harry Goddard who kicked the ‘spin-a-thon’ off by taking on the first shift of the day. Taking place over 7 hours, those who took part virtually cycled the 700km Paris2Nice distance and raised a significant amount towards the team’s fundraising goal – all from the comfort of our Earlsfort Terrace offices. Following the ‘spin-a-thon’ the Deloitte team held their annual table quiz as well as a ‘bake-off’ competition between different service lines, igniting a little bit of competition amongst our people while keeping their eye on the prize of making a real Impact that Matters for LauraLynn. Over the course of the year, the Deloitte team raised a remarkable €40,000 for LauraLynn, which was well in excess of the original target set. This was an amazing achievement for the team and something that all of our people who contributed to can be extremely proud of. By committing to making an Impact that Matters and activating our Purpose throughout the course of their fundraising – the Deloitte Paris2Nice team of Donal, Glenn, Louise and Rachel showed just how powerful our people can be when we come together. “The core cycling team have immense gratitude to all of those who supported us throughout the fundraising, from organising bake sales, facilitating denim days and even peddling a few kilometres in the office during the cycle-a-thon. All of these incredible efforts, is what made the result of this fundraising campaign exceed expectations in achieving over €40,000 for LauraLynn, a very special and deserving organisation which is the only one of its kind in Ireland.” “The outcome of Deloitte's Paris2Nice Cycle was incredible for LauraLynn! The team put in a mammoth effort with the fundraising events and training, never losing momentum and being willing to give everything a try. The whole firm then got behind them too and we know this was an effort by many more than the cyclists. The difference it made to the children and families in our care is hard to put into words. For a child living with a life-limiting condition, and their family caring for them, life is a roller coaster of challenges and every day is so very precious. LauraLynn is the ONLY Children's Hospice in Ireland, supporting families throughout their journey. On behalf of each and every one of them, we thank the Deloitte Cyclists, the support team, and all the staff who made this happen and have helped to make the most of short and precious lives at LauraLynn.”
Sharing our compass with Ireland's young offenders
Solas Project’s mission is one of placing high value on self-worth, character and motivation. They work to support young people in creating a brighter future for themselves and their communities, aligning to Deloitte’s WorldClass commitment of investing in education, skills development and access to opportunity. Having initially engaged with Solas Project through their Solas@School programmes, we broadened our reach by stepping into the Irish Prison system to engage with young men in the hope of helping to break the cycle of recidivism. Our ambition in collaboration with Solas Project was to do this by sharing our people’s skills, showing compassion and supporting them in creating opportunities for themselves. Our first involvement in the Solas Compass Programme was in 2018, where we signed up to take part in an 11-a-side football match in Wheatfield Prison, located on the outskirts of Dublin city, a closed, medium security place of detention for adult males and for sentenced 17 year old juveniles. For some of these young men, the interaction with the members of our Deloitte volunteers may be the only visitors that they get that month – which our volunteers take very seriously and see as a great privilege. Fast forward to 2020, we now play these football tournaments in both Mountjoy Prison and Wheatfield Prison, which has not only broadened our impact but has shown us just how important it is to continue these engagements and our partnership with Solas Project. Our involvement with the Solas Compass Programme has since taken a step further. Róisín Fitzpatrick, a director in GES Tax, has developed an Education and Employment Skills Programme in conjunction with Solas Project with the goal to teach 17-23 year old offenders employment, entrepreneurial, presentation and communication skills over a period of six weeks. Since its development, Róisín and the Solas Project team have run three pilot programmes in two prisons in Dublin, supporting around 20 young men. Róisín along with a group of Deloitte volunteers helped the participants build curriculum vitaes, develop business plans and practice their interview skills. By treating the participants with respect and dignity, and supporting them in building their confidence, this programme gives them an opportunity to learn the skills they will need once they leave prison. Following the completion of the pilot programmes, prison officers have noted an increase in the young offenders’ confidence, improved behaviour in custody, as well as the development of their presentation skills, while our volunteers have been able to gain a greater insight into just how challenging life can be for these young men. “Our partnership with Deloitte has truly enriched our Compass Programme. The Employment Programme, led by Róisín, was really significant for the young people who participated. It took their current experience on our in-prison barber programme and helped them to focus in on the skills they had learnt and how they could apply them in the outside world. The programme helped to draw out the existing talent and motivation of the young people involved, building their confidence in the process” Understanding and empathising with the challenges that others may be facing is a very important attribute to encourage within our own teams in Deloitte Ireland and therefore engaging in this programme has been an excellent way for our people to work as a team purely for the benefit of others. By committing to living our Deloitte purpose of Making an Impact that Matters, our people have adapted the belief that there is opportunity for everyone if provided with the right skills and are proud to be the people to develop these skills with some of the young men in Ireland’s prisons. “At the end of one of the programmes, the participants ran a business pitch. We asked the governor and a number of prison officers along with the CEO of the charity to be the dragon’s den judges. There was that great feeling of tension and excitement in the room that you get when someone is making a pitch. Everyone wanted them all to do well – including the prison officers. I realised that the young men had never really had this moment of everyone – from prison staff to themselves – being united in the hope that they would succeed. And the impact that had to their self-confidence and self belief was huge.”
