PwC planning to hire 100,000 over five years in major ESG push

Accounting firm PwC said on Tuesday it would invest $12 billion over five years to create 100,000 new jobs aimed at helping its clients grapple with climate and diversity reporting and also in artificial intelligence, as part of its new global strategy.

The new hires will come from mergers and acquisitions PwC completes and direct hires from competitors, Global Chairman Bob Moritz said in an interview. Of the 100,000 people PwC will hire, about 25,000 to 30,000 will be in the United States, and 10,000 of those will be from Black and LatinX communities, Moritz said.

At present, the firm employs about 284,000 people globally.

Moritz said PwC had approached ESG more “narrowly” before, focusing on reporting frameworks.

“Now every employee of PwC has to be familiar with the issues,” he said, adding that ESG will be embedded in the firm’s work.

Companies and investors are more frequently examining their impact on the environment and scrutinizing diversity within their ranks, initiatives that extend beyond the traditional financial accounting and auditing services that PwC has long provided.

Some asset managers weigh investment decisions based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors alone.

U.S. companies are also now gearing up for potential regulatory oversight of their environmental disclosures, board diversity and workforce.

PwC is increasing training for partners and staff in ESG in areas such as climate risk and supply chains and creating an ESG academy.

PwC will also set up new leadership institutes that help executives, boards of directors and C-Suites create diverse workforces and manage in uncertain times.

In addition to its focus on ESG, PwC is allocating $3 billion to invest in its Asia-Pacific region, aiming to double its business there. The region makes up about 18% of the firm’s revenue currently, Moritz said.

The firm is also setting aside $1 billion to further automate parts of its auditing process.