Looking to the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul: Building on the Lessons Learned from CEHR

By Chip Cottrell - May 16, 2016

D9W6X9_300x200As we head to Istanbul on May 23-24 for the first World Humanitarian Summit, we have the opportunity to build on the experience of the Community for Effective Humanitarian Response (CEHR) to enhance the role of the private sector to address the worst human suffering since the second world war.

On December 1, 2015, CEHR held its inaugural meeting in the offices of the World Economic Forum in New York. More than 40 attendees from humanitarian organizations, group industry leaders, and CEHR member companies focused on one basic question: “How can we make the humanitarian response system work more effectively and efficiently?” The meeting was co-hosted by the Forum and Deloitte, and Deloitte served as facilitator.

We all felt the urgency in the room. The flood of over 120 million refugees from Syria, Eritrea, and other hot zones has overwhelmed the ability of governments to provide their most basic needs, let alone their long-term recovery. UN relief agencies are struggling to avoid bankruptcy. We face the unusual irony that more private-sector companies want to get involved than ever before, but a host of challenges stand in the way of effective collaboration.

The meeting generated a number of key questions. For example, what can we do before the crisis hits to reduce the inevitable confusion, inefficiency, and duplication of efforts? What can we do now to set the protocols, establish how we can work together with others, and coordinate our efforts? How can we improve our organizational readiness to come together as a team? And how can we use technological advances to improve the humanitarian response to crises?

After a day of discussions, focused break-out sessions, and sharing lessons learned, the participants identified three key solutions:

• Form cross-industry alliances between the private sector and international organizations before crises occur. The participants envisioned a three-step process: (1) assess and map the forums and groups that currently enable cooperation, (2) develop a strategy and plans to fill the gaps and standardize coalitions, and (3) create a technology platform to collaborate and identify teaming opportunities.

• Improve the principles and accountability for engagement in complex emergencies. This would include assessing the risk as well as reviewing and revising the Forum and OCHA guidelines.

• Provide a secure, agreed-upon method to share sensitive data among humanitarian actors. Participants suggested mapping existing data and country standards, using a case-based approach to sharing humanitarian data, and creating best practices for sharing information and data.

To facilitate these and other solutions, participants recommended that we consider five strategies:

1. Encourage innovation. Co-develop and share solutions across sectors, and adapt innovations to meet the unique aspects of the challenge.

2. Improve use of technology. Use technological solutions to accelerate the provision of key staples. Improve real-time awareness of crisis conditions through data visualizations that can inform decision-making.

3. Provide intelligence. Integrate data sources for a more complete view of conditions, risks, and threats.

4. Leverage networks. Connect companies’ emergency response networks for more coordinated responses, and strengthen cross-sector relationships.

5. Engage local communities. Engage local expertise, services, and assets and enable more CEHR members to do the same.

And what are the next steps for CEHR? Our challenge is to carry the messages forward, further refine our ideas, and continue the process of brainstorming in Istanbul to improve the effectiveness of the humanitarian relief system worldwide.

My experience at COP21

By Eduardo Alfonso Atehortua Barrero - December 17, 2015










I am a Deloitte Sustainability Services professional based in Medellin, Colombia. Last year, I was selected to represent Deloitte globally to participate in the Future Leaders Program of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Through this program, I have been able to attend the WBCSD Annual Council Meeting being held in Paris for a commencement ceremony. This meeting coincides with COP 21 and has also given me the opportunity to attend and participate in several events within the official ‘Blue Zone’. I would like to take this opportunity to share my perspectives on a number of my activities in Paris.

Perspectives on WBCSD Future Leaders Program

The Future Leaders Program (FLP) challenges participants to think about ideas of how to scale up business actions on climate change and improve the business case. Participants are business professionals coming from companies that are members of the WBCSD, a members-based network of around 200 global businesses. In the future, this program will be rebranded as the WBCSD Leadership Program.

The program focuses on the complexity of the climate change debate as well as the each participant’s leadership potential. Educational content is enriched through access to a network of climate experts including academics, government officials, business leaders and NGOs. This allows us to go beyond traditional approaches to business to understand the socio-economic barriers and drivers that lead to poverty, conflict and human rights abuses, and learn what progressive leaders are doing to address such issues through case studies.