From Riyadh to Dublin: collaborating for impact
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Deloitte volunteers supported a financial literacy hackathon in collaboration with the female-only university Princess Nourah University (PNU). Aimed to empower young women and develop their financial literacy skills, this weekend event involved over 250 students from the university, with eight teams going forward to the final. The final then took place in the Deloitte Riyadh office where the Deloitte volunteers assisted 40 undergraduate and postgraduate students in digitising their concepts from idea generation through to final pitches. Almost 7000km away, Deloitte colleagues in Dublin were also prepping to support a weeklong social innovation hackathon with Dublin City University called DCU Hack4Change. In DCU, the goal was to run five hackathons in five days, with a jam-packed array of academic and industry engagement. DCU Hack4Change was created to allow students explore major social themes, and ideate solutions to challenges around Mental health and Wellbeing (the topic of the Monday event); fast fashion (Tuesday); Smarter Travel (Wed); Climate Action (Thurs) and Diversity & Inclusivity (Fri). Over 500 students had the chance to brainstorm innovative solutions around these topics, assisted by a set of informative prompts and a customized HackCanvas created by University staff. Academic and industry specialists were brought in to provide the students with expert insight and mentorship. Over the course of the week, over 90 experts delivered keynote sessions and ‘lightning’ talks, provided small-group mentoring to help the student teams develop and refine their ideas, and judged pitch presentations held at the end of each day. Within the initiative, the support of Deloitte was instrumental in providing funding for prizes and numerous voluntary mentors and judges. As innovative capacity and problem solving are core to the Deloitte mission and everyday actions, our volunteers were on hand to show the student teams the benefit of engaging in ideation and ‘hacking’ a problem in this manner. In particular, the Deloitte staff were credited for their demonstration to teams of the importance of drawing upon user-centred insights, and a focus on the overall societal need of presented new ideas. While both hackathons focused on different subjects, they were both intended to encourage university students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, a global perspective, and empower them to engage in building solutions to current needs. By sharing their professional skills, volunteers from both Dublin and Riyadh created a high-energy environment and safe space for students to learn both personally and professionally. Both hackathons were created in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals and aligned to Deloitte’s WorldClass commitment to positively impact 50 million futures globally by 2030. The Deloitte volunteers played an important part in shaping the entrepreneurial spirit in these students, and have been thanked sincerely by the organisers in both University. "I really liked that the hackathon supported the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Deloitte’s ‘WorldClass’ programme, which aims to impact more than 50 million futures through education and skills-building by the year 2030, with 200,000 targeted in the Middle East region" "This experience has given me a different perspective of social entrepreneurship, and specifically on the process of creating an idea. A solution to a social issue is not just created with a simple idea there and then. It involves a synergy of resources, entrepreneurs, and more to create a successful solution. Understanding the problem is as important as the idea and it must be validated in order to be successful. Outside support from entrepreneurs, societies, institutions etc., showed me that an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be independent when creating an idea. I experienced the process entrepreneurs endure rather than just seeing the final result, which gave me a greater insight into social entrepreneurship."
The Deloitte academy experience for charities
Delivering professional skills volunteering projects on IMPACT day, our flagship-volunteering day is something that Deloitte Ireland has done for many years now. However, in 2019 we challenged ourselves to go even further and give the charities we support even more access to our skillset across the firm by providing the full ‘Deloitte Experience’, ensuring they would leave with new skills, a wider network and the ability to make an even greater impact in society. In conjunction with our traditional volunteering projects, we created a brand new approach and agenda for the 2019 professional skills programme. To deliver the ‘Deloitte Academy Experience’ as part of IMPACT Day, we worked closely with Business in the Community Ireland to understand the needs of the community sector. Based on this research, we assembled a team of leading subject matter experts from across the business to address these requests for support. We assigned experienced project managers to each charity who then worked closely with the charity representatives to refine their needs and create a targeted project plan in advance of the day. Once the project managers knew exactly what their charity required, they built teams of dedicated Deloitte Ireland professionals who worked together to respond to the brief to deliver result driven solutions and continued to provide advice in the days and weeks afterwards. Furthermore, we offered a series of interactive workshops on the day. To do this, we issued surveys to all of our charity partners asking them which topics most interested them; we then proceeded to build our schedule based on their responses and requirements in line with our subject matter experts. The workshops provided on the day included topics such as social media guidelines and communications; amplifying your reach and writing for impact both led by members of our Internal Communications team, talent and human capital management led by our Human Capital Management colleagues including the Head of the Service Line, Valerie Daunt, reporting and governance for charities was led by Deloitte’s National Director of Financial Reporting as well as GDPR led by one of our GDPR experts who also worked in the charity sector in Northern Ireland. At Deloitte Ireland, we wanted to be innovative in the way we approached skilled volunteering by putting our best asset forward – our people and their professional skills. We knew that targeted projects with teams of skilled people from across our business would be of significant benefit to the charities, but we felt that we could give more. The mix of interactive workshops and scheduled networking time enabled the charity representatives attending to learn from each other and based on feedback from previous years, we knew that the charities found this to be a valuable part of the day. The combination of dedicated team support for the professional services needs of each charity, having the opportunity to network with peers from across the community sector, and the chance to upskill is what makes the Deloitte Academy Experience unique. Through this targeted and considered approach, we were able to support some truly transformative projects. Countless hours of planning, 8 hours of IMPACT day, 15 not-for-profit organisations, 10 Deloitte project teams, 6 workshops, 63 Deloitte professionals and 500 volunteer hours – the numbers say it all. From developing new strategies, to web design to organisational structure overhauls as well as a project that saw our Deloitte Digital colleagues design and implement a digital mapping tool to help surgeons in craniofacial operations, the ‘Deloitte Academy Experience’ matched charities with Deloitte professionals to solve their most pressing problems. The ‘Deloitte Academy Experience’ created a unique and supportive think-tank environment for the day where charity representatives maximised their learnings with our expert teams. Together they refined what they needed and our teams had the time and space to deliver the high quality outputs that set Deloitte apart. “It was a brilliant experience and far exceeded our expectations. It is called an Impact Day but 'Day' does not do it justice as there is significantly more than a day invested by Deloitte between preparation and producing outcomes. What struck us most from Western Alzheimer’s was the knowledge of our project manager and his Deloitte colleagues of Western Alzheimers and their enthusiasm to ensure that we achieved and surpassed our aims for the day. Fantastic!”
