Press release