FLP participants were asked to form multidisciplinary groups and develop proposals for approaches to achieve an emission reduction pathway consistent with the 2º Celsius objective that can be scaled up. This led myself and a group of my colleagues to a question: How will we be able to finance a scaled up version of the reduction pathway consistent with the 2ºC objective? Because of this lingering question, we decided to develop a project that not only increases awareness of this point but also provides recommendations for scaling up climate finance through the use of the green bond market.

GREEN BONDS 002°C – A guide to scale up climate finance

Our first finding during the research page for our publication was the Green Investment Report developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that estimates that at least US$ 700 billion has to be invested every year to ensure that the global average temperature rise remains within the 2˚C limit.

Although both private and public sector organizations are expected to contribute to this large capital deployment in climate adaptation and mitigation projects, the private sector is expected to contribute the majority of this. Raising such large funds presents a set of challenges and opportunities in the development of innovative climate finance solutions. One such climate finance product, the green bond, intends to raise capital for projects or activities with high environmental benefits. It helps organizations raise money from more progressive investors and at the same time strengthen their credentials as a sustainable and responsible organization.

The green bond category is one of the fastest growing bond categories. Since its inception in 2007, the green bond market has grown to be worth over US$ 66 billion (June 2015). The past few years have seen particularly rapid growth, tripling each year between 2011 and 2014.

Deloitte is active in this market. We have been observers of the Green Bond Principles since August 2015. This initiative is intended for broad use by the market. It recommends transparency and disclosure as well as promoting integrity in the development of the green bond market. Deloitte also performs assurance services for the use of proceeds of green bonds in numerous organizations like Vornado Realty and the Agricultural Bank of China.

As a conclusion of our project, my working group found that by creating a powerful positive narrative around investing in profitable, environmentally friendly solutions, the green bond market can help develop broad momentum for environmental action among companies, investors, and the public sector.

IUCN: Investing in Nature: a smart choice to tackle climate change

I had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature – IUCN. The objective of this roundtable was to examine the implications of COP 21 as well as the actions that policy makers and the private sector are taking, and need to take, to facilitate and support investments in nature. The event was an opportunity to interact with leading practitioners in the field and to highlight the importance of this topic to help mobilize the capital markets to finance solutions to address climate change.

A unique opportunity for the private sector: reflecting on United Nations General Assembly week

By Chip Cottrell - October 01, 2015

UngaI feel very proud and deeply privileged to have had an opportunity to represent Deloitte colleagues at a number of events coinciding with United Nations General Assembly week. It is a historic week for the United Nations, celebrating its 70th Anniversary and announcing the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals point to a significant change at the United Nations. Unlike with the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations has recognized the importance of the private sector in the global development agenda. It can be seen not only in goal 17, which highlights the significance of partnerships, but also in the amount of side events during the week that included the private sector, such as the Solutions Summit. The discussions during these events sent a clear message – the private sector has a fundamental role to play in achieving the SDGs.

On Monday, 28th September, Deloitte hosted an event in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation, which brought together senior executives and social sector leaders to discuss how companies can incorporate social impact into their business in the context of the SDGs. It was an inspiring and insightful discussion, and I believe, one of many more to come. The private sector is increasingly engaged in delivering social impact, as Deloitte research “Driving corporate growth through social impact” published this week indicates. The research shows that with the changing global landscape, social impact plays an integral role in helping businesses remain competitive and find new growth opportunities. Creating a more just, sustainable, and prosperous future for all is now a business imperative, and the private sector is increasingly working together with governments and civil society on innovative, collaborative solutions to global challenges.

Pope Francis’ address to the General Assembly sent a powerful message about the urgency and importance of addressing societal and environmental issues. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited CEO Punit Renjen joined other business leaders in supporting Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change. This encyclical highlights the increasing importance of addressing environmental and societal challenges created by climate change, and the role business can play by using innovation, scale, and entrepreneurial spirit to contribute to solutions.

Deloitte has a long history of collaborating across sectors to help drive global development efforts. One example is a project recently delivered pro bono with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, focused on strengthening the United Nations’ pipeline of diverse leaders for senior roles in the humanitarian and development sectors.