Connecting with our clients
We want to inspire organisations to persevere through this global crisis, equipping them to create more value, not just for their business and its shareholders, but also for society as a whole. Now is the time for clarity of thinking, strong communication and decision-making. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ireland, our teams have been connecting with our clients more frequently than ever before. We have been providing webinars for businesses, covering topics such as employment tax, economics, risk, operational resilience, as well as planning for a phased return to work. We understand our responsibility to help maintain and sustain the economy and this has been a crucial pillar in our strategy of supporting our clients, and the wider business community during this pandemic. Obtaining up-to-date information on travel restrictions, quarantine and immigration considerations in relation to Covid-19 has been problematic for companies and individuals alike. In response, and on a pro bono basis, our Global Employer Services team have helped companies to stay informed on travel implications and quarantine restrictions around the world. Titled the GoWork – Covid-19 Digital Map, they created an interactive tool to allow companies to manage their employees’ global mobility and business travel during the COVID-19 pandemic which is online and free of charge to use for all. In developing this unique tool, we are helping both our communities and clients to stay connected and informed on the rapidly changing global picture. In response to public building closures in April, our Government & Public Services team worked within tight timeframes to support the Department of Justice & Equality on a new online forms project. Part of its Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) strategy, the Department wanted to move written applications for residence permission and other services from a paper-based approach to an online approach, allowing forms, documents and payments to be submitted digitally. The team also implemented a new system that allowed ISD staff to view and process the application form in a more efficient way. With no time to spare, our teams mapped and signed off this renewals process in a matter of days. Our clients are grappling with the human, health and business uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is to support them without disruption by sharing guidance, insights and creative ways to manage through the global crisis. Despite the rapidly changing circumstances, we are as committed as ever to our purpose of making an impact that matters for our clients, our people, our communities and our planet.
Community unity through COVID-19
Keeping the community at the forefront of our minds, we identified the elderly and those who are homeless as being particularly vulnerable during this pandemic. By supporting organisations with whom we already have longstanding relationships, we knew that we could react quickly to support their vulnerable clients – those who need it most in these unprecedented times. To support the elderly, we made a financial contribution to Age Action’s Hardship Fund, which supported the needs of their clients throughout the pandemic. We also worked with Age Action to see how we could continue to support their Computer Literacy Programme, which assists the elderly in becoming more tech-savvy to bridge the digital divide. We knew that we had a pool of willing and dedicated volunteers who were ready to share their skills with the elderly to ensure that digital isolation would not become another challenging factor to overcome. Our volunteers have been able to carry out their sessions with their Age Action learners over the phone or via Zoom, which not only builds their skills, but also ensures that there is a weekly call with a friendly volunteer. We knew that Covid-19 would make living in sheltered or temporary accommodation even more challenging, and so we connected with our Christmas charity partners: Dublin Simon Community, Focus Ireland and Sophia Housing to see what we could offer to help make life a little bit easier for both the charities and their clients. In connecting with these charities, we directed our people to wish lists for items to keep children living in emergency accommodation entertained during their time in isolation. These wish lists enabled our people to send activity packs to those living in emergency accommodation, a small gesture with a big impact on someone’s daily life. Throughout the COVID 19 situation, our relationship with the Dublin Simon Community continued to evolve as our Recruitment Team began to work closely with the charity’s Employment Team. Identifying the need for more frontline workers in supermarkets for example, the team at the Dublin Simon Community knew that they worked with individuals who, with a bit of extra support and encouragement, could have the potential to fill these positions. We knew that our Recruitment Team could help. By volunteering their time and skills, members of our Recruitment Team were able to provide CV workshops as well as conduct mock interviews to support those seeking employment, putting jobseekers in the best possible position to secure employment in such industries, especially during these challenging times. For some of the individuals involved, this was their first interview while for others, the support and belief of the volunteers was the boost of confidence that they needed. We have also continued to work with our WorldClass educational charity partners, albeit, in reimagined ways. Our volunteering programmes with the Early Learning Initiative (ELI) may have come to a pause during the pandemic, but our people have been looking at new ways to support them. Our people have been sharing virtual ‘day in the life’ videos, outlining their career paths to date and sharing their typical working day, giving insights into what a career such as theirs might look like. ELI shared these videos with their students to keep them engaged, focused and inspired throughout the pandemic, allowing us to continue the mentoring support that would normally be in place through our in-person volunteer programmes. Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI), another of Deloitte Ireland’s key educational partners have also faced challenges due to COVID-19. With all of their face-to-face volunteering programmes cancelled, we wanted to see how we could support them in moving some of these programmes to the virtual world. Our Central Learning team supported JAI in successfully moving one of their programmes online by facilitating ‘train the trainer’ sessions and providing best practice advice on the use of virtual platforms to JAI staff. These sessions have enabled JAI to proceed with the launch of one of their key programmes ‘Career Ready’, a one to one mentoring programme, despite Covid-19 implications. In addition, we are proud to have donated a number of iPads and laptops to a variety of organisations and initiatives to ensure people stay connected throughout this time including the Tech2Students campaign, CBS James Street School as well as to nursing homes, hospices and hospitals around the country. Finally, we have also collaborated with Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) to introduce a new volunteer programme ‘Time to Talk’ for our virtual interns in our Audit department to take part in. Taking place virtually, this programme aims to help participants from migrant communities whose first language is not English to gain more confidence in their conversational skills. BITCI works with people who may be facing challenges entering the workplace due to longer periods of unemployment or immigrants and refugees arriving in Ireland with very little English, which might hinder their chances of securing employment. Through this programme, our interns have the opportunity to virtually meet with a participant and help them to practice their language skills, with the hopes of improving their opportunities of access to work. At Deloitte, our purpose is to make an Impact that Matters for our people, our clients, our community and our planet. During COVID-19, we have really considered each element of this purpose statement in more detail than ever before. Our impact in the community is part of our everyday in Deloitte and is something that we knew had to be continued throughout this pandemic.
Protecting our people
How can we ensure that our people stay happy, healthy, and connected when physical presence is not an option and the world has become a different place overnight? Flexibility, resilience, and plenty of creativity are certainly a good start. Over the past few months, Deloitte people have demonstrated all of these and more - epitomising our shared value of ‘taking care of each other’ whilst adjusting to new ways of working. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, activating our purpose to make an Impact that Matters for our clients, our people, our community and our planet has become more important than ever. Though our people are now further away, we remain more connected than ever and are committed to continuing to activate our purpose; despite the difficulties that the world is facing. As we continue to adjust to a new way of working and living, we have faced new challenges and have made sure to equip our people with effective ways of dealing with these challenges. With all of our business activity now taking place virtually, our IT teams have rolled out new software and applications to ensure our teams stay connected, encouraging participation, collaboration and conversation, while also guaranteeing we continue to deliver the high quality solutions and advice that our clients expect. Throughout this pandemic, we have asked our people to prioritise their wellbeing and have launched a ‘Working from Home Hub’ to support them in doing this. By providing tips on team connectivity, financial and general wellbeing, learning and development, we are striving to protect our people to the best of our abilities. Our Wellbeing & Inclusion Team also launched Find Your Peace, a wellbeing programme in collaboration with Dr Maria Quinlan, which was implemented to help our people to ‘Find Their Peace’ and feel calmer by using guided meditation and freewriting before taking photos to capture their thoughts, helping to articulate their feelings and find their inner calm during these uncertain times. As we continue to navigate our way through this crisis, we have recognised that working parents or carers may be facing additional challenges. In response to these additional challenges, we launched a collaborative Working Parent Hub, which provides support and resources for our people with children at home. In addition to this, further flexible working hours were also introduced, empowering our people to find what works for them and their family. To support our people in doing this, we introduced a COVID-19 Sabbatical, which recognises that there may be people across our business who are finding it difficult to work remotely and manage additional caring responsibilities alongside their day job; we also had people interested in pursuing COVID-19 crisis volunteer opportunities within their communities, which we also wanted to support. In response to this, the firm offered a voluntary partially paid Sabbatical whereby people could apply for a six-week block of leave, allowing flexibility for our people when they needed it most. Our people are our greatest asset – which is why it is important to acknowledge all of the work our teams have done to make the transition to the new world of work a little easier for our people. No matter what challenges we may face, we believe that together, we will be able to emerge even more resilient than before.
