What if business were society’s greatest problem solver?

As a proud participant in the United Nations Global Compact, EY is committed to helping solve society’s toughest challenges.

We live in an age of unprecedented social, environmental and economic disruption. The ever-increasing pace of change poses new, often unexpected challenges that are becoming more complex and interconnected than ever. Business has an important role to play in finding solutions and a tremendous opportunity to innovate and collaborate to help tackle the world’s toughest challenges.

Organizations such as EY are re-examining how we think about business and exploring how we can create a sustainable and inclusive future. The United Nations Global Compact’s (UNGC’s) Ten Principles and the UN Sustainable Development Goals provide a comprehensive framework and are aligned with EY’s purpose of Building a better working world.

In this report you will discover the ways in which we are both fulfilling our purpose and upholding the UNGC principles. You will see illustrations of our actions and progress, including details about the Embankment Project for Inclusive Capitalism — our collaboration with CEOs of more than 20 global companies to provide a framework for companies to analyze the full value they create and the impact businesses have on the world around them.

EY is proud to continue its participation in the UNGC and we look forward to building a sustainable and inclusive global economy that delivers long-term value to people and communities.

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Chapter 1

Supporting the Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals

Supporting human and labor rights, anti-corruption and the environment.

Learn how we are supporting the United Nations Global Compact

Learn how EY is supporting the UNGC's Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals

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Chapter 2

Supporting our people and communities

Reducing social inequality is at the heart of driving inclusive growth.

Reducing social inequality is at the heart of driving inclusive growth. This captures the essence of our commitment to human and labor rights and to building a culture of respect and inclusion — not only inside our own organization, but also throughout our supply chain and across the communities where we live and work.

Inside EY

At EY, we believe only high-performing teams, which utilize the power of different opinions, perspectives and cultural backgrounds, will succeed in the global marketplace. That’s why we strive to create an environment where all our people feel, and are, valued; where they can bring their differences to work each day; and where they contribute their personal best to businesses, government and communities around the world.

Creating an exceptional experience for our people

Our promise to our people is this: whenever you join, however long you stay, the exceptional EY experience lasts a lifetime. It’s about everyone at EY having the opportunity to do something that matters; to own their career, shape their future and become the leader they want to be; and to gain the experience that lets them create their own legacy and be part of building a better working world.

Strengthening our diverse and inclusive culture

Our global Diversity and Inclusiveness (D&I) Road map is fundamental to how we deliver exceptional client service, creating an environment where all our people feel they belong, where all differences are valued, and where the richness of our talent is reflected in promotions and leadership appointments. The FY17 class of newly promoted EY member firm partners is among the most diverse ever, with 36% from emerging markets and nearly 30% women.

Investing in our people

Our people are the lifeblood of our organization. They have the power to build, grow, innovate, create and add value to our clients, people and communities. Recognizing our responsibility to equip them with the right tools and skills — and anticipate the skills they will need in the future — we invested US$500m in more than 12m hours of training in FY17, including immersive online learning experiences that will help build our next wave of digital leaders.

Growing employment

In FY17 we grew to nearly 250,000 people across 151 countries. Nearly two million people applied for roles with EY member firms. We hired just over 3% of our applicants — that’s 65,000 people, which equates to one person every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nearly 25% of all experienced hires came to EY via referrals, and more than 10% of our hires were alumni, or boomerangs, who are people returning to EY.

Achieving worldwide recognition for D&I

While strengthening D&I across our entire organization is an ongoing journey, our progress has seen EY member firms earn multiple accolades for diversity, women’s leadership, LGBT inclusion and family friendliness. These include being ranked #1 among DiversityInc magazine’s 2017 Top 50 Companies for Diversity in the US, being named among the Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India, and continuing recognition as a Stonewall Star Performer in the UK.