I believe the celebrations during United Nations General Assembly week marked a truly historic moment towards a better world, but this is just the beginning. The private sector has been actively engaged in the development and the adoption of the sustainable development agenda, and many business leaders see societal impact as integral to their business strategy, in a way I have never seen before. Achieving the SDGs will require continued commitment, focused action, innovation, and collaboration. I look forward to contributing to this journey over the next 15 years of their implementation.

Chip-cottrellJames “Chip” Cottrell is a partner in with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the U.S. and China and a UK Chartered Accountant as well as Chartered Global Management Accountant. Chip has served as the functional leader of Deloitte’s U.S. Federal practice and currently serves as the Deloitte Global Lead Client Service Partner for the United Nations system as well as a co-chair of a United Nations Global Compact Committee on Anti-Corruption.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

Celebrating the United Nations’ Global Goals: driving innovation and collaboration

By Dave Pearson - September 21, 2015


This week, world leaders are coming together at the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will guide and catalyze worldwide development efforts over the next 15 years. This is a key opportunity for the United Nations Member States, civil society, and the private sector to come together and align efforts to address the biggest global challenges. I am excited to participate in the events that will convene leaders from different sectors to celebrate the adoption of the United Nations’ Global Goals, and to collaborate on innovative new solutions to drive positive change in achieving the Post-2015 agenda.

Deloitte has long been committed to addressing global issues. It is part of Deloitte’s culture, and an illustration of our Purpose–to make an impact that matters. With the Post-2015 agenda, this commitment is unwavering. I believe that only through innovative approaches, identifying solutions that can be scaled, and collaborating across sectors and borders that countries and organizations can truly achieve sustainable development. Today’s innovative solutions cut across the traditional boundaries separating non-profits, government, and for-profit businesses. The private sector has an opportunity, and a responsibility, to make a powerful contribution. 

Deloitte invests in numerous programs and initiatives to improve our own sustainability and contribute to driving societal impact, and many of these align to the SDGs, for example:

Goal #4 Quality education
Since 2009, Deloitte has been committed to identifying and investing in innovative solutions that enhance access to education and skills building for young people. In the past three years alone, programs supported by Deloitte member firms have reached more than one million young people, and annually these firms have invested an aggregate of approximately US$50 million towards educational initiatives.

Goal #5 Gender equality
A priority for Deloitte is attracting, retaining, developing, and advancing women to leadership positions. Deloitte supports the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP). This year, in recognition of proactive commitment to gender equality, Deloitte Canada CEO Frank Vettese received a WEP Leadership Award. Many Deloitte member firms, from the Middle East, to the US and beyond, have programs focused on gender equality. Deloitte US CEO Cathy Engelbert’s appointment as the first female CEO of a major accounting and consulting firm in the US illustrates the inclusiveness of Deloitte’s own culture.

Goal #13 Protect the planet
In response to climate change risks, many member firms have focused on reducing impacts through environmental programs and employee engagement. A number of Deloitte member firms have established absolute or intensity carbon reduction targets for operations to sharpen their focus on achieving lower greenhouse gas emissions. Deloitte’s largest opportunities for protecting the planet, however, result from the work of more than 800 sustainability specialists across the Deloitte network helping member firm clients transition to sustainable business models and practices.

I am also focused on supporting Deloitte to play its part within this initiative through the work our member firms do for their clients. Deloitte helps clients solve challenging problems, and the United Nation’s Global Goals are no exception. We bring to bear the skills of some of the world’s brightest minds from across the global network to work on all areas of the sustainable development goals, and to make an impact that matters. One example of how we make a positive impact in society is through the Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program. Professionals of Deloitte member firms collaborate with the humanitarian organizations, combining their diverse skills and expertise to co-create and implement innovative solutions to enhance the sector’s ability to prepare for, and respond to humanitarian crises.

How we collaborate across sectors on innovative solutions, and how our member firms help clients will determine where the Deloitte network can have the most impact. Living our Purpose, and encouraging clients to be purpose driven by delivering on the SDGs in all areas of their business, and collaborating across sectors so they can grow, is how Deloitte plans to respond in substantive ways to the Post-2015 Agenda.