COVID-19 planet impact
Our dedication to our planet is embedded in our long-established Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability programmes. Our environmental management system, which is certified to ISO14001:2015, promotes best practice to our key stakeholders, including our clients, supply chain, partners, people and the communities within which we work. Despite our offices being closed, we are continuing to meet our auditing and reporting requirements with our most recent ISO14001 surveillance audit being held virtually. COVID-19 has brought about significant changes in the way we work and, as a result, several environmental benefits. The closure of our offices and the restrictions on travel resulted in the rapid implementation of many planned technology projects. With business travel decreasing by 25% this year and a 74% decrease in waste, we have really seen some positive environmental impacts due to the global pandemic. We have also seen a significant decrease in energy consumption across our offices. “Sustaining this lower carbon footprint will be central to our thinking in how we return to the office” Employee engagement has always been the cornerstone of our Green Agenda programme and has continued to be a priority as our people work from home during COVID-19. Even though we are all working from different locations, we are continuing to engage with our people on key environmental issues, finding new and innovative ways to make sure their voices are still being heard. Our Environmental Awareness Week, in celebration of Earth Day, was held virtually with a theme of ’Climate Action’ taking precedence over the course of the week. We engaged with The Cool Planet Experience to hold an inspiring talk via Zoom for our people, providing our people with insights into simple solutions on how to take climate action in their day-to-day lives. We also shared a daily post on Yammer, our internal communication platform, giving our people tips on how to live more sustainably, a ‘test your knowledge’ quiz while also spreading the word externally by sharing posts on Deloitte’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. Keeping the impact of COVID-19 on our planet at the forefront of our minds, our June Green Agenda newsletter focused on biodiversity, the theme for World Environment Day 2020. This encouraged our people to share their own stories about nature re-emerging during lockdown while also exploring the link between biodiversity and loss and emerging infectious diseases. This addition of our monthly newsletter also provided our people with advice on how they can take action to protect biodiversity while at home during lockdown. The change in the way we work as a result of COVID-19 has highlighted our ability to adapt and find new ways of working, while also reducing our environmental impact. We will endeavour to sustain the environmental benefits that we have observed during this period and continue to focus on improving our environmental performance.
Walking the journey with working parents
“Parents can often feel as though work and family commitments are juggled ‘in secret’. We wanted people to feel that they are not managing these challenges alone” Photovoice is an innovative research approach focused on using photography for social change. Torunn set up the first Photovoice project in 2018 in partnership with sociologist and researcher Dr Maria Quinlan, highlighting the perspectives of colleagues who had joined Deloitte from outside Ireland. Following its positive reception, their team decided to run a second programme focused on colleagues who are simultaneously working and parenting. Lifting the veil on lived experiences Eleven individuals spanning across genders, levels and service lines volunteered to take part. Each volunteer was given a camera for three weeks and was asked to take photos to illustrate a range of themes that they collectively agreed on – centred on their current experiences, challenges and potential solutions. The photo catalogue was launched at an internal event attended by 130 staff, with three of the project participants taking part in a panel discussion to discuss the study outcomes. “Initially, there was some unease at opening up about their vulnerability as parents, but the group agreed that by sharing their stories openly, they could drive positive change for working parents,” observes Torunn. “The stories the participants shared were incredibly honest and often hard-hitting in terms of the pressures they felt to succeed both at home and at work. We aimed to support them in feeling safe throughout the process, and ensuring that their stories received a proper platform with our leaders.” Driving positive change though photos The study provided meaningful outcomes around what we could learn and do differently in our business, leading to improvements in our support structures for parents. We have since enhanced our maternity returner’s workshop, provided support guidelines to our business leaders with returners due back to their teams, and launched a workshop to support new dads. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, these supports have further evolved to recognise the additional flexibility required by parents looking after children whilst working from home. The usual notice period was waived for our flexible parental leave policy, and the Inclusion team have held a webinar series for parents to share their tips, tricks and challenges - maintaining an open conversation around how best we can provide support within the ‘new normal’ of parenting and working. “Juggling the demands of work with those of raising children can be challenging at the best of times, and doing it all without childcare or a normal routine is a whole new ball game. We operate first and foremost on a basis of trust, and we support everyone to find a way of working which helps them balance their own needs with their work commitments,” adds Torunn. Download the full Photovoice study “Here are my two daughters and we are teaching them how to ride a bike. It’s so important to invest this time. I am afraid because my life feels like it’s on fast-forward… this moment is just trying to pull back a bit of that time.” “…Kids aren’t selective on the nights they choose to disrupt your sleep. It could be on a weekend but also just as likely to be the night before you have a big presentation or back to back meetings for the day. The knock on effect of this is that sometimes through lack of sleep you’re not firing on all cylinders at work and your colleagues or your clients have no idea why and can just chalk it down to poor performance. Coping with the lack of sleep while still maintaining acceptable working standards is a constant challenge.” “I think this is hilarious, for a couple of reasons, one my child is massively into Marvel Avengers and superheroes. I took this photo mostly because I wanted to show it to my son this evening and to show him that actually we do have some fun in Deloitte. Then I thought you could replace most of the words with parenting analogies… so what Batman is saying there is "How do I balance my crime fighting with my fieldwork planning"… “How do we balance our work with our family life?” … and “we are superheroes because we’re doing it all and we need to give ourselves credit for that!” Parents need check-ins too!”
