Who said consultancy is just about clients and presentations? Let’s not forget a company’s greatest asset: its people. What happens when you use their skills and talents to create a better society? Accenture took a leap at finding out. Let’s go back to March 2018, when 100 colleagues and 10 project teams together started a battle using their talents and skills to reduce food waste, save the rainforest or boost skills and motivation for disadvantaged children and refugee talents.

Accenture employees were offered two ways to Make a Difference: either through hands-on or expertise-based volunteering. The hands-on projects delivered measurable impact and improved skills such as coding lessons or cooking, whereas the expertise-based projects ensured a more scalable impact on the impact partner, such as an improved business model. These are examples of our target to leverage innovation to drive impact at scale and help close skills and employment gaps for vulnerable people around the world.

Image: Make a Difference logo - Corporate Citizenship - by Accenture

Meet the Making a Difference Teams

(B)Rainforest wants to give the rainforest back to the orangutan and aims to find an alternative to palm oil.
Buurtbuik is combating food waste and bringing lonely people in contact with each other.
PLAN International developed a replicable, scalable and ‘impact-trackable’ Girls in ICT Day initiative.
CodeMasters is a community of colleagues who teach coding skills to the next generation.
Playing for Success helps children who can use some extra motivation and skills (IT, language, math) to build their future. It’s connected to a fun soccer theme, making learning so much more fun.
Moroccan Dutch Talent Platform (MDTP) where the Future Leader Program empowers Moroccan-Dutch children in the final phase of their secondary education by offering training in 21st-century skills.
Giving Back is a foundation that mentors ethnic talent from high school all the way up to their master’s degree. Their goal is to help this talent reach the top. We're helping Giving Back with their digital user journey.
De Normaalste Zaak team provides masterclasses for businesses that strive to hire people with disabilities.
Syrious Work is a foundation that retrains refugees with a craft in carpentry so that they can practice their profession in the Netherlands.
The Colour Kitchen is a social enterprise on a mission to offer people a second chance who don’t participate in the labor market today by training and coaching them in hospitality and catering. Accenture supports by designing a scalable (restaurant) hospitality concept.

“It was a wonderful but also challenging experience to be part of the team of judges for the battle. Because how do you decide between projects that all make a significant positive impact on those around us? And projects that are, without exception, embraced warm-heartedly by their initiators. The hard work and conviction of the initiators convinced many colleagues to take part, roll up their sleeves, put up their out of the box thinking-hats and make a difference together. Thumbs up for all colleagues involved!”

         - Monique Pennings, Senior Advisor Community Investment at NN Group

How Can a Battle Make a Positive Impact?

For six weeks, the teams battled for maximum impact on society. The teams that made the highest sustainable impact have been awarded a €1,000 prize to donate to their impact partner and have been offered stage during the Accenture Innovation Summit 2018 to share their impact story.

A panel of esteemed judges selected the two Battle winners: one in the hands-on category and one in the expertise-based category. The jury consisted of Accenture’s Foundation Board members Taimen Boumans, Judith Blijdenstein and Rene Hoogeveen, complemented by Head of Customer Success at GoodUp Marleen Holtkamp and Monique Pennings, Senior Advisor Community Investment at NN Group.

The judges certainly faced a tough challenge. Ten projects, ten areas of impact, and only two winning teams, chosen based on the sales pitches the participants gave.

Meet Hands-on Winner: Buurtbuik

“Volunteering at BuurtBuik is more than reducing food waste, it is also about bringing people together and doing something for the community. There were 22 Accenture colleagues willing to volunteer at BuurtBuik during the battle. Multiple colleagues got super excited by the concept and are now willing to volunteer at BuurtBuik on a regular basis.”  

         - Kevin Peters, Management Consulting Analyst at Accenture

Buurtbuik Foundation is committed to reducing food waste, while combating loneliness. By collecting food from supermarkets and restaurants that would’ve otherwise been thrown away, they end up with bulks of ingredients to cook a free meal for those who need it. Everyone from the neighborhood is welcome to join Buurtbuik for this meal, which offers an abundance of social interaction while enjoying a nutritious meal. The Buurtbuik team consisted of 22 Accenture employees who prepared the food, served the guests, and helped clean up afterward.

During the Making a Difference Battle, 285 people were given a meal at Buurtbuik in Amsterdam Zuid. Moreover, with the food that was left over after cooking, 295 shopping bags were filled for people to bring home. Importantly, Buurtbuik’s initiative does not stop at one event. To make its societal impact a sustainable and long-term, a new partnership was established between Buurtbuik and Accenture. This way, even more food waste will be prevented as we have committed to donating leftover food to Buurtbuik in Amsterdam Zuid.

Congratulations, Buurtbuik!

Meet Expertise-based Winner: The Colour Kitchen

“I enjoyed the design thinking workshop in which we co-created with The Colour Kitchen, pitching our final concept to the Board, and presenting the results to the judges. Most of all, I enjoyed using the skills I have learned at Accenture to be a force for positive change!”

          -  Francis Gerber, Management Consultant at Accenture
Social enterprise The Colour Kitchen (TCK) has a mission: ‘No Social Waste!' By hiring people with a distance to the labor market and educating them in becoming hospitality professionals with a degree, they ensure that no talent is left behind. TCK integrates this into their commercial hospitality concept in all eight of their restaurants in the Netherlands. Through the Making a Difference Battle, a team of 11 Accenture employees supported TCK in their growth ambition. The team of professionals had one target question: “How to design a sustainable and scalable hospitality concept so that The Colour Kitchen can create a bigger social impact?” After an inspiring initial meeting, the team hosted a design thinking workshop for the board of The Colour Kitchen. In this session, all members co-created two new concepts: ‘4Crafts’ and ‘MyKitchen’. The concepts will be used in TCK’s expansion, making the Battle project a durable and scalable initiative. 

Congratulations, The Colour Kitchen!

Our Commitment to Making the World a Better Place

At Accenture, we're focused on demonstrating responsible leadership in response to today’s wide range of compelling societal challenges. It’s our commitment to be at the forefront of ensuring a more inclusive and sustainable world.

Together with our partners, we use our global skills, capabilities and digital experience to address societal issues—and improve the way the world works and lives. Explore how we share our digital and entrepreneurial skills to prepare individuals around the globe for current and future technological changes as part of our Skills to Succeed campaign. See how we're already improving our impact on the environment. Or browse our local corporate citizenship partnerships and initiatives. 

Image: Skills to Succeed - Corporate Citizenship - by Accenture