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February 5, 2023

Not the Onion: Deloitte Is Using Spoken Word Poetry to Teach Its Employees About Climate Change

Not sure if you heard but the giant rock we all call home is in trouble. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and I don’t have to tell you that the weather has been absolutely terrifying the last few years. The good news is it’s looking more and more like the Earth will give up on hosting us long before we go full Fallout and nuke ourselves into oblivion over petty nationalist concerns, so, uh, there’s that.

Knowing that biblical floods and scorching hot temperatures could possibly interfere with client service, Deloitte is taking it upon itself to educate its employees on climate change. Let’s see the press release (because of course you knew there had to be one):

Today, Deloitte announced that it has begun to roll out a new climate learning program for all 330,000 of its people worldwide. A first-of-its-kind among major global organizations, the program aims to inform, challenge and inspire Deloitte people to learn about the impacts of climate change and empower them to confidently navigate their contribution to addressing climate change by making responsible choices at home and at work, and in advising our clients.

The Fast Company article on the announcement actually had a decent burn (no pun) about keeping our expectations low when it comes to Deloitte and training:

Fast Company didn’t have a chance to preview the program, so it’s not clear how it compares to the average, less than engaging employee training program in, say, time management. [emphasis ours]

The initiative was developed in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and is designed “to engage all Deloitte people around the world on the impacts of climate change, inform them about how Deloitte is responding to the climate crisis, and inspire Deloitte people to take action.”

One such goal for Deloitte’s impact on the climate is reaching net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, using the following to get there:

  • Reducing our business travel emissions by 50% per FTE from 2019 levels.
  • Sourcing 100% renewable energy for our buildings.
  • Converting 100% of our fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • Engaging with our major suppliers with the goal of having two-thirds of them (by emissions) adopt science-based targets within five years.
  • Investing in meaningful market solutions for emissions we cannot eliminate.

You can read more about Deloitte’s climate initiatives here if that’s your thing.

Their latest project will use video and data visualization to hammer home the importance of climate awareness, but also includes … spoken word poetry? This should be interesting.

Featuring spoken-word poetry and engaging video content that takes viewers on a cross-continent journey, Deloitte’s novel learning program seeks to inspire. The learning goes beyond stats and figures about climate change to immerse Deloitte people in how the world is changing, what it means for communities around the globe, and how they can take action to help. Through an interactive and of-the-moment module, as well as a complementary learning channel that will be updated with the latest science and information, Deloitte is fostering a much-needed climate dialogue among its people globally.

Hopefully said modules focus less on why you’re an asshole if you need a straw and more on the bigger picture. Here are a couple good reads from Vox and The New York Times on why framing the climate change issue as one of personal responsibility ignores the larger issue of big business — including “Big Oil” — accounting for 71% of global greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.

Let’s talk about oil for a second. A 2015 document prepared by Deloitte specifically for oil and gas clients [PDF] states the firm serves 64% (or 71 companies) of the 111 FG500 Energy & Resources companies.

And here are some more numbers from a similar document prepared in 2017:

You know what they say: climate change begins at home. Or perhaps in this case, at the client site. Can’t wait for the open mic poetry slams at BP offices, y’all!

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  1. Animal agriculture is the #1 source of pollution. If Deloitte supplied only vegetarian meals to their employees, it would have more of an impact than these woke initiatives.

  2. You keep posturing and people believe you. They’re acting like they care about ESG yet they pay ppl way below market.

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