The GLOBE Committee redefines Pride at Deloitte
Our GLOBE committee significantly expanded their agenda in 2019, ensuring that the focus of LGBTI+ inclusion goes beyond Pride celebrations once a year. After three years of organising a successful annual internal Pride event and fundraiser in June, and taking part in the Dublin Pride Parade, the committee performed a critical review of GLOBE’s activities. They developed a new agenda with a threefold focus: to continuously inform and educate our people, to support those who need it and to make a positive impact on LGBTI+ causes in our community. “Pride is not only about celebration – it’s also about acknowledging societal issues, informing our people, and encouraging not only acceptance, but inclusion too. We needed a new approach to make this happen” Internal awareness and ally-ship The GLOBE Committee have grown their internal network through communications campaigns, movie screenings, educational talks and more. Our people are encouraged to sign up to become part of a community of allies where they receive a Pride themed lanyard to demonstrate visible ally-ship. Since the launch of this initiative, nearly 400 of our people have signed up to become an official Deloitte ally. The Committee had great success in 2019 with their communications and awareness strategy through a number of popular internal campaigns including Coming Out Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Transgender Awareness Week. In 2019, HIV Ireland were identified as GLOBE’s chosen charity partner, having previously collaborated during our annual IMPACT Day. During the course of the year, GLOBE donated almost €5,000 to HIV Ireland to support their broader awareness campaigns and activities across the country. A milestone for transgender inclusion One of GLOBE’s key objectives for the year was to formally set out the supports available to transgender employees at Deloitte, resulting in the formation of our Transgender Employment Policy, developed in collaboration with our People and Purpose team as well as our Inclusion Council. This policy covers a range of topics including name changes and confidentiality, guidance for colleagues, gender-neutral toilets and leave options. The policy was launched during Transgender Awareness Week in November 2019, accompanied by a well-attended awareness session led by Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and HR training workshops provided by BelongTo Youth Services. ‘Genderbread Person’ wallet cards were designed and distributed throughout our offices to further educate our people on gender identity and gender expression; an innovative approach to informing our people on LGBTA topics. We consider the policy launch a hugely proud moment and a highlight for Deloitte Ireland’s Inclusion agenda, and have since engaged with multiple Deloitte geographies looking to mirror the policy in their regions. The future of GLOBE Following the transition to a virtual working world, the GLOBE committee recognised the opportunity to continue sharing best practices across geography borders to strengthen the message of Inclusion in Deloitte together. Through a partnership with the charity ShoutOut, who are committed to improving life for the LGBTI+ community and youth through education, a series of educational sessions were hosted throughout June and July, for Deloitte people in Ireland and across the wider North South Europe Deloitte member firm. There is significant work ongoing across a number of other inclusion areas, including the topics of disability, ethnic and cultural diversity and an all-encompassing Inclusion strategy, based on the work that the GLOBE Committee performed in the LGBTI+ space. “Having a regular presence of LGBTI+ topics in our firm communications as well as a visible network of allies that want to stay involved, raises awareness and generates a greater sense of belonging for our people. Our GLOBE Committee’s activities help break stereotypes, recognise LGBTI+ history, challenge our thinking and reveal what we need to focus on as a community. I have learned so much from them (The GLOBE Committee) and their guest speakers already, not just in respect of LGBTI+ but for our wider inclusion thinking, and I am looking forward to what they have in store of us in the future.”
Empowering young leaders to make a societal impact
Every year, the One Young World (OYW) Summit brings together young leaders from around the world for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to be inspired for positive change, develop leadership skills, and build their global networks. As part of our WorldClass ambition to impact 50 million people, Deloitte are a global partner of the Summit. Deloitte has been sending delegates to the One Young World Summit since 2011. After the Summit, the delegates commit their inspiration and skills to address some of the world’s most complex global challenges through projects they deliver. Deloitte's delegation to last year’s Summit, which took place from 22-25 October 2019, was the largest and the most diverse to date - attended by 50 Deloitte professionals from across the globe, 10 Deloitte OYW Scholars; one Lead 2030 challenge winner, and five Deloitte executives. We were proud to have Niall Kelly and Róisín Fitzpatrick represent Deloitte Ireland at last year’s Summit, which focused on five key issues: education, peaceful future, media freedom, poverty alleviation, and planetary health. Róisín Fitzpatrick, Director in Immigration Services shared her perspective: “My background is in criminal law, human rights and immigration. As part of that, I’ve always taken an interest in corporate responsibility. Larger companies have access to a wealth of knowledge and plenty of people who want to make an impact in the world and therefore there is great opportunity to positively impact society in a unique way. One of my highlights of the Summit was meeting some of the One Young World scholars – they provided such insight into ways to make an individual and collective impact around the world. Jane Goodall, as a speaker, was as interesting as I’d hoped her to be too! It was also great to see the positive actions that are being taken by both our clients and our industry peers. A real benefit of attending the Summit is the understanding we gained into many different viewpoints and programmes that are already running. I can apply these frameworks and thought processes to initiatives that we’re running in Ireland. It is a great opportunity to build up a network – although any network is only as good as the action that follows it - One Young World is good at driving that action behind those initial ideas and connections (I’m still getting messages on the Deloitte OYW Whatsapp group!). At the opening ceremony, there were 191 flags and nationalities represented. It hit me then that I will probably never be sitting in a room with that much diverse representation again. Seeing that level of representation from so many countries was probably my favourite part of the whole Summit.”
