Minimizing our environmental impact
As a firm, we set the right example by continuously striving to integrate sustainable and responsible thinking and behavior in all aspects of our business. This implies reducing the environmental impact of our activities. Our CO2 emissions are mainly due to our offices and to the journeys of our professionals towards clients. Additionally, we try to stimulate awareness among our people about the relevance and the effect of our environmental approach.
The past few years, our green initiatives focused on minimizing our ecological footprint and assuming chain responsibility.
We are reducing our carbon footprint. We determined a bench-mark for the financial year 2008/2009. Our measurement comprises: all travel emissions (leasecar, trains and flights), energy consumption (electricity, heating and cooling), and activities such as paper consumption. Following emission sources are excluded: waste management, traveling with private cars and electricity consumption of external data centers. We compare the result of our initiatives with this bench-mark and formulate targets in order to reduce our emissions. By 2013, we aim to reduce our CO2 emissions by 25% compared to the 2009 bench-mark.
The Ernst & Young Belgium carbon footprint amounted to 5,476 tons of CO2 in 2009. Over 80% of our carbon footprint is due to mobility and the daily journeys of our professionals using company cars. After mobility, energy (heating and electricity consumption) turns out to be the second tallest emission cause. Therefore we focus our efforts on these two areas (see initiatives under the header ‘mobility’). We have also reduced our paper consumption and we have integrated sustainability criteria in our purchasing policy.
Green vehicle fleet and new mobility mindset
Due to the daily journeys of our professionals towards clients, our vehicle fleet has a large environmental impact. To tackle this issue we have actively introduced more environmentally friendly mobility solutions since 2005; comprising a responsible fleet policy through tire pressure checkups, by providing carbon limited company cars or by providing, as one of the first Belgian companies to do so, electric cars with zero CO2 emissions for short work-to-work journeys since 2010. The main goal is to stimulate the change to a new mobility mindset among our professionals and to offer the opportunity to each of them to set an example and to make a positive environmental contribution. Ernst & Young Belgium wishes to play an active role in the integration of electric vehicles in its fleet. To this aim we are for instance partner of the iMOVE-platform, which is part of the initiative ‘Proeftuinen rond elektrische wagens’, an electric vehicle pilot project of Ingrid Lieten, Minister for Innovation. Meanwhile, our vehicle fleet counts more than ten electric cars. They are used by our professionals for short daily journeys to clients.