David Pearson is the Chief Sustainability Officer for DTTL. Dave leads innovative programs which demonstrate Deloitte’s commitment to driving societal change and promoting environmental sustainability. Collaborating with government, non-profit organizations, and civil society, the Deloitte network is designing and delivering solutions that contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future for all. Dave has more than 20 years’ experience in both public accounting and private industry. From 2007–2011 he served as CEO of Deloitte CIS, which covers 11 countries in the former Soviet Union.

“Deloitte”, “we”, “us”, and “our” refer to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. See additional information.

Developing female leaders at the United Nations

By Dave Pearson - August 17, 2015

Un blogBy their very nature, humanitarian crises are highly dramatic, visible, and distressing events; and effective response requires quick decision-making and strong leadership.

Developing and increasing the effectiveness of those responsible for leading life-saving relief efforts is a key challenge of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). A project recently delivered pro bono as part of the Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program with UN OCHA, focused on strengthening the UN’s pipeline of diverse leaders for senior roles in the humanitarian and development sectors. Deloitte Consulting LLP (U.S.), (Deloitte), has lent its support to UN OCHA since 2012, applying its experience in creating talent development programs in the private and public sectors, to those working in these exceptionally challenging environments.

In this latest collaboration, Deloitte contributed to the conceptualization, development, and launch of an interagency talent program for female leaders within the UN system. The program targets high-potential women in seven participating UN agencies to accelerate their readiness for senior leadership roles across the UN system. The program includes a 1-year rotation to roles selected specifically to maximize candidate development, coaching based on individualized development plans, and in-person leadership learning and training led by Deloitte.

This ground-breaking interagency talent program is the UN system’s first attempt ever to build a female leadership pipeline by broadening the exposure of female talent working in UN agencies. It has the potential to shift the leadership landscape of the entire UN system. With the first cohort of women enrolled in the program, it is off to a strong start and is receiving encouraging reports among the agencies involved.

These agencies focus on life-changing issues such as protecting the rights and well-being of refugees, getting food to those in crisis, and the eradication of poverty. While each is effective in its own right, the challenge is developing leaders that can coordinate the capabilities of the agencies working together to accelerate their common goal—responding to essential needs of those in crisis. As more cohorts of women are selected, the intent of UN OCHA is to scale the program in the years ahead.

Read more about how the Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program supports humanitarian crises by collaborating with humanitarian organizations to co-create innovative solutions that help improve the sector’s preparedness and readiness to respond to crises here.


David-pearsonDavid Pearson is the Chief Sustainability Officer for DTTL. Dave leads innovative programs which demonstrate Deloitte’s commitment to driving societal change and promoting environmental sustainability. Collaborating with government, non-profit organizations, and civil society, the Deloitte network is designing and delivering solutions that contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future for all. Dave has more than 20 years’ experience in both public accounting and private industry. From 2007–2011 he served as CEO of Deloitte CIS, which covers 11 countries in the former Soviet Union.

Landscape evolving for global chemicals industry

By Tim Hanley - February 27, 2015

Chemicals-landscape-blogDeloitte Global was proud to host its 10th Global Chemical Think Tank recently in Dusseldorf, Germany. The event brings together Deloitte member firm clients and Deloitte professionals from around the world to engage in forward thinking discussions on key trends and issues impacting the global chemicals industry. While several topics were featured on the agenda, let me highlight three topics which resonated with me. 

First, the chemicals industry landscape is continuing to evolve with companies that are better focused on providing solutions to emerging customer needs to become more globally competitive. In an industry which over the last decade has grown on average on par with gross domestic product (GDP), breakthrough performance will demand the ability to harness new exponential technologies and adapt business models to drive innovation and exceptional growth. This is an inflection point for the industry, which is poised for new developments in areas such as advanced materials, material-based systems manufacturing, and digital design. To cope with these opportunities and challenges, companies will likely need to deploy innovative talent strategies to have the right skills needed to drive the business forward as the industry competes in the digital age.