Women’s Initiative Network – WINning at Deloitte
Established in 2013, the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN has played an important role in supporting Deloitte Ireland’s gender agenda, promoting inclusive behaviour in everything that they do. By providing an empowering space for our people, WIN aspire to contribute to the attraction, development and retention of the best people, regardless of gender. At Deloitte, advancing women at all levels is a business priority. We are taking a number of positive actions to ensure that women are encouraged to achieve their full potential and career goals. To support and activate this, WIN run a series empowering events throughout the year enabling a community of stronger women to excel in their personal and professional lives. Attendees at these sessions are given the chance to hear first-hand how inspirational senior have progressed to their leadership positions, about challenges they have faced along the way, as well as the milestones and achievements that have led to their career successes. “Gender equality and balance is about affording the same set of privileges to both men and women to close the gap.” International Women’s Day is also celebrated each year, led by the WIN Committee. This year, as WIN celebrated their 5th anniversary, a week packed full of events celebrating the women of Deloitte was organised. Kicking off the week was a roundtable discussion with Sharon Thorne, Deloitte Global Board Chairperson who has long championed Deloitte’s ambition to achieve higher representation of women in leadership globally. The schedule of events also included a fascinating lunchtime discussion with the women behind Herstory, a movement that tells the stories of historic, mythic and modern Irish women. Finally, to mark International Women’s Day, WIN hosted an internal breakfast event with former Deloitte colleague Marie Lucey as their keynote speaker. Marie shared her story with those in attendance, focusing on the theme of #EachforEqual, encouraging the audience to look at diversity more broadly. Following this keynote session was a panel discussion featuring current and former leaders from across Deloitte, sharing their views and experiences of female leadership in Deloitte Ireland. As part of the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations, WIN ran a fundraiser during their week of events in aid of 3D Assist Tallaght, an organisation that uses 3D printers to create free 3D printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device. With COVID-19 affecting Ireland not too long after IWD 2020, this donation was redirected by 3D Assist Tallaght to make PPE equipment for Dublin hospices and hospitals. Looking to the future, the Women’s Initiative Network will continue to work towards prioritising the firm's inclusion targets of attracting, retaining and developing a more diverse workforce across all levels. By raising awareness of gender equality and balance, WIN will carry on advocating for inclusion on all fronts in the hopes to close the gender gap. By creating an open and honest environment, the Women’s Initiative Network will continue to inspire Deloitte professionals to ‘win’ at everything they do. “There is no “one size fits all” approach to gender diversity. Some pockets of our business are phenomenal at attracting and retaining female talent, whereas other pockets find this more challenging. For this reason, we have set up a committee with members from across all areas of the firm, to ensure we are holding events and training that is appealing to many. Looking to the future I hope WIN continues to the gain traction within Deloitte Ireland, not just from the leadership, but that people at all levels support and embrace the initiative.”
Flourish: A community of practice
With a passion for the environment, two colleagues from Deloitte’s Consulting practice, Jennifer Anderson and Rachel Maher came together to develop Flourish, a Community of Practice (CoP) focused on the area of sustainability. After noticing the incredible reaction from both colleagues and clients during a presentation on climate action, they decided to take action and merge their enthusiasm with the knowledge and connections that the Deloitte ecosystem provides. Starting conversations alongside their busy client commitments, they drove an initiative to engage a community of colleagues to highlight and scale the opportunities Deloitte has, to make the greatest impact of all, on our planet and future. Believing that we should not only aim to be sustainable but should aim higher and to flourish, hence the establishment of the Flourish Community of Practice (CoP) at Deloitte Ireland. Flourish has brought people from all different areas of our business together, enabling them to bring their passion to work and take action to fight for our planet by providing a platform for people to, share ideas and put them into action. Working with the global Deloitte network, together the group are embarking on a new challenge to explore how we can provide sustainability services to our clients while also leading by example on how to be a climate resilient business. Flourish came to life because of the passion that already existed in our people but colleagues Jennifer and Rachel brought them a forum and a platform to further explore that passion. By taking a collaborative approach, Flourish became a reality by using the CoP’s unique perspectives, creating a proposition for sustainability services across the firm. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of generations both past and present but most importantly for the future. We believe that the actions we take today will define what our future looks like and we, as businesses, governments and citizens have a duty to protect and preserve our planet to the best of our abilities. It is through Flourish, that we have found a mechanism to shape how Deloitte will impact the future of our planet. At Deloitte, our purpose is to make an impact that matters for our clients, our people, our communities and our planet, something that is encapsulated by Flourish. Our shared value of integrity means we must ensure our work is making a positive impact on our planet, by working together to provide outstanding value to our clients, guaranteeing sustainable business practices. In the space of 12 months, Flourish has grown from an idea of 2 individuals to a group of 40+ strong and diverse people who are living their passion by driving the climate action conversation while also upskilling themselves in sustainability issues. On top of client commitments, members of Flourish have worked together to host hackathons, yielding 10 climate focused initiatives that align to Deloitte’s Green Agenda in addition to spearheading the development of a new sustainability offering within our Consulting practice. Aligning to Deloitte’s aspiration to be the undisputed leader in professional services, it is initiatives like Flourish that bring our distinctive Deloitte culture to life. By approaching the topic of climate change with a collaborative mind-set, our people have come together to combine skill sets and deliver a tangible, measurable and visible impact to our clients, our people, our community and our planet.
