Taking a responsible approach to doing business
Tomorrow’s successful businesses will increasingly be those that operate to the highest environmental and social standards. PA Consulting Group continues to advise clients on how they can meet increasing customer and stakeholder expectations in these areas. We are also taking further action to make our own business more sustainable and are strengthening our contribution to local communities.
We continue to develop and implement practical action for clients wanting to make their businesses greener and to ensure their organisations can meet future public expectations. Our projects range from supporting the development of smart meters and smart grids, to analysing the investment case for renewable energy projects, to the implementation of green IT.
Corporate social responsibility is intrinsically linked to our core business values and we believe that being a socially responsible business makes good business sense. We are making a difference in this critical area of the economy and society, both within PA and when working with our clients.
Giving Back and Volunteering
Our Giving Back and Volunteering (GBV) scheme exists to meet our people’s desire to contribute to activities that meet the needs of wider society. Recognising that the best way we can support social causes is through the time and skills of our experts, we set aside one per cent of after-tax profit for GBV and assign a global budget for consulting hours that may be donated to NGOs and humanitarian organisations. By donating time and skills, our people support social causes, thereby allowing organisations that are otherwise unable to attain our services to benefit from our expertise. We help NGOs and humanitarian organisations to grow, utilise resources better, learn new skills, and reach out to the world in ways that better enable them to fulfill their purpose. Interested employees can either nominate a cause that they would like to work for or apply to join a pro bono project that PA has established.
Our ‘Dragons’ Den’-style events (modelled on a funding network scheme) allow charities, selected by our workforce, to put their case to an invited audience. This helps smaller organisations both in direct financial donations and support in kind. Our work (along with Hogan Lovells and Actis) with UnLtd Connect’s mentoring scheme for social entrepreneurs provided volunteer hours worth over £650,000. We also run very-well-received courses for charities to provide tailored advice on submitting proposals and grant applications. Other activity includes donating computers to PROPS, a charity that supports children with disabilities, to enhance the services it provides at its new headquarters.
Our pro bono projects in Denmark are managed in the same way as work for our paying clients, and such projects are therefore scoped, staffed and executed to the same high standards as our revenue-generating work. Our GBV client list includes CARE, ActionAid Denmark, Unicef, and many more. Lately, we have helped CARE to establish a partnership with Grundfos around distributing water purifiers to rural areas without access to clean drinking water.
In Germany, our people attend the city’s largest charity event and the world’s largest road race every year – the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. In total this year, over 68,000 people from over 2,700 companies ran a 5.6km course though the city. A team of 13 PA people, from Analyst to Partner level, contributed to the total of €247,000 being collected for German Sports Aid. Other volunteer work across PA includes employees based in the Arlington, Virginia, office who volunteer at a local homeless shelter called Miriam’s Kitchen, the main focus of which is to provide food, case management, mental health and addiction services as well as housing support to more than 2,000 homeless people in the Washington DC area.
Reducing our own environmental impact
We continue to focus on reducing the impact of our own activities on the environment and on ensuring that we can deliver sustained and sustainable value both now and in the future.
In 2010 we changed our waste contractor, and the new contractor’s ability to maximise the amount of material that is recycled from the waste it collects has helped us to reduce the amount we send to landfill by 15 per cent.
We aim to recycle 80 per cent of all waste from our London and Melbourn offices. We have a worldwide programme to make much better and more efficient use of our buildings. We completed a project to release almost 12,000 square feet of space at our Melbourn site in the UK, so helping us to reduce our electricity usage by about 15 per cent.
We have put measures in place to improve the efficiency of our printers. New printers in our main offices use 45 per cent less paper than the previous machines because they allow for double-sided printing. These printers are now being installed in our premises in the US. We will work to move to using recycled paper in our printing operations.
We are also reducing the overall amount of printed material we produce. For example, by giving shareholders the option of receiving copies of annual reports by email or in a download from the PA website, we reduced the number of printed copies by 49 per cent. In Denmark, India, the Gulf and wider Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) and the US, paper-free payslips are already in place and this is being extended to UK employees, reducing paper use by 40 per cent.
We have taken further steps to minimise carbon-dioxide emissions from our activities, with a particular focus on air travel-related emissions. A range of measures, including enhanced videoconferencing facilities that allow PA people to share presentations with colleagues and clients, are reducing the need for business travel.
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