Secondly, the feedstock environment is changing, both with the volatility of oil prices, as well as with the potential for next generation bio-based feedstock becoming more important in the future. While lower oil prices continue to steal the headlines, there appears to be growing investments and collaborative innovation in bio-based feedstock as a sustainable energy alternative. Given the multifaceted dimensions of the feedstock prism, companies will likely turn to advanced analytics as a competitive tool to find the right feedstock strategy for their business. The recent steep decline in oil prices, which impacts the pricing of naphtha, will likely create short term opportunities and challenges, depending on the feedstock source for companies. While this decline may not be lasting, it is a development being closely monitored.

Finally, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will likely continue to be robust in the global chemicals sector. In 2015, the U.S. is expected to continue to be of interest, driven by anticipated moves by chemical companies to realign their portfolio as well as by strategic investments to position as the shale gas opportunity gradually unlocks. Further, commodity deals are likely to lead the pack, but specialty deals is expected to rebound to 2012 levels. Among the challenges that could hamper M&A activity in the sector include debt availability in certain geographies, competition and regulations changes, use of spin-offs rather than divestitures to executive portfolio realignment, and a significant global conflict.  Read more in Deloitte's recently released 2015 Global chemical industry mergers and acquisitions outlook.

Some of the topics I share in this article highlight the dynamic opportunities that lie ahead for all manufacturers – not only in the chemical industry. Over the next few months I hope to continue to offer perspectives on different sectors and issues.



Tim HanleyTim Hanley is the Global Leader of the Manufacturing Industry group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). In his global industry leadership role, he directs strategic initiatives and investments to grow Deloitte member firm market share within the manufacturing industry. During his distinguished 35-year career, Hanley has led teams serving all business aspects, including consulting with top management regarding organizational financial strategy development and execution, acquisitions, and market development.

Mobility preferences of Gen Y in Europe and China

By Tim Hanley - December 03, 2014

Bzi_cho_glb_ho_2083_300X200During the last few months, Deloitte has been sharing insights on mobility trends from a 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study of more than 23,000 consumers across 19 countries. Two prominent automotive industry events held in France and China recently offered a backdrop to provide a view of the changing mobility needs for Generation Y consumers (Gen Y or Millennials) – those born between 1977 and 1994 – across Europe and also in China.

More than 1.2 million people visited the Mondail de l'Automobile Paris Automotive Show in October to discover the latest trends that automotive companies are integrating into their designs. During this major international automotive show, Deloitte released the 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study: Exploring European consumer mobility choices report, which draws automakers’ attention to the mobility needs and buying behavior of Gen Y consumers - a group estimated to reach 106 million in Europe by 2020. The analysis examines the preferences of more than 2,800 Gen Y individuals living in eight European markets including Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.  

Interestingly, the European report suggests that approximately 25 percent of Gen Y consumers across the region do not plan to buy or lease a vehicle before 2019. Instead, these young consumers are opting for modes of transportation such as public transit, taxis, rental agencies, and walking, all of which they believe offer more convenience at a lower total cost than owning a personal car. In addition, the study found that cost, fuel efficiency, and affordability of payment options are the top three drivers encouraging a European Millennial's decision to buy or lease a vehicle today. Over 70 percent of European Gen Y said that cost and quality of the service bundle, such as free routine maintenance, also influences their purchase decision.

Around the Paris autoshow, Deloitte held a Gen Y automotive event featuring students from three leading French business schools, Dauphine, Centrale, and Essec universities. Special thanks to the students for highlighting the Deloitte findings to present their viewpoint to industry executives and the media on themes important to Millennials in France.

Senior executives travelled from all corners of the globe to Wuhan, China in October for the Global Automotive Forum. Deloitte was proud to once again be a major sponsor of the premier event. As the largest automotive industry in the world, it is not surprising that automakers are keen to keep a pulse on the trends in China and the mobility needs of an estimated 240 million Gen Y consumers1 in that market.  

