EY has become carbon negative, a major and significant step toward achieving their carbon ambition of becoming net zero by 2025. Becoming carbon negative means EY is now reducing its total emissions and offsetting and removing more carbon than it emits.
To achieve this carbon ambition, EY has set an aggressive target to significantly reduce its emissions by 40% by 2025 through seven key actions. This represents one of the most ambitious decarbonisation plans not just in professional services, but across global industry. There has been a continued EY investment in a carbon offset portfolio.
Peter Miller, Associate Partner at EY in Guernsey, said:
“We are proud to be part of a firm that is leading the way in sustainable business by achieving carbon negative status. Businesses need to take the lead and the reality is that carbon neutrality simply isn’t enough if we are to deliver a sustainable planet for future generations. This significant milestone will make a real difference as the world transitions toward a low-carbon future and EY will continue to take actions that create long-term value for EY people, clients and communities around the globe.”
“We are continuing to support the firms’ global ambitions locally through our commitment to the ESI Monitor’s Environmental Business Operations Awards in both our Guernsey and Jersey offices. We are working with the ESI Monitor to measure our current carbon footprint and find innovative and sustainable ways of reducing our impact on the local environment.”
A continued reduction in EY absolute emissions
EY global FY21 emissions (394k tons of CO2e) reduced by 60% compared to FY20 (976k tons of CO2e), achieved through a significant reduction in business travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing delivery of the EY seven-point carbon action plan. This also represents a 71% decrease from the 1,354k tons of CO2e emitted in the FY19 baseline year.
As EY resumes business travel and returns to offices and clients, EY teams will continue to keep emissions below the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)-validated 1.5°C pathway in FY22 and beyond. EY will remain carbon negative as it works toward net zero in 2025.
Francis Malaspina, Associate Partner at EY in Jersey, said:
“After becoming carbon neutral in 2020, EY looked at the latest climate data and decided it could, and should, do more. The reality is that becoming carbon neutral is a good first step but it isn’t enough on its own, and those – like EY – who have the ability to go further and faster must do so now.
“In Jersey, as well as being a member of the ESI Monitor’s Environmental Business Operations Award, we are a certified leader of the eco active business network, where we have an ongoing commitment to take action to manage our impacts on the local environment so we can contribute to our global commitments. We are proud to be one of those organisations setting the standard on carbon negativity and we urge others to do the same.”
By achieving carbon negative status, EY demonstrates a commitment toward accelerated climate action and empowering its people to serve EY clients as they also seek to decarbonise.
Investment in a carbon offset portfolio
EY has invested in a carbon offset portfolio with South Pole, a leading global climate solutions provider, which includes multiple projects that offset or remove carbon through reforestation, regenerative agriculture, biochar and forest conservation. Six new projects, invested in through South Pole, including the QianBei Afforestation Project in China, contribute to removing or offsetting a total of 528k tons of CO2e, meaning EY is removing an additional 34% of the EY FY21 carbon footprint, making EY carbon negative.
Alongside the work the organisation is undertaking to become more sustainable, EY teams have developed a new set of global sustainability services for EY clients aimed at helping them on their own sustainability journeys. The solutions are focused on value-led sustainability, helping EY clients capture the business opportunities from sustainability and decarbonisation, while also protecting and creating value. This follows the approach EY teams have taken to achieve the EY carbon negative ambition.
This announcement follows a number of actions EY has taken to reduce the organisation’s environmental impact and drive sustainable growth. These include two initiatives in collaboration with HRH The Prince of Wales’s Sustainable Markets Initiative; The S30, a group of 30 of the world’s leading C-suite sustainability leaders focused on accelerating business action on sustainability and joining the “Terra Carta” – a charter that puts sustainability at the heart of the private sector. EY has also joined the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures, which is committed to shifting financial flows towards nature-positive outcomes.
EY also recently reported for the first time against the WEF-IBC stakeholder capitalism metrics – a set of 21 ESG disclosures, against which companies and organisations can report, spanning four key areas; Principles of Governance, Planet, People and Prosperity aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.