Increasing flexible working

We remain committed to all our people having the flexibility to build a successful career at EY while maintaining a positive work-life balance. With 6% of our global workforce already contract workers, and in anticipation that this number will grow significantly, we’re also embracing the gig economy with the creation of GigNow. This online portal matches contract talent with relevant opportunities at EY, enabling contract workers to find assignments that offer the professional growth and flexibility they desire.

Promoted partners

36%

The FY17 class of newly promoted partners is among the most diverse ever, with 36% from emerging markets and nearly 30% women.

In our supply chain

EY’s commitment to promoting principles of inclusiveness, sustainability and responsibility — including in relation to human and labor rights — extends beyond our own organization. It also includes our continued efforts to promote high business standards within our supply chain, and to maintain and grow a diverse supplier base that reflects the markets, clients and communities we serve.

Encouraging suppliers to operate responsibly

Just as EY’s Global Code of Conduct sets out the standards expected of every EY person, our Supplier Code of Conduct does the same for our suppliers. We view their performance as an integral part of the EY value chain and expect all suppliers to meet high legal, ethical, environmental and employment-related standards.

Increasing supplier diversity

Identifying, developing and doing business with diverse suppliers is a key component of our strategic sourcing and procurement activities. Through our D&I procurement initiative, we actively encourage small and minority-owned businesses to become registered suppliers and support them to achieve their full potential.

Women-owned businesses

US$100m

EY has committed to sourcing US$100 million of services from women-owned businesses by 2020.

In our communities

We believe business can and must do more to empower as many people as possible to contribute to and share in the benefits of economic growth. Through our social impact programs, we’re extending the value of our knowledge, skills and experience to people and places we might not otherwise reach, applying them to help address some of society’s toughest challenges.

With support from our Corporate Responsibility Governance Council, which includes nine members of the EY Global Executive, we’re bringing greater scale, focus and cohesion to our efforts to drive inclusive growth in our communities.

Scaling impact entrepreneurship

In FY17, we have continued to strengthen our support for the new wave of impact entrepreneurs at the forefront of progress toward the Global Goals. As well as providing low and pro bono services that help improve their businesses’ resilience, productivity and capacity for sustainable growth, we’re also seeking to hasten development of the entire impact entrepreneurship sector by sharing insights on dealing with common challenges, such as last-mile distribution.

Supporting the next generation

We also continue to focus on helping equip young people for success in today’s working world, with an increasing emphasis on development of the mindsets and transferable skills they will need to adapt and thrive in a transformative age. In addition to our continued support for organizations such as JA Worldwide and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, 2017 has seen “future skills”  become a key focus of member firms’ careers advice and the People Advisory Services they provide to clients.

Working with others for positive change

Inclusive growth requires long-term, collective effort to drive systemic change. Examples of EY leading and participating in such collaborative efforts include continuing to work with key stakeholders in the public and private sector through our Women. Fast forward program to help accelerate achievement of gender parity in the workplace, and also, the launch of the Embankment Project to work on a proof-of-concept reporting framework that encourages and measures long-term value creation for all material stakeholders.

Looking to the future

With direction from the EY Corporate Responsibility Governance Council, we have been laying the foundations to increase EY’s social impact. This includes development of a global flagship program to bring greater scale, focus and cohesion to our efforts, and to empower significantly higher numbers of our people to use their knowledge, skills and experience to help drive inclusive growth in our communities.

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Chapter 3

Supporting our clients and profession

Building trust and confidence in the capital markets.

As a global professional services organization, EY recognizes its pivotal role in serving the public interest and positively influencing business behavior, including working against corruption in all its forms. Through our services, we help to build trust and confidence in the capital markets, guided by the belief that every audit, every tax return, every advisory opportunity, every interaction with a client or colleague can help make the working world better than it was before.

Through our collaboration with the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism on the Embankment Project, we aim to advance a new framework that helps businesses focus on the true sources of long-term value for all stakeholders.