Deloitte’s study reveals that over 90 percent of Gen Y consumers in China are interested in buying or leasing cars in the next five years. For these consumers, major considerations in their decision making include affordable prices, convenient and inexpensive parking options, and cost-effectiveness of running a car. Vehicle safety technology as well as innovative consumer experience and service were also cited among the factors important in their decision-making. However, with other modes of mobility available in China and the relatively high cost of a private vehicle, automakers are competing to secure a share of the wallet of this important consumer segment. While interest in vehicle ownership or leasing is high with Chinese Millennials, getting them to actually buy or lease is a challenge. Sixty percent surveyed indicated that they would still rather take the bus, train or taxi to travel, because they like to do other things during the journey. In addition, 69 percent of Gen Y respondents in China mentioned that they are willing to move to live close to their workplace to reduce the round-trip time from work.

These are just some of the findings from the 2014 Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study. You can read more or view a video highlighting the global results by visiting the Deloitte website.

1Bloomberg and Business Week. Reckoning with Chinese Gen Y. 25 January 2010.

Tim HanleyTim Hanley is the Global Leader of the Manufacturing Industry group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). In his global industry leadership role, he directs strategic initiatives and investments to grow Deloitte member firm market share within the manufacturing industry. During his distinguished 35-year career, Hanley has led teams serving all business aspects, including consulting with top management regarding organizational financial strategy development and execution, acquisitions, and market development.

G20: Insights from the Social Progress Index 2014

By Andrew Johnstone-Burt - November 25, 2014


The G20 provides a valuable opportunity for leaders to discuss a wide range of global economic issues and to use their collective power to make a difference. The G20’s immediate task is breaking the cycle of low growth, including diminished business and consumer confidence.

A common observation we have is that governments are at, or close to, the limits of macroeconomic policy responses. We observe now there exists a challenge for governments they need to think beyond the usual macroeconomic levers to support social progress. I believe growth on its own without social progress is an empty goal.

In the past we have seen that traditional approaches to solving society’s most complex and challenging social problems have are not been sustainable. These complex problems take time to come to fruition, therefore we need to apply fresh thinking and to act with a sense of urgency.

There is a growing recognition of the need to measure progress over and above GDP to understand the sustained impact of any growth strategies. A more holistic framework of progress measures is needed. Deloitte is working with the Social Progress Imperative, a non–profit which is driving the global debate on measuring what matters most to advance progress through their Social Progress Index (SPI). Designed to complement GDP, and other economic indicators, this new index measures a country’s social and environmental strengths and weaknesses to help prioritise investment decisions.

By examining the SPI indicators and comparing G20 countries we demonstrate the ways in which the SPI can be used to unlock opportunities for true growth in Australia and examples of how these opportunities could be solved through the solution economy. Of the 40 G20 countries the Netherlands, Sweden and Canada ranked the highest in terms of social progress, among G20 countries Australia ranked 6th on the SPI.

Australia’s key social challenges identified through the SPI, when compared to other G20 countries including:

  • Affordable housing: in Australia housing affordability has continued to decline. 862,000 lower income households were experiencing housing stress, comprising 15.8 per cent of all Australian households and 28.2 per cent of low income households in 2002–035. In addition 105,237 people in Australia were homelessness in 2011.
  • Adult literacy: even though Australia does well on the high level measure, there are problematic trends below the surface. In 2011–12 around 3.7% (620,000) of Australians aged 15 to 74 years had literacy skills estimated at below Level 1, with a further 10% (1.7 million) at Level 1 and 30% (5.0 million) at Level 2 (noting that the assessment scale ranges between below Level 1 – the lowest rating – and Level 5).
  • Obesity: the growing trend in overweight and obesity is reflected in Australia. Between 2007–08 and 2011–12, the rate of adult overweight and obesity significantly increased nationally to nearly two thirds (from 61.1% to 63.2%). Children are also affected with a quarter (25.3%) of children (aged 5–17 years) being overweight or obese in 2011–12, (17.7% overweight and 7.6% obese).

I am excited to deliver some  good news: governments, non-government organisations, individual investors and the private sector have been moving towards the solution economy. This will provide new ideas and solutions to social problems, improved communication and collaboration to break down historical silos and unlock true growth. There is a real opportunity to bring new approaches and perspectives to solving society’s most complex challenges, to take an outcomes based focus and collaborate to deliver improved outcomes. If we are to realise the benefit of solving these issues we need to act swiftly and united.

