EY has announced plans to be carbon neutral by the end of 2020, by both reducing and offsetting its carbon emissions. The commitment reflects EY’s focus towards becoming a more sustainable organisation by improving environmental performance and driving long-term, sustainable growth.
To achieve carbon neutrality, EY will focus on areas including reducing travel emissions, sustainable procurement practices and purchasing more renewable energy to power EY offices, for example wind or solar energy. It will also purchase carbon credits to offset the EY carbon footprint and invest in projects that reduce carbon emissions or remove carbon from the atmosphere, for example reforestation projects.
In addition to the work it is undertaking to achieve carbon neutrality, EY is also expanding its global sustainability strategy which will focus on helping clients innovate and use technology to reduce their own carbon emissions, while driving sustainable economic growth.
Alongside sustainable growth, EY is also focused on greater social impact, which is brought to life through their EY Ripples programme. The aim of this programme is for EY people to use their skills, knowledge and experience from the workplace to support the next generation in being better equipped for the workplace in the future. EY in the Channel Islands has been contributing to the programme’s global ambition of positively impacting 1 billion lives by 2025 through their involvement with the Student Business Challenge, providing mentors to support students in the participating schools across the Channel Islands.
Andrew Dann, EY’s Managing Partner in the Channel Islands, commented:
“Protecting the planet for future generations is an important issue for EY people and becoming carbon neutral this year is a real step forward on the EY sustainability journey. On a local level, we have been able to significantly reduce our inter-island travel due to the continued enhancement and development in technology. We are continuously looking for ways to be more sustainable and limit our environmental impact, including no longer purchasing unnecessary single use plastic, installing more energy efficient lighting and recycling initiatives within the offices. Being part of an organisation with over 284,000 people who are dedicated to our purpose of building a better working world, EY has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take immediate action to create sustainable, inclusive growth for generations to come.”
This announcement elevates action that EY has already taken to reduce its environmental impact, including:
- Designed its environmental strategy in alignment with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) environmental principles, including measurement and reporting of the EY carbon footprint over the past 10 years.
- Issued a global environmental statement in financial year (FY) 18, setting the expectation that the global EY network bears a collective responsibility to minimise its environmental impact.
- Between FY17 – FY19, EY decreased office energy emissions by over 11% while continuing to grow its business, resulting in a 25% reduction in energy emissions per full-time employee (FTE).
- Over the past 15 years, its market-leading EY Climate Change and Sustainability Practice has supported EY clients’ decarbonisation and sustainability journeys by helping them implement a range of solutions crossing sustainability, supply chains and reporting.
- Played a leading role in the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council and developed a core set of common metrics and disclosures on non-financial factors to their investors and other stakeholders.
- Introduced a global supplier code of conduct and procurement environmental criteria to improve the sustainability of products and services.
- Collaborated with hotel suppliers to reduce waste, emissions and water use from EY people.
- EY people have dedicated time and skills to accelerate environmental sustainability through the EY Ripples programme and helped scale nearly 100 impact enterprises focused on critical socio-environmental issues.
Mr Dann concluded:
“EY has the potential to become a world leader in sustainable business and becoming carbon neutral is an important step toward making that a reality. By supporting a culture of disruptive innovation, EY can find creative solutions that address global environmental challenges and drive growth that is truly sustainable. EY people are a driving force behind our focus on the environment and have sent a clear message that we must work together to build a more sustainable and better working world for EY clients and communities.”