Press release

21 Oct. 2021 London, GB

EY announces achievement of carbon negative status

The EY organization has become carbon negative, a major and significant step toward achieving the EY carbon ambition of becoming net zero by 2025.

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Alasdair Gee

EY Global Media Relations and Social Media Assistant Director

Global media relations and social media leader for Talent, D&I and CR. Keen runner, swimmer and occasional cyclist.

The EY organization has become carbon negative, a major and significant step toward achieving the EY carbon ambition of becoming net zero by 2025. 

  • EY is one of the first professional service organizations to achieve carbon negativity, says carbon neutrality isn’t enough
  • EY becomes carbon negative by reducing absolute emissions and offsetting and removing more carbon than it emits

The EY organization has become carbon negative, a major and significant step toward achieving the EY carbon ambition of becoming net zero by 2025. Becoming carbon negative means the EY organization is now reducing its total emissions and offsetting and removing more carbon than it emits.

To achieve this carbon ambition, the EY organization 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 decarbonization plans not just in professional services, but across global industry.  There has been a continued EY investment in a carbon offset portfolio.

Carmine Di Sibio, EY Global Chairman and CEO, says:

“I am proud that EY 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. Today’s announcement 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.”

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 the EY organization 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.

Investment in a carbon offset portfolio

The EY organization 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 the EY organization is removing an additional 34% of the EY FY21 carbon footprint, making EY carbon negative.

Steve Varley, EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability says:

“As governments work to forge greater consensus on action and keeping 1.5C alive, the critical role of business is becoming more urgent. After EY became carbon neutral in 2020, the organization 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. EY is proud to be one of those organizations setting the standard on carbon negativity and we urge others to do the same.”

By achieving carbon negative status, the EY organization demonstrates a commitment toward accelerated climate action and empowering its people to serve EY clients as they also seek to decarbonize.

Alongside the work the organization 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 decarbonization, while also protecting and creating value. This follows the approach EY teams have taken to achieve the EY carbon negative ambition.

Today’s announcement follows a number of actions the EY organization has taken to reduce the organization’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. The EY organization has also joined the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures, which is committed to shifting financial flows towards nature-positive outcomes.

The EY organization also recently reported for the first time against the WEF-IBC stakeholder capitalism metrics - a set of 21 ESG disclosures, against which companies and organizations can report, spanning four key areas; Principles of Governance, Planet, People and Prosperity aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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Notes to editors

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

Definition of terms

Science-based target (SBT). A greenhouse gas reduction target to reduce an organization’s emissions in line with climate science and the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels.

Carbon neutral. The result of an organization removing and offsetting emissions equivalent to its carbon footprint each year.

Carbon negative. The result of an organization both reducing its emissions in line with its 1.5˚C SBT and investing in nature-based solutions and carbon technologies to remove and offset more carbon than it emits each year.

Net zero. The point at which an organization has achieved its 1.5˚C SBT and removed its residual emissions from the atmosphere.

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About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.  Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP.