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Stakeholder engagement and materiality

Reporting is fundamental to Deloitte’s business. From the assurance services that Deloitte practitioners provide to clients to the research and insights our organization publishes across industries and regions, the importance of reporting is deeply ingrained in our organization.


2023 Global Impact Report

Building better futures

Our purpose is to make an impact that matters. We recognize the need to be transparent about our impact—not just the ways in which we affect Deloitte clients through the services provided, but also the ways in which we impact the economy, the environment, our people, and human rights more broadly across our activities and business relationships.

The Deloitte Global Impact Report is the primary way we communicate our impacts and actions. By reviewing and understanding topics material to Deloitte, our stakeholders are provided with the data and insights that are material1 to them. These topics also serve as critical guideposts in setting our strategy around Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) matters. We prepare the reporting of our organization’s most significant impacts in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. 

Identifying material topics

Deloitte’s approach to identify material topics is embedded in the way we do business. Continuous engagement with our key internal and external stakeholders helps inform our understanding of who Deloitte impacts through our day-to-day operations, along with analysis of our industry and activities. Processes to engage with stakeholders exist at multiple levels within Deloitte. They enable us to discuss Deloitte’s impacts on the economy, the environment, people, and human rights with those who have insights on such impacts. These ongoing interactions influence our reporting and shaping of material topics. Internal stakeholders include Deloitte leadership and Deloitte people. Examples of external stakeholders include suppliers, clients, regulators, industry associations, academia, and non-governmental organizations. 

On a periodic basis, Deloitte also follows a formal process to review and revise our list of material topics and impacts. The process includes obtaining stakeholder insights about actual and potential, positive and negative impacts on the economy, the environment, people, and human rights through direct interviews, desktop research, and the use of proprietary social listening tools. The significance of the actual and potential impacts identified through this process is further assessed to better understand and rank these impacts according to their magnitude, severity, and likelihood. The preliminary list of material topics identified through this engagement is refined, scored, and systematically evaluated to arrive at the “significant,” “more significant,” and “fundamental” topics for Deloitte to prioritize in our strategy and reporting. 

The formal materiality assessment process was last undertaken during FY2022. In FY2023, we assessed the impacts through regular engagement, consultation, research, and analysis. Our ongoing identification and analysis has led us to conclude that the material topics and impacts listed remain unchanged for FY2023. However, the relative significance of the impacts has shifted in some cases. For example, nature and biodiversity has been reclassified as a more significant topic for Deloitte in FY2023.

Management of material topics and impacts

During FY2023, reporting of ESG matters was overseen by the WorldImpact Council (WIC), co-chaired by the Deloitte Global Deputy CEO and Chief People and Purpose Officer, together with the Chair of the Deloitte Global Board of Directors. WIC membership was drawn from the Deloitte Global Board, the Deloitte Global Executive Committee, and other senior Deloitte leaders, including Deloitte member firm Purpose leaders. Several junior Deloitte professionals, drawn from participants in the One Young World program, were also members of the WIC. 

The results of the FY2022 formal materiality assessment, including the prioritized list of material topics, were presented to, and approved by, the WIC and were embedded in Deloitte’s management of ESG matters. The prioritized list of topics does not specifically list human rights as a material impact because human rights considerations are included in many other topics. For example, sustainable and responsible supply chain includes Deloitte’s impacts on human rights in supply chain, while the diversity, equity, and inclusion topic addresses equality and non-discriminatory treatment as human rights. Please see our Human Rights Statement  for the list of human rights Deloitte is committed to advancing.

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, the environment, people, and human rights. 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 (DEI).

Deloitte’s impact extends beyond our direct operations, and includes impacts that could arise from engaging with clients and suppliers that may not fully align with our Purpose and Shared Values. Deloitte’s negative impacts as a result of its activities include greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, as well as the creation of electronic waste. Deloitte acknowledges these negative impacts and is actively working to mitigate them through internal and external programs, as discussed throughout the 2023 Global Impact Report.

As part of Deloitte’s WorldImpact programs, including WorldClimate, WorldClass, and our global DEI program, Deloitte has established aspirational goals that align with leading practices, frameworks, and benchmarks to help drive positive impacts and reduce negative impacts on stakeholders. Performance against these goals is reported annually in 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.
  • 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, along with strategies employed to identify and act on physical and transition risks presented by climate change. This encompasses collaborating with clients, alliance relationships, 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 Deloitte’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.
  • Nature and biodiversity: The impacts on natural capital, such as deforestation and biodiversity loss and ecosystem destruction.
  • 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 the many 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.
  • 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.

1Deloitte uses the GRI Standard “GRI 3 Material Topics 2021” in defining what is material or a material topic.


Anna Nefedova
Deloitte Global ESG Reporting Leader

Strong and effective governance helps enable Deloitte to deliver on our clients’ trust, operate our business ethically, balance the interests of our stakeholders, and serve the public interest.