Deloitte – 2019 SDG Leadership Awards



Industry: Professional Services

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Primary SDG Focus

Secondary SDG Focus

Please summarize your company’s SDG focus, how was that SDG was implemented and how did achieved and measured the impact.

With advances in technology and digitization transforming the ways in which we work, live, and learn, the skills people need to succeed are evolving and millions are being left behind, unable to fulfil their aspirations and potential. It’s in this context—the Fourth Industrial Revolution— that Deloitte set a global goal of positively impacting 50 million people across the world by 2030 through education-focused and skills-building initiatives.

Deloitte’s focus on SDG 4, quality education, stems from the intersection of our Corporate Responsibility and Talent strategies. By empowering our people to participate in social impact projects focused on improving education outcomes for our society, they are developing as leaders themselves, while also making a measurable impact. We focus our programs and impact at three levels: 1) to the individual beneficiaries through mentorship and coaching, 2) at the organizational level by helping education-related community organizations solve their business challenges on a pro bono basis, and 3) ecosystem-wide through public policy advocacy, thought leadership, research and advancement of education-related issues.

In our 2018 fiscal year, Deloitte positively impacted more than 67,000 people in Canada specifically through education and skills-building initiatives and partnerships. Deloitte’s global impact measurement framework, built by our Canadian team, guides how we track not only our inputs of volunteer time, pro bono and financial support, but more importantly the outcomes reached, both directly and indirectly through our programs and partnerships.

How was your primary SDG focus identified and prioritized in the company’s value chain?

At Deloitte, we are inspired by the promise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Its acceleration of technology and digitization across all aspects of life present incredible opportunity. However, the onset of this era also brings the challenges of a widening skills and education gap. Globally, millions have been left behind, lacking the education and skills needed, therefore unable to fulfil their aspirations and potential.

Deloitte is uniquely positioned to address the emergent education and skills gap. We have embraced the opportunity to reskill and train the workforce of the future, by delivering impact to clients and communities around the world and through the development of our people. This is why we created WorldClass, led by our Global CEO and Chairman and championed locally by our Canadian Executive. The goal is to reach 50 million people by 2030, in line with SDG 4.

Within Canada, our commitment to this education issue is prioritized at the Executive level. The Corporate Responsibility team that leads this work sits within the Office of the CEO and has an Executive sponsor to drive the priority and focus amongst the Executive and the Board. Given that our corporate responsibility strategy is anchored around education and skills-building, all of Deloitte Canada’s social impact efforts—more than 100 programs—are aligned to SDG 4, as it is a lens with which we make all community investment decisions. Specifically, from an indicator perspective, we are focused on programs that contribute to target 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.7 and 4.c.

How was your primary SDG integrated and anchored throughout your business?

Deloitte’s focus on quality education and skills-building is anchored by our WorldClass initiative, embedded in our purpose to make an impact that matters and integrated throughout all aspects of the Canadian business from talent to corporate responsibility to innovation.

The goal of quality education is integrated into our business through our public sector offering, working with many educational institutions to improve their access and content. It also intersects with Deloitte’s talent experience through our skills-based volunteering and pro bono program which lies at the centre of our people’s development and the education and skills-building community investments.

The foundation of Deloitte’s commitment to nurturing lifelong learning is Deloitte University North, which provides learning and leadership programs for Deloitte people, clients, and the firm’s community network to bridge real-world experience and learning to invest in the leaders of the future, today. There are now six Deloitte University facilities, training 90,000 Deloitte people each year. We are also expanding the current offering to principals and teachers in our communities, to better prepare them and their students for the workplace of the future.

Deloitte also participates in several alliances across industries to develop solutions that help business prepare for the future of work and train individuals to contribute in this new environment. This includes the Global Compact Network Canada, IMPACT2030 and Volunteer Canada’s Corporate Council on Volunteering.

Did you employ any innovative approaches in your efforts to implement the goal?


Our comprehensive approach to advancing quality education is activated at three levels of impact: 1) the individual 2) at the organization, and 3) ecosystem-wide.

At the individual level, we engage directly with youth and marginalized groups. From career mentoring with new Canadians to tech fluency programs in indigenous schools, we’ve built a foundation of one-to-one impact focused on education. In 2018, we volunteered over 12,000 volunteer hours and reached over 32,000 people directly.

We also developed a series of “Signature Impact Projects” focused specifically on literacy, numeracy, entrepreneurship and job skills training. These templates provide guidance to our people in volunteering projects that replicate best practices and maximize the use of our professional skills to underserved communities. In 2018 over 800 Deloitte people participated in a signature project, contributing over 5,000 volunteer hours.

At the organizational level, we invest over $3 million pro bono with non-profit partners who share our mandate to maximize the potential of the next generation. This includes significant support for programs such as Connected North and the creation of Woodgreen’s HOME platform.

We are also focused on having an impact at the broader ecosystem level of education. Through thought leadership and public policy advocacy, we work to address issues on the system-wide effectiveness of education sector. In 2018, we launched Preparing tomorrow’s workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For business: A framework for action, in partnership with the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBCEd).