Serving the public interest

Building trust and confidence in capital markets

As auditors, we provide a vital function — to serve the public interest and strengthen trust and confidence in the capital markets. Through our Sustainable Audit Quality (SAQ) program, which we have implemented across the global EY network, we are making comprehensive changes across EY to drive improved quality results. SAQ embodies our sustained commitment to providing globally consistent, high-quality audits.

Helping business innovate with purpose

Working with academic leaders, such as the Oxford Saïd Business School and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, our research examines how embedding purpose into the core of business models drives innovation and sustainable growth, customer loyalty and talent retention, and the positive impact of business on society. Through the EY Beacon Institute, our Purpose-Led Transformation™ service offering and our EY-Sinek Performance Practice, we continue to provide insights and advice to our global clients to inspire and amplify the growing movement of purpose-led business.

Helping tackle corruption in all its forms

EY’s steadfast commitment to tackling corruption is not only embedded in globally consistent policies and practices, including mandatory training on anti-bribery and corruption, it is also embodied by our Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS), which provide clients with proactive and reactive services to help address risks related to fraud, bribery and corruption. Additionally, our ongoing EY Fraud Survey series continues to provide valued perspectives and insights on key risks relating to business ethics and how to tackle them.

Empowering business to focus on long-term value

Through our collaboration with the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism on the Embankment Project, we aim to advance a new framework that helps businesses focus on the true sources of long-term value. The goal is to be able to create a tool to assess how they promote more inclusive and sustainable growth by creating value for a range of stakeholders beyond shareholders, including employees, supply chains, communities and society at large.

Operating responsibly

Anchoring our actions in our values and Global Code of Conduct

Every day, EY people make choices and decisions that directly affect our colleagues, our clients, our communities and our other stakeholders. EY’s values and Global Code of Conduct, which all EY people affirm annually, provide the confidence that we are using common principles to help us make the right decisions throughout our global organization.

Engaging with external stakeholders

Believing the best answers are found when the most people are contributing to the discussion, we continue our regular dialogue with our many different stakeholders to deepen our understanding of the policy environment and the evolving social contract between business and society. This includes increasing our engagement with investors and regulators around the world to make sure we understand their perspectives on auditing, financial reporting, corporate governance and other capital market issues.

Managing risk and the quality of all our services

We continue to invest in strong Quality and Professional Practice functions that evaluate client service for quality as well as compliance with EY policies and professional standards. Additionally, our Risk Management function teams with all parts of our organization to provide coordinated advice and assistance to client-serving teams to help identify and manage risk and support responsible growth.

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Chapter 4

Supporting environmental sustainability

Minimizing the negative impact of business on the environment.

Wherever they occur around the world, climate shocks hit the poorest in society hardest, putting inclusive growth at risk. EY remains committed to driving purposeful action that minimizes the negative impacts of businesses’ activities on the environment. We continue to make our most valuable contribution as a leading provider of climate change and sustainability services, while challenging ourselves to work in a more environmentally sustainable manner.

Helping our clients become more sustainable

Our Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) teams help organizations assess and respond to, and measure and report on, some of the world’s most significant resource and environmental challenges. In particular, CCaSS teams have innovated in areas such as climate resilience, the circular economy, renewable energy, water accounting and alternative waste treatment.

Positively influencing change

We continue to contribute to the broader sustainability dialogue, sharing global viewpoints on some of the key issues our clients are facing — such as addressing environmental, health and safety risks — and shining a light on the increasing importance of meaningful environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis for institutional investors.

Managing our own impacts

We continue to invest in ways to address our biggest environmental impacts of office energy use and business travel, and to improve the way we measure our progress. With a number of EY member firms already pursuing bold targets, up to and including becoming carbon and water neutral by 2020, we have developed a new global environment statement to galvanize further efforts to minimize environmental impacts right across our global organization. This will come into force in 2018.

Summary

We’re proud of our participation in the UNGC and our continuing efforts to help build a sustainable and inclusive global economy.

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