Sustainability at PwC

Renarena te ara ki Te Ao Tūroa

Strengthen our pathway to an enduring world.

We are committed to being a kaitiaki (steward) to pursue Te Ao Tūroa - an enduring world, and solve important problems to deliver sustained outcomes across Aotearoa.

Our Strategy

Sustainability is a complex concept that encompasses environmental, social, and economic aspects.

PwC New Zealand has a responsibility to lead and role model the way forward by promoting sustainable practices that drive innovation and contribute to a prosperous society. We are taking a comprehensive approach, both in what we want to achieve and how we get there.

Our strategy draws inspiration from te ao Māori perspectives. Working with our Manukura team we have drawn on our karakia, vision, purpose, values and mātāpono leading us to Te Ao Tūroa. The concept and essence of Te Ao Tūroa is the ability to continue to support life now and for future generations.

Te Ao Tūroa is the aspiration of our sustainability strategy. We will pursue Te Ao Tūroa along our four chosen pathways (ngā ara):

  • Te ara ā one - environmental stewardship
  • Te ara ā mahuta - social equity
  • Te ara ā rongo - trust and transparency
  • Te ara ā nuku - responsible business

Within each pathway we have made commitments, and prioritised six of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where we believe PwC New Zealand can have the greatest impact.

Pathway one: 

Te ara ā one

Environmental Stewardship

Te ara ā one (earth) reminds us of our deep connection to our planet.

Pathway two: 

Te ara ā mahuta

Social Equity

Te ara ā mahuta represents the action of moving forward with knowledge and understanding.

Pathway three: 

Te ara ā rongo

Trust and Transparency

Te ara ā rongo represents the sense of shared understanding that drives us to operate in a way that is trustworthy, transparent and accountable.

Pathway four: 

Te ara ā nuku

Responsible Business

Te ara ā nuku represents the movement and shifts we make to respond to a constantly changing environment.

Pathway one: Te ara ā one
Pathway one: 

Te ara ā one

Environmental Stewardship

Te ara ā one (earth) reminds us of our deep connection to our planet.

Te ara ā one (earth) represents the birth of humankind through the story of Hineahuone, the first woman formed from clay/earth by Tāne. She symbolises the view that we are intimately connected to the environment and that, as kaitiaki (stewards), we have a responsibility to care for and protect it.

Our commitments

1. Transition our business in line with a 1.5 degree climate scenario

PwC has made a global commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. In July 2021, our near-term emissions reduction targets were independently validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). These targets are in line with a 1.5-degree scenario to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, as set out in the Paris Agreement.

We are working to decarbonise our operations and supply chain, as well as adapt our business to the risks and opportunities presented by a net zero future. 

The following will be achieved by FY2030:

  • 50% absolute reduction in our scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared to a FY2019 baseline.

  • continue to be powered by 100% renewable electricity in line with our RE100 membership. 

  • 50% absolute reduction in scope 3 business travel emissions (our largest source of emissions), compared to a FY2019 baseline.

  • continue to offset our emissions through high-quality carbon credits, transitioning our carbon credit portfolio to 100% carbon removals.

The following will be achieved by FY2025:

  • 50% of our purchased goods and services suppliers (by emissions), will have set science-based targets to reduce their own climate impacts.

Greenhouse gas emissions (in tCO2e)*
  FY23 FY22 FY21 FY20 FY19
Scope 1 - Direct emissions** 4 2 2 1 2
Scope 2 - Indirect emission from energy use***  -  - 38 147 191
Scope 3 - Business Travel 2,348 768 729 2,862 4,413

2. Manage and disclose our climate risks and opportunities

  • Continue to adapt our business to a net zero future.
    • PwC Global has published a global climate-related disclosure that explores the impacts climate change could have for our business.

3. Help our clients to adapt to a low carbon Aotearoa

To support the ongoing transition to a low carbon future we will:

  • Invest in mandatory training programmes for all employees through PwC’s Sustainability Academy
  • Grow our Sustainability, Climate and Nature (SCAN) practice
    • the team works with clients to ensure they are able to respond and adapt to climate risks, and unlock value creation. 

