EY targets carbon neutrality by end of 2020

EY is the first Big Four firm committed to going carbon neutral within less than a year by reducing and offsetting its carbon emissions

It plans to reduce travel emissions, adopt sustainable procurement practices and purchase more renewable energy to power offices.

In the UK it is currently in the process of contracting directly with a solar farm developer and seeking to sign a 10-year agreement for 100% of its UK power demand.

It will also purchase carbon credits to offset its carbon footprint and invest in projects that reduce carbon emissions or remove carbon from the atmosphere, for example reforestation projects.

Since 2019, EY has cut office energy emissions by over 11%, resulting in a 25% reduction in energy emissions per full-time employee.

Last month the firm made a major commitment to global sustainability by appointing Steve Varley, as regional managing partner for EY in the UK and Ireland as global vice chair of sustainability, he will take up the role in June.

‘By supporting a culture of disruptive innovation, EY can find creative solutions that address global environmental challenges and drive growth that is truly sustainable,’ said Varley.

‘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 clients and communities.’

Recently EY US signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) to finance and construct two large scale Texas wind farms to become 100% renewable in 2020.

In India, it has planted one million trees since 2010 and in a number of countries, including Costa Rica, it has already achieved carbon neutrality.

It also set up EY Ripples last year, a global corporate responsibility programme to drive sustainable growth in communities. Every member of staff will dedicate a minimum of one work day a year to the programme.

Staff have worked with entrepreneurs to help build a variety of environmental enterprises including bringing clean, affordable energy to off-grid families in Sierra Leone and providing solar power for communities in Kenya.

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