The assessment revealed clear and measurable progress in KPMG’s reconciliation journey and provides guidance for strengthening the transformative potential of their RAP.
"KPMG is committed to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by utilising our business skills and resources to work with Indigenous people to enable economic and social development," said KPMG Australia Chairman and Reconciliation Australia Board Director, Peter Nash. "We really wanted to better understand the impact we are making and where we should focus our future efforts. The social impact assessment was a critical tool in this process."
"On the one hand we learned some really positive things about our reconciliation efforts to date. For instance, that the firm is deeply respected by our Indigenous partners and the business community and we continue to be considered a leader in innovating ways that business can provide greater economic opportunity for Indigenous people and communities. Importantly, areas for development were also identified including opportunities for greater focus on Indigenous employment."
The assessment valued the social and economic impact of KPMG’s RAP at $12 million, on an investment of $5 million.
"This is a solid return on KPMG’s investment in reconciliation activities – equivalent to $2.40 in social and economic benefit for every dollar invested. The main beneficiaries are Indigenous business and communities (53 percent); with the remaining benefits (47 percent) being recognised by KPMG and its employees," added Mr Nash.
Leah Armstrong, CEO of Reconciliation Australia congratulated the firm on the release of their third RAP, recognising KPMG as the first professional services firm to have achieved 'Elevate' status, a new standard for RAP report benchmarking.
"KPMG is one of three companies in Australia with a current Elevate RAP. There are 500 RAPs in Australia. KPMG has demonstrated a history of achievement in three core areas – respect, relationships and opportunities. They also recognise the importance of having their RAPs assessed and monitored," she said.
Key initiatives in KPMG's RAP so far include:
- Procuring goods and services from Indigenous business, with KPMG named 2012 Best Example of Socially Responsible Procurement by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Australasia (CIPSA) and awarded the 2012 Supply Nation (AIMSC) Special Recognition Award for extraordinary contribution to Indigenous Supplier Diversity
- Developing Indigenous cultural awareness among partners and staff
- Assisting Indigenous not-for-profit organisations via an honorary work program (more than $700,000 of staff consulting time was provided in the past year)
- Supporting the campaign for the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.
KPMG Australia is a founding member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in Australia, with the firm’s Head of Corporate Citizenship, Catherine Hunter, currently chairing the network. KPMG’s RAP has been informed by the UNGC’s Guiding Principles and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
"KPMG believes that business can play a critical role in protecting, respecting and remedying Indigenous peoples’ human rights by viewing their Indigenous engagement through the lens of human rights," said Ms Hunter.
KPMG Australia was recognised in the inaugural UNGC Business Reference Guide, launched in Geneva last week. The Guide is a new tool to assist business to better understand the relevance of Indigenous people’s rights to their activities, and how best to support and respect these rights.
Last year KPMG released the country’s first RAP App – an interactive iPad App digitally telling KPMG’s story towards reconciliation. The RAP App aimed to reach a new and broader audience about the firm’s reconciliation journey.
KPMG was the first major accounting firm to have a RAP endorsed by Reconciliation Australia (in 2009).