4. Help to accelerate the climate agenda

We recognise our responsibility to collaborate and partner in facilitating the acceleration of the climate agenda by supporting: 

  • Key businesses, policymakers, NGOs and governmental organisations that are working to accelerate the climate agenda by way of membership and active participation
  • A global commitment to the United Nations ‘Race To Zero’ campaign and Business Ambition for 1.5°C, building momentum for the shift to a decarbonised economy
  • The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition’ to help advance and scale the production of sustainable low-carbon fuels.

* (tonnes of C02 equivalents). The New Zealand network firm’s organisational boundaries were determined using the operational control consolidation approach. In short, this means that all emissions reported are under the control of PwC staff employed in New Zealand. The overview includes all Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 - Business travel emissions, which were concluded to be one of the most relevant, material, critical emission sources that we can influence. PwC New Zealand calculates its GHG emissions in line with the GHG Protocol. We use emission factors used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), conversion factors provided by the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS, formerly DEFRA) or the International Energy Agency (IEA). 
** Direct GHG emissions/GHG emissions caused by assets owned by the New Zealand member firm.  
*** Electricity Indirect GHG emissions/GHG emissions from electricity use by the New Zealand member firm. PwC New Zealand receives power from the New Zealand electricity grid and pays for the same amount of renewable electricity being fed into the grid as it uses in its operations.

Pathway two: Te ara ā mahuta
Pathway two: 

Te ara ā mahuta

Social Equity

Te ara ā mahuta represents the action of moving forward with knowledge and understanding.

Te ara ā mahuta is inspired by Tāne Mahuta, a figure of action moving forward. He brought knowledge, wisdom and understanding from the heavens to humankind. The poutama pattern symbolises levels of advancement striving upwards for growth and development.

Our commitments

1. Incorporate a kaupapa Māori approach to the way we work

We acknowledge Māori as the indigenous people of Aotearoa and Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the country’s founding document which commits us to understand, respect and celebrate Māori culture. 

Through our Manaakitanga programme, we will incorporate kaupapa Māori approaches to the way we work by enabling:

  • Cultural competency across the firm
  • Engagement in cultural practices 
  • Active relationships with Māori communities.

2. Increase ethnic identification at all levels across PwC New Zealand, particularly for Māori and Pacific peoples

PwC New Zealand acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua, and the close connections Aotearoa has with Pacific nations, including strong government-to-government relationships with countries such as Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau being part of the Realm of New Zealand. 

We will increase Māori and Pacific identification at PwC New Zealand through:

  • Early career and scholarship programmes, mentoring and leadership development programmes

  • The mahi of our Manukura team and Pacific Village who engage with their communities

  • Partnership with like-minded organisations.

3.  Reimagine Hauora for New Zealanders

We will continue to invest in the capability of our Hauora practice to focus on supporting New Zealand’s Health and Disability systems to build sustainable and systemic change.

4.  Help to rebalance social outcomes for Aotearoa

  • We will continue to help clients identify and remove barriers to achieving equity, through the mahi of our Equity practice.

    • The team focuses on financial, digital, knowledge, cultural and equity advisory services.

    • They work alongside a number of practice areas, including Manukura and Hauora, to ensure a holistic approach.

  • We will collaborate with communities and policymakers to create policies, systems and services that drive increased equality.

  • PwC New Zealand will play an active role in providing equitable career pathways into our organisation.

5.  Leverage our skills to support child well-being through quality education

Through the work of the PwC Foundation, we will leverage our skills and relationships with other businesses and the wider community to positively impact children’s well-being through quality education.

Pathway three: Te ara ā rongo
Pathway three: 

Te ara ā rongo

Trust and Transparency

Te ara ā rongo represents the sense of shared understanding that drives us to operate in a way that is trustworthy, transparent and accountable.

Te ara ā rongo is inspired and guided by Rongamātāne, as kaitiaki of cultivated food and peace, which requires patience, strength, foresight, and advanced thinking and techniques. The kārearea (New Zealand falcon) symbolises strength, flying at the top of the world, bringing focus to the journey ahead.

Our commitments

1. Demonstrate strong, authentic leadership and governance within PwC New Zealand

We will continuously improve our strong governance structures in order to operate responsibly, ethically, and to the highest professional standards. 

