We have adopted five initiatives to improve our impact on the environment worldwide:
- Measuring our own carbon footprint by collecting and analyzing data on energy consumption in our offices and business travel.
- Setting goals for Ernst & Young’s internal operations to promote environmentally sustainable business practices.
- Putting in place an environmentally responsible travel policy around the globe.
- Establishing leading practices/guidelines around waste management for our offices around the world.
- Making our meetings more environmentally friendly where ever they take place.
An example of this is our new Auckland office building. A Green 5 Star NZ certificate has been awarded to the Ernst & Young building in recognition of environmental achievements. 5 Green Stars signify "New Zealand excellence" under the Green Star NZ rating system.
The Auckland office of Ernst & Young moved to a new low rise green rated energy efficient (5 star) building in the Britomart Precinct in Auckland's CBD in April 2011.
Ernst & Young Auckland Office Managing Partner Simon O'Connor says the move to this large modern low rise building with easy access to trains, busses and ferries reflects the growth of the firm and a desire to offer people a first-class working environment.
"An energy efficient building is commonly a trade off between higher initial build costs and reduced operating costs through more efficient energy use," says Mr O'Connor. "Opting for a 5 green star rated efficient building is about investing in people and in their well-being and in long term benefits for the firm and for clients."
"There is a sense of pride in this new environment,' says Mr O'Connor.”Our people see the new sustainable building as a healthy choice for the firm and for them. They love the easy access to transport and the fact that the building layout with open central staircases means they do not need take the lift. The simple act of walking from floor to floor means that there is much better communication taking place. People are feeling connected to all parts of the business."
Recycling is a priority in the new building and there is a shift towards more mindful behaviour about creating waste and waste disposal. This meant a culture shift for some but old habits have changed quickly in the new environment.
The building, which is designed to harmonise with the heritage buildings in the precinct, is an exciting space with approximately 28,000 square metres of commercial floor that includes offices, shops and bars.