Were any partnerships leveraged or created?

All social impact initiatives at Deloitte—whether volunteer or pro bono work—are undertaken in partnership with the community. Deloitte continues to develop ‘Society Partnerships’, long-term strategic relationships with a number of nonprofit organizations across Canada that are aligned to SDG 4. Deloitte’s Society Partnerships to date include: 

  • TakingITGlobal
  • Junior Achievement of Canada
  • The Learning Partnership
  • CivicAction
  • Ready, Willing & Able
  • CenTech
  • Immigrant Access Fund

We support each of these organizations with multi-faceted, significant investments of in-kind resources and time through pro bono, volunteer, and public policy efforts.

In support of our WorldClass ambition to impact 50 million futures, we have also entered into a global partnership with One Young World. This global organization promotes and connects the world’s most impactful young leaders to create a better world, with more responsible, more effective leadership. In 2018, 42 Deloitte delegates attended the One Young World Summit. Upon their return, the delegates enter into a year-long leadership program with a mandate to innovate and maximize Deloitte’s ability to advance education, skills-building, and lifelong learning.

In addition to Society Partnerships and formal pro bono engagements, our people have been empowered to engage in numerous new or existing community partnerships through skills-based volunteering and pro bono workshops.

What communications strategy did you employ to share the initiative with your stakeholders?

Deloitte’s communications strategy is anchored in sustained internal and external communications to tell our impact story. Additionally, we partner with relevant organizations to release research reports and thought leadership.

Our annual Corporate Responsibility Report is the primary communication vehicle to reach both internal and external stakeholders. In this report, we outline Corporate Responsibility governance, strategy, and progress towards the global WorldClass initiative. It is available on our intranet and our website at, and was promoted through a social media campaign. This report is also leveraged extensively in client proposals, as a means of communicating our focus on quality education and skills-building.

In September 2018 in alignment with our launch of the Youth Skills report with GBCEd, Deloitte hosted a livestream panel conversation direct from the United Nations General Assembly Week to discuss the coming skills gap, which reached over 950,000 people. The report has also been presented to a broad range of stakeholders in Canada through a Global Compact Network Canada webinar.

How were KPIs and the levels of success outlined and defined?

The primary key performance indicators, as defined through the global WorldClass initiative, are direct and indirect impact. These are indicators of contribution to impact, rather than direct attribution. Through use of a corporate responsibility engagement platform and surveying tools, Deloitte tracks the number of individuals positively impacted through our education and skills-building initiatives. Our global impact measurement framework also outlines secondary metrics such as age range of the target audience of each initiative.

Deloitte in Canada and Chile is well positioned to contribute to the global WorldClass goal and we are in the process of identifying country-level targets. From June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018, our 2018 fiscal year, Deloitte positively affected more than 67,000 people in Canada through education and skills-building initiatives and partnerships. This includes individuals reached through both one-on-one mentoring activities, and capacity-building advisory work with community organizations.

How were reporting and monitoring conceptualized and undertaken?

Impact measurement reporting is driven by a global reporting framework with a primary objective of tracking our direct and indirect number of individuals impacted through education and skills-building initiatives. This framework also allows us to capture inputs such as number of volunteers, volunteer and pro bono hours, and financial contributions to these initiatives.

Impact project details are inputted by each individual project leader in our community engagement portal. This allows us to track and report on consolidated inputs, and to survey project leaders to measure impacts on a project-by-project basis. Project leaders are provided with guidance to understand the metrics they are responsible for providing. As required, they consult with the partner organization to ensure accuracy.

Impact metrics are reported in our annual Global Impact Report and Canadian Corporate Responsibility Report.


What were some key lessons learned?


Shifting from a traditional corporate volunteerism model to a skills-based program—one that leverages people’s professional skills and experiences to conduct volunteer and pro bono work—requires buy-in from leaders at all levels, and frequent reminders and updates to Deloitte people to inspire action and maintain program momentum.

Skills-based projects take a more transformative and impact-based approach, however they typically engage fewer people. Thus, the need for a higher volume of meaningful and aligned opportunities to enable all of our people to volunteer and get involved is an ongoing challenge.

Determining the number of individuals impacted can be a challenge. We have learned that measurement must take place during or shortly after each project concludes, rather than only at year-end, allowing adequate time to help the partner organization understand the parameters of the requested metrics.

What were the key impacts and results?

In our 2018 fiscal year, Deloitte Canada impacted over 67,000 individuals through education and skills-building initiatives.

Please see our 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report at for additional details and examples of partnerships at all three levels: individual coaching and mentoring, pro bono organizational support, and ecosystem-wide.

Please see our FY2018 Global Impact Report: A new mindset for action, outlining our total societal investments and impact related to the 50 Million Futures WorldClass ambition. In the 2018 fiscal year, over 1.45 million people were reached worldwide through Deloitte education and skills-building initiatives in 53 countries.

As an outcome of Deloitte’s partnership with the Global Business Coalition for Education, we co-authored Preparing tomorrow’s workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For business: A framework for action.