Au-andrew-johnstone-burt-1x1Andrew Johnstone-Burt is the national leader of Deloitte Australia's public sector group. He has a range of specialist skills across policy reform and fiscal sustainability in the public sector in Australia, United Kingdom, and Europe. Along with 10 years’ military service, Andrew has more than 20 years’ advisory experience in strategy, people, change and ICT. He is regarded as a trusted adviser for a number of Australian federal and state government departments.

India’s rebound: will the world be patient?

By Gary Coleman - November 11, 2014

India report_image7At the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit this past week, the new Modi government was under particular scrutiny. But as the event concluded, it was clear that most participants were bullish about India given the actions that the government is proposing—with a note of caution, though. With the government now six months in, reforms seem to be slow in coming—and that could be a problem.

The thing is, there’s a lot to be done in order to meet the potential the world is seeing in India right now. A major challenge is the employability of the Indian working population. With one million workers set to enter the job market every month as India’s under-25 population comes of working age,  creating jobs is paramount. But India, like much of the world, is experiencing a talent paradox: 60 percent of India’s total population is available for work, but only 25 percent is capable of being used by the market. How to address this issue was the topic of a session I moderated last week at the summit. Of the many solutions put forward, several proposals the Modi government is seeking to implement were discussed and applauded.

But employability is just a start—to create jobs India must improve its competitiveness overall. With the right policies in place, employability and skills can straightforwardly be improved. But items like infrastructure are long-term investments and are critical to moving raw materials and resources as well as bringing in the FDI needed to boost manufacturing. According to Deloitte Global’s report, Competitiveness: Catching the next wave in India, clearing up bottle-necks in construction projects—some of which the Modi government has already taken action on—will be critical to improving growth.

Creating a pro-business environment will also play a role. India dropped in the World Bank’s latest Doing Business Index, released two weeks’ ago, slipping to 142—the lowest among the BRICS.  While this is a lagging indicator and will most likely improve next year, regulation, taxes, and labor laws all need reforming if “doing business” in India is to improve. The most competitive countries in the world, according to the 2014 WEF Competiveness Index—Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States—all rank in the top 20 on the World Bank index. With that in mind, Modi has vowed to move India into the top 50 of the index.

With promises like this, Modi is clearly putting the world on notice that India is getting ready to take its place as a leading economy. And if the WEF summit last week is any indication, the world is eager to be a part of that journey. But as one speaker at the event’s closing plenary commented, there won’t be a big bang in India; rather reform will come in increments. The question is, will the world wait?

Dttl_garycoleman_56x56Gary Coleman is Managing Director, Global Industries, of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. He is a member of Deloitte’s Global Markets Committee and is the lead partner in Deloitte’s strategic relationship with the World Economic Forum. Follow him on Twitter @gcoleman_gary.

Dynamic times ahead for the North American steel industry

By Nick Sowar - November 10, 2014

Steel Blog nd_man_glb_ho_2078When I meet with Deloitte member firm clients around the world, I often get asked about the state of the steel industry in North America. From my perspective, I have never witnessed such dynamic times in the history of the global industry, and North America is currently one of the hotspots of change.

There are three important trends leading the way and driving these paramount times in the industry. First, there appears to be a pick-up in mergers and acquisition activity in North America this year as steel producers execute much needed consolidation strategies. In the first nine months of 2014, there were 66 deals reported (up 20 percent in volume from last year) with a total transaction value of US$8.9 billion. A significant recently-completed deal was the sale by ArcelorMittal and Gerdau of their respective 50 percent interests in Gallatin Steel Company ("Gallatin") to Nucor Corporation. For Nucor, the strategic acquisition expands the company’s position serving flat-rolled customers in the growing pipe and tube segment.

Second, there is a continued focus on operational improvements, reducing structural costs, and improving financial performance. For example, U.S. Steel is implementing a strategic focus it calls “The Carnegie Way” to create value, strengthen its balance sheet, and improve core business process capabilities, including supply chain, manufacturing, and procurement. The company is also seeking to be leaner and recently announced the closure of some production facilities in both the U.S. and Canada.

The third trend is focused on capital raising. Russian producer, Evraz has filed a registration statement to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) of ordinal shares in its North American operations. The funds will help the company acquire assets in the region, as well as help to pay down debt.

