EY Ripples: positively impacting 1 billion lives globally by 2030

5 minute read 19 Feb. 2021
By EY Canada

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

5 minute read 19 Feb. 2021

Authored by: Laura Schlee

EY Ripples, our corporate responsibility program, uses our peoples’ skills to support youth and underserved groups, impact entrepreneurs and the environment.

EY Ripples is our global corporate responsibility program aimed at mobilizing our 300,000 people around the world to build a better future by making a difference in 1 billion lives over the next decade. It puts our values into action and shows what’s possible when we work together.

The program has three key areas of focus:

  • Supporting the next generation: Helping young people and underserved groups to develop the mindsets and transferable skills they need to find and sustain meaningful work, and better equipping them to adapt and thrive for the future of work.
  • Working with impact entrepreneurs: Using our knowledge, skills and experience to help scale small and growing for-profit and not-for-profit businesses that are driving progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals by tackling inequality and empowering people to change their lives.
  • Accelerating environmental sustainability: Helping scale adoption of behaviours, technologies and business models that accelerate progress towards a net positive circular economy.

Across all focus areas, we promote diversity and inclusion by helping underserved groups obtain equal access to education and employment, supporting Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) and underrepresented impact entrepreneurs, and understanding the ways in which communities of colour are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.

In 2020, the EY Ripples program in Canada grew from 1 pilot location in Toronto to 15 offices across the country. With 70 organizations in our Canadian portfolio, we have had more than 1,000 volunteers participate in EY Ripples initiatives and in onboarding nonprofits and social enterprises into the program through our EY Ripples Task Forces in each office. Volunteering through EY Ripples continues to be a meaningful way for EY employees to stay engaged with the community and use their skills to build a better working world.

The EY Ripples Task Force is one of my favorite activities! It is extremely rewarding to have the opportunity to help bring an amazing program to life in Canada. And speaking to leaders at various organizations as we determine how EY Ripples can support them is always fun. They are so passionate about what they do and come to meetings with so much positivity that you can’t help but leave with a smile on your face.
Kelly Thompson
EY Ripples Task Force Member, Toronto

This past year, EY Ripples underwent changes in response to the pandemic. COVID-19 has represented a threat to communities across the world, but EY was uniquely positioned to respond to these challenges and others in an extraordinary way. Through the EY Ripples program we have participated in several initiatives to address business resilience in response to COVID-19.

One organization we worked with was BounceBack YYC, a Calgary-based multi-day virtual hackathon that brought together the city’s brightest minds and future leaders to accelerate the restart, recovery and return of the Calgary economy in response to the pandemic. EY volunteers participated as judges during the hackathon and as mentors to participants leading up to the event.

I volunteered for BounceBack YYC as a mentor. The group of participants I was working with were extremely efficient and determined. It was pretty incredible to see the students collaborate virtually to create impactful solutions during the height of COVID-19.
Cara Sharko
EY Ripples volunteer on BounceBack YYC initiative

While the program has always had a focus on diversity and inclusion – given recent events and our commitment to anti-racism – EY Ripples has begun working with more than 20 new organizations owned by or working with members of Black and Indigenous communities. One organization is Teach for Canada, which provides students in northern Indigenous communities with quality education. EY volunteers from Toronto helped Teach for Canada with reviewing their existing technological assets and infrastructure to develop an execution roadmap to better serve their teachers and students.

The EY team has conducted a thorough assessment of our work, identified exciting and actionable technology solutions, and built out a realistic and supportive plan for implementation. This work will allow us to become more efficient and scale our work, allowing us to recruit, prepare and support more committed teachers to work in northern First Nations. At every step of the process, the EY team members have proven themselves to be attentive listeners, knowledgeable guides, mindful of constraints and strategic planners. It has been a true pleasure to work with them and we are grateful for their invaluable contribution to maximize our impact.
Sara-Christine Gemson
VP of Programming, Teach for Canada

Through EY Ripples, every EY person, member of our alumni family and organization in the broader EY network can take part in creating ripples of social change in our communities. For more information on the EY Ripples program, please contact our EY Ripples Canada team.

Follow @ey_ripples on Instagram to see more stories of the program’s impact, or visit ey.com/eyripples.


EY Ripples: positively impacting 1 billion lives by 2030

About this article

By EY Canada

Multidisciplinary professional services organization