Reducing plastics - one piece at a time
Our aspiration to becoming a single-use plastic free workplace involved making some small yet extremely effective changes to everyday life here in Deloitte Ireland. The first step on our journey was to carry out a single-use plastic audit to understand where, as a firm, we were at in achieving this ambitious target. Carrying out this audit allowed us to identify the plastics that we needed to remove or replace with their multi-use or compostable counterparts, offering us the opportunity to put a plan to remove these items in place. To action our plans, we collaborated with several different stakeholders including our procurement team and catering and cleaning service providers, to find the best alternatives on offer. By working with these stakeholders, we undertook an assessment of current stocks, costs and the suitability of each plastic alternative we wanted to implement. To start this process, we introduced small, yet effective changes to launch our single use plastic free initiative. Several single-use items were substituted with compostable alternatives including all coffee cups and lids in our canteens, cutlery, paper napkins and straws. We also now use multi-use items in place of single-use items where possible. In our canteens, breakfast items such as seeds, granola and honey are now served directly from the counter and drinks in plastic bottles were replaced with cans. In addition, our people now have the option to use their own containers for takeaway sandwich or salads, which has vastly reduced the amount of single use items that are used in our canteens on a daily basis. We also took the decision to phase out sugar cubes in our meeting rooms that were individually wrapped in plastic, replacing them with sachets, showing our people as well as clients and visitors to our offices just how important this initiative is to us. Additionally, all single-use plastic cups were completely removed from our offices. We facilitated this with the introduction of Zip Taps in our kitchens, enabling our people to use their own reusable cups or bottles during their working day. The introduction of these taps has also helped us to complete a phased removal of all bottled water coolers in our offices. In the instance where single use cups are required, plastic cups have been replaced with their compostable equivalent. Ensuring we were covering all bases, recycling bins have been placed in all kitchens where coffee machines are used to facilitate the responsible recycling of coffee pods. In the same vein, we introduced Deloitte KeepCups in partnership with environmental charity Leave No Trace Ireland, resulting in 2,040 cups being diverted from waste streams between August 2019 and March 2020 – read more about this partnership in the story “Going Green with Leave No Trace”. We communicated all of these green changes to our people by creating a dedicated intranet page and by sharing success stories in the Deloitte Download, the firm’s weekly newsletter. We also shared our experience and key learnings with the Deloitte global Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability network on a plastics reduction webinar. Our journey to becoming a greener firm was well received by our global colleagues, with some getting in touch afterwards to learn more about our transition so that they could implement similar changes in their offices. We are extremely proud that our changes are now helping to make an impact globally. Since the beginning of our journey to becoming a single use plastic free workplace, we have made significant changes to our business and plan to continue identifying even more changes that we can make to protect our planet. By committing to this plastic reduction journey, we are upholding our commitment to making an impact that matters for our planet while also encouraging our people to become more sustainability minded on a daily basis.
Going green with Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace were selected as a charity partner for IMPACT Day in 2019 and also for our KeepCup initiative because of their ethos of responsible outdoor recreation by making good decisions to protect the world around us with a focus on reducing waste. This ethos resonated with Deloitte people in the context of a growing global environmental awareness and an increase in activism. In 2018, there were 42 people involved with Leave No Trace (LNT) projects on IMPACT Day, Deloitte’s flagship volunteer day, with volunteers on these projects contributing over 160 volunteer hours. In 2019, the interest in environmental projects rose significantly with a further 168 of our people involved in five separate LNT projects, amounting to over 1,200 volunteer hours. On IMPACT Day, each LNT project began with an information session which allowed volunteers to learn about the area they would be working in and really understand the importance of keeping outdoor areas free from waste. These information sessions really put the clean-up project into perspective for the volunteers, showing the lasting impacts that even the smallest pieces of waste and litter can have on our environment. Volunteers learnt just how beneficial it is to the planet if we all make small habitual changes such as swapping from daily single-use coffee cups to a reusable one. To reduce the number of single-use coffee cups entering our waste streams, we launched the Deloitte KeepCup initiative in August 2019. This proved to be hugely popular amongst our people, especially in comparison to the compostable cups that had been introduced as a ‘quick win’ alternative to the standard disposable coffee cup. Deloitte leadership proudly supported this initiative and agreed to cover the cost of the KeepCups, which meant that the full sale price would be donated to Leave No Trace, as our chosen charity. Selling the KeepCups in our offices encouraged our people to move away from single-use plastic cups, which has also led to a positive impact on waste production. Our catering contractor KSG also got involved by offering employees a 10-cent discount when using a reusable cup in our canteens when purchasing a hot beverage. This incentive highlights their commitment to reducing their impact on the environment – you can read more about the ways in which we have collaborated with KSG to reduce waste and plastics in our offices in the story “Reducing Plastics – One Piece at a time”. “We extend a sincere thank you to Deloitte Ireland for their kind donation from the sale of Keep-Cups to contribute to waste reduction within the workplace and beyond” With Deloitte covering the costs of the KeepCups, the donation from staff going to an environmental charity which aligns with Deloitte’s values and Green Agenda strategy and with the reduced cost of the coffee at the canteens, this initiative really is a win-win for everyone involved. We’re proud to say that during the period of Keep-Cup sales from August 2019 to March 2020, we diverted 2,040 cups from entering our waste streams while also raising over €3,500 for the charity. This collaboration represents the powerful impact that making one small change can have on the planet!