As we approach 2015, steel demand growth in North America is likely to decrease to around 2 percent from stronger levels in 2014. In markets such as the U.S. and Mexico, apparent steel use is forecasted to increase by 6.7 percent and 6.9 percent respectively this year but plateau to a 1.9 percent and 3.5 percent growth in 2015.  Where will the demand come from? Senior leaders attending the 2014 Steel Success Strategies Conference in New York in June indicated that the oil and gas industry and the automotive sector are expected to be the leading drivers of medium-term growth in North America. I was fortunate enough to attend this event and hear top global metals industry executives discuss the demand realities.

Regional production, however, is not keeping up with demand, attracting imports of steel products to fill the gap. Crude steel production in North America increased by 2.3 percent in the first nine months of 2014 with volumes at 91 million tonnes, representing just over 7 percent of global production. Recently released data indicates that imports of steel products in markets like the U.S. have increased by 35 percent through to August 2014 with more imports coming from Russia, Korea, and China. Furthermore, excess global steel capacity (anywhere from 300 million to 500 million tonnes) will likely continue into 2015 and will put significant downward pressure on steel prices into 2015. Iron ore prices fell to a five-year low in September 2014 by 40 percent to around US$80 per tonne and likely contributed to lower prices in scrap and direct-reduced iron (DRI). Moreover, it is unlikely that overcapacity will be significantly reduced in the short-term in places such as China, where most of the excess capacity is located. Countries with overcapacity will likely continue to look for export markets. Contentious unfair trade complaints around the world will likely be ongoing if the practice of dumping of government-subsidized steel persists.

Sustainable profitable growth and competitiveness of the steel industry will be underscored by the industry’s ability to capture the innovation opportunities from disruptive technologies to meet evolving customer needs. Specifically in advanced manufacturing both from improvements in technologies and materials advancements. Innovation efforts by the steel industry are not often in the spotlight, but many initiatives are yielding new solutions that warrant attention. For example, ArcelorMittal’s spreader beam innovation created the world’s only automated variable-width spreader beam which adjusts to accommodate both scrap bucket and hot metal ladle widths in the electric arc furnace. The award-winning solution provides speed and efficiency in switching between scrap and hot metal charging. The automation took a seven-minute changeover down to 50 seconds, adding the potential for an extra heat of steel per day at the facility. 

Another example is in the automotive sector. Steel has advantages over other competing materials including variables associated with cost, strength, and durability. Within the 2015 Honda Fit, weight reductions were achieved in a number of ways including the extensive use of super-high-tensile strength steel that provides increased structural strength with less material. With 27 percent of the body structure made with these high-grade steels – the vehicle body is 44 pounds lighter than the previous model – fuel-efficiency performance was also improved.

For North American steel companies, energy developments around shale gas also offers longer-term prospects to enhance global competitiveness. However, to the advantage of North American countries like the U.S. over the next one to three years, shale gas will continue to be a largely regional resource with only a limited impact on global markets. Although other countries would likely want to replicate the North American shale gas revolution, they must overcome more challenging geology, and gaps in technology, infrastructure, and domestic service capability before commercial production can begin, as well as political and environmental obstacles in some jurisdictions.

In my several decades of involvement with the global steel industry, I can say that this is truly a monumental time for the steel industry filled with disruptive challenges yet also high-potential opportunities. After the sector weathered years of battered performance from the effects of the global economic downturn, steelmakers have struggled to recover and are more than ever resilient. North America is a region to watch as changing customer demands and energy developments will accelerate innovation within the industry as it strives to remain competitive.

Sources: Thomson Reuters. Nucor, Press release. United States Steel 2013 Annual report. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. CBC. Evraz. Press release. World Steel Association. American Metals Market, Steel Success Strategies infographic. The United States Census Bureau. Bloomberg. Deloitte Global Energy Resources.

Nicksowar_56x56Nicholas (Nick) Sowar is the Deloitte Global Metals Sector Leader. He has over 37 years of experience with Deloitte, including over 30 years serving leading steel companies worldwide. Nick currently serves as the global lead client service partner or industry advisory partner for several Deloitte member firm global steel clients.