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Stakeholder engagement and materiality

Reporting is fundamental to Deloitte’s business. Whether it is through the assurance of information, as a way of providing recommendations to clients, or as a means to communicate our thought leadership around the world, the importance of reporting is deeply ingrained in our organization. 


2022 Global Impact Report

Building better futures

Our purpose is to make an impact that matters, and we recognize the need to report our impact to others—not just the ways in which we affect Deloitte clients through the services provided, but the ways in which we impact the economy, environment, and our people (including human rights) across our activities and business relationships.

Our Global Impact Report is our primary mechanism to report our impact. By reviewing and understanding topics material to Deloitte, our stakeholders are provided with the data and insights that are most valuable to them. These topics are relevant beyond our annual reporting; they are a critical guidepost in setting our strategy around Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) matters, and understanding how our organization can lead the way in making an impact that matters around the world.

Deloitte structures the reporting of its most significant impacts in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) 2016 Standards: Core Option. In 2021, the GRI revised these standards through the issuance of the GRI Universal Standards 2021. Among other changes, the revised standards provide an updated approach to assessing materiality, specifically to assist disclosing organizations in identifying and discussing their management approach for specified material topics.

Deloitte’s impact reporting will be updated to further align with the GRI 2021 standards in FY2023. This year we took the critical step of using the revised standards to refresh our list of material topics, allowing us to inform our FY2022 reporting and define our priority areas in the years to come. Deloitte’s approach to stakeholder engagement and related disclosures has been updated to align with GRI 3: Material Topics 2021.

Identifying material topics

To arrive at a preliminary list of topics, previously identified material topics were combined with analysis of peer-reported topics and those common within the industries where Deloitte operates, relevant reporting standards such as the GRI, and Deloitte-specific factors.

Key internal and external stakeholders were engaged to understand who Deloitte impacts as well as how such groups are impacted by the day-to-day operations of Deloitte. Stakeholders were selected based on responsibility, influence, proximity, dependency and representation.

Internal stakeholders included Deloitte leadership and Deloitte people, while external stakeholders included suppliers, clients, academia and non-governmental organizations. To compile the list of material topics, stakeholder insights about actual and potential, positive and negative impacts on the economy, environment, and people (including human rights) were obtained through direct interviews, desktop research, and through the use of proprietary social listening tools. The preliminary list of topics was refined, scored, and systematically evaluated to arrive at the “significant” and “more significant” topics for Deloitte to prioritize. The significance of impact was assessed both in terms of severity and likelihood. The impacts considered were those that impact people and the environment outside the organization. These impacts were aligned with the list of topics and scored for prioritization.

At the completion of our materiality exercise, new topics were introduced, and some existing topics were merged together; no prior year topics were deprioritized as a result of the updated assessment. Changes from the previous materiality assessment include:

  • Combination of labor conditions, compensation and benefits, and work/life fit into a single topic: talent experience
  • Combination of paper management, waste management, and water management into a single topic: sustainable operations
  • Reclassification of client satisfaction as economic performance
  • Addition of new topics identified during the assessment: board and corporate governance, impact of client services, and biodiversity and natural capital


In addition to the formal materiality exercise undertaken to update our list of material topics, Deloitte engages with stakeholders directly and indirectly on a continuous basis. Processes to engage with stakeholders exist at multiple levels within the Deloitte organization, both within Deloitte Global and at the Deloitte firm level, and allow topics and concerns with impacts on business activities and relationships to be discussed regularly with groups having varying insights on such topics. These ongoing interactions with stakeholders influence our reporting and shaping of material topics.

Management of material topics and impacts

Deloitte’s material topics are overseen by the WorldImpact Council (WIC), co-chaired by the Deloitte Global Deputy CEO and Chief People and Purpose Officer, together with the Deloitte Global Board Chair. WIC membership is drawn from the Deloitte Global Board, the Deloitte Global Executive and other senior Deloitte leaders, including Deloitte member firm Purpose leaders. Several junior Deloitte professionals, drawn from participants in the One Young World program, are also members of the WIC. To finalize Deloitte’s updated materiality assessment, the prioritized list of material topics was presented to, and approved by, the WIC and will be embedded in Deloitte’s management of ESG matters going forward.

When considering the actual and potential risks and opportunities of material topics identified throughout the assessment process, Deloitte recognizes its positive and negative impacts on the economy, environment and people. Deloitte leadership recognizes the importance of the three ESG pillars and has supported an increase in ESG-related services provided to clients, ESG programs such as WorldClimate and WorldClass, and tools and trainings for our people, with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Deloitte’s impact extends beyond its direct operations, and includes reputational impacts that could arise from engaging with clients that may not fully align with Deloitte’s Purpose and Shared Values. Deloitte’s negative impacts as a result of its activities include greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, and creation of electronic and technology waste. Deloitte acknowledges these negative impacts and is actively working to mitigate these impacts through internal and external programs, as discussed throughout the FY2022 Global Impact Report.

As part of Deloitte’s WorldImpact programs, including WorldClimate, WorldClass and All IN, Deloitte has established goals that align with leading practices, frameworks and benchmarks to drive positive impacts on stakeholders. Performance against these goals is reported annually within the Global Impact Report.

*Definitions of material topics

  • Board and corporate governance: Responsibility of the board of directors and management to strategize and respond to ESG issues. Includes board structure and diversity, board nomination process, frequency of board membership changes, and skills, experiences and backgrounds of board members.
  • Economic performance: Generation of revenue and the maintenance of profitability, business continuity, and market presence.
  • Ethics and integrity: Commitment to the highest standards of ethics and business conduct, placing an emphasis on professional integrity and compliance, defined codes of conduct and policies, risk assessment, transparency and compliance. This topic includes reporting mechanisms, anti-corruption measures and anti-retaliation policies.
More significant
  • Climate change: The impacts of greenhouse gas emissions generated through operations and supply chain activities. From a governance perspective, this topic includes management of climate risk, and strategies employed to identify and act on physical and transition risks presented by climate change. This encompasses collaborating with clients, alliance partners, and suppliers with the goal of reducing carbon and ecosystem footprints.
  • Data privacy and cybersecurity: Maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data and information of Deloitte clients and individuals through safe and secure data collection practices, strong data protection policies and procedures, and measures designed to protect the organization’s computers, technology and systems against unauthorized access and maintain information integrity and availability.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion: Creating a respectful and inclusive culture for people and communities by focusing on diversity in the workforce, increasing gender representation, furthering pay equity, advancing LGBT+ inclusion and supporting mental health.
  • Health and well-being: Supporting peoples’ well-being by providing programs, resources and incentives that enable informed decisions and health; includes creating a culture that promotes satisfaction and a safe, secure work environment for all, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to hybrid work.
  • Impact of client services: Services provided by Deloitte to clients have broader impacts on the economy, environment and people. This topic focuses on the alignment of stakeholders’ expectations and Deloitte's environmental and social strategies with services delivered to clients.
  • Societal impact: Deloitte’s impact on issues in society, including education and skills opportunities, response to humanitarian crises and natural disasters, health equity and pandemic response, and gender equality; includes how Deloitte collaborates with local and international nonprofit organizations, provides volunteering and pro bono services, and makes donations of cash and in-kind goods.
  • Talent experience: Considers all aspects of the talent experience including work/life balance, compensation, benefits and recognition, role satisfaction, career opportunity, working conditions, advancement, and learning and development; considers how purpose-driven individuals can expect to make an impact while working at Deloitte.
  • Nature and biodiversity: The impacts on natural capital, such as deforestation and biodiversity loss and ecosystem destruction.
  • Public policy engagement: Regulatory and public policy engagement, development of public policy positions, political contributions and lobbying.
  • Sustainable and responsible supply chain: Supply chain impacts related to environmental and social aspects of suppliers’ performance. Human right impacts include but are not limited to child labor, workplace rights, modern slavery, rights of indigenous people, conflict minerals, and equal access to health and opportunity.
  • Sustainable operations: The environmental impacts associated with operations including energy consumption, resource consumption (paper, plastics, recycled materials), water use and waste management.

Through the challenges and uncertainties of the past year, Deloitte has strengthened credibility and trust with stakeholders by consistently living our purpose.


Anna Nefedova
Deloitte Global ESG Reporting Leader