2. Promote diverse leadership and improve governance within organisations in Aotearoa

We will play a role in enabling best practice governance across Aotearoa and champion diversity in leadership and board roles through:

  • Partnering and collaborating with like minded organisations

  • Advancing governance in the not-for-profit sector through the PwC Foundation ‘On Board’ and ‘On Board Shadow’ programmes.

3.  Reinforce and strengthen our role in maintaining accountability and transparency in organisations

To create trust in society, we need accountable and transparent organisations.

As a professional services firm, we have an important role to play and will continue to: 

  • Empower and equip individuals for future senior leadership or governance roles in Aotearoa via our role as a training organisation. 

  • Support accountability and transparency in Aotearoa through collaboration, partnerships, advocacy and submissions on policy and regulatory change.

4.  Build confidence through quality and transparency

We recognise that as a firm, we need to be transparent and maintain accountability ourselves. We will:

5.  Nurture a strong purpose-driven culture built on quality, ethics, risk management and independence

Our Code of Conduct provides a framework to ensure we do the right thing by our people, clients, communities and planet. We will bring this to life through our: 

  • Robust quality management systems that enable our partners and staff to proactively manage risks and comply with laws, regulations and professional standards

  • Comprehensive guidance on policies and procedures to prevent crime

  • Established risk management framework

  • Approach to ethics and conduct.

Pathway one: Te ara ā one
Pathway four: 

Te ara ā nuku

Responsible Business

Te ara ā nuku represents the movement and shifts we make to respond to a constantly changing environment.

Te ara ā nuku is inspired by events within the creation story that led to Papatūānuku (earth mother) and Ranginui (sky father) being separated (Te Wehenga), to form the sky above and earth below. The land represents a source of strength and nourishment enabling life to thrive. The harakeke (flax) plant symbolises life flourishing in an environment that is constantly evolving.

Our commitments

1. Nurture an inclusive culture that fosters a sense of belonging and connection

We aspire to create a community of solvers by bringing together people of diverse backgrounds, perspectives and experiences, and fostering a culture of whanaungatanga (togetherness) and belonging. 

We will continue to do this by:

  • Supporting our established employee network groups who represent the diverse people inside our organisation

  • Providing all individuals with the opportunity to work flexibly in the way that is right for them  

  • Placing genuine trust in our people.

2. Prioritise the wellbeing of our whānau 

We commit to do this through our approach to well-being, which is based on the principles of Te Whare Tapa Whā outlined by Tā Mason Durie. It is a holistic approach which covers five key dimensions: 

  • Whenua - Land, Roots

  • Te Taha Tinana - Physical

  • Te Taha Whānau - Family and Social

  • Te Taha Wairua - Spiritual

  • Te Taha Hinengaro - Mental and Emotional.

3. Upskill our people for the digital future

As part of PwC’s global strategy, The New Equation, PwC New Zealand has committed to upskilling our whānau to give them the knowledge, capabilities and tools to adapt to the digital future through an investment of $8m across three years.

4. Create sustainable workplaces that encourage our people to make better choices in their everyday lives

We commit to do this in every decision and action by:

  • Looking continually for new opportunities to become a cleaner, greener firm

  • Working with suppliers that champion environmental and social sustainability.

5. Make a positive impact in our local communities

We commit to providing support through volunteering, pro bono/low bono client work, disaster response activity, and charitable giving.

Explore more

Building prosperity

The last few years have been some of the more challenging in Aotearoa New Zealand’s history. The COVID-19 pandemic, fractured geopolitics, social tension, supply chain issues and rising inflation have, and are, affecting our communities in ways we previously couldn’t have imagined. 

PwC Foundation

Our goal is to leverage our skills, our financial and intellectual resources, other businesses and the wider community to help to resolve the societal issue of ‘children’s wellbeing’ in New Zealand.

Reporting our gender and ethnicity pay gaps

At PwC New Zealand we are committed to building a workforce that reflects, and is inclusive of, the diverse communities of Aotearoa.


Contact us

Rebecca Thomas

Chief Information Officer, Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 27 554 1101


Sadie Keenan

Senior Manager, Corporate Sustainability, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 203 2891


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