Deloitte only professional services firm on Fortune's Change the World list

05 September 2018 3 min. read
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Big Four firm Deloitte was the only professional network to crack Fortune magazine’s Change the World ranking. The list identified firms that pursued social good while still turning a profit, rather than simply highlighting purely charitable efforts.

Lots of companies take on charitable initiatives to give back to their communities, taking part in a growing trend toward corporate social responsibility. Firms want to be seen as socially responsible, hoping that consumers will look on them more favorably (and less favorably on callous competitors) while attracting and retaining employees that increasingly care that their company is not only doing no evil, but also doing good.

Fortune’s annual Change the World list, however, doesn’t look at the purely charitable initiatives of firms, but rather, the social good that firms accomplish while doing profit-motivated business. For example, pharma company Merck (#2 on the list) helped put out an Ebola vaccine that quickly halted an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this year. “Even if the Ebola vaccine doesn’t make gobs of money on its own, the knowledge gained from developing it should help inform R&D across the business,” reports Fortune. So while, Ebola vaccines aren’t a big money maker – you can’t squeeze that much money from cash-strapped NGOs and African governments – the research that goes into it can be used in more profitable vaccine efforts. Indeed, Merck’s total vaccine business banks $6 billion annually.

Meanwhile, Indian telecom firm Reliance Jio ranked in first for rapidly expanding mobile and internet access at extremely affordable rates across the country. Third-place Bank of America was praised for its investments in green initiatives, while fourth-place Inditex (Zara’s parent company) shifted 95% of its production to suppliers with stronger safety records while continuing to post strong annual sales growth.Deloitte only professional services firm on Fortunes' Change the World listBig Four accounting and consulting firm Deloitte was the only professional services company to grace the prestigious list, ranking at #52. The firm was chosen due to its robust efforts in preparing its 280,000 employees for Industry 4.0 changes like robotics and AI that threaten to displace millions of workers in the US. Its six Deloitte Universities train 65,000 staff annually, including thousands of new hires.

Between upskilling its employees (and transforming clients) Deloitte is making a positive impact by preparing people for the challenges of the future workplace. The firm's business university teaches critical thinking, emerging technology (AI, robotic process automation, etc.), and leadership development.

“Through our network of Deloitte University facilities worldwide, we have embraced the opportunity to prepare and equip our people with the critical thinking and leadership skills needed to navigate the technology-driven disruption clients and we as a network face today,” said Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen.

Deloitte has also launched WorldClass, a societal impact initiative that expands education and opportunities to those affected by the Industry 4.0 changes. The program hopes to train 50 million by 2030, “creating pathways for people to fulfill their aspirations and find meaningful work in the new economy,” according to Deloitte.

The Big Four firm is consistently recognized for its charitable and community-focused efforts. The firm was recently named a top 50 community-minded company by Points of Light for the third consecutive year. Deloitte was also recently ranked #2 on People magazine’s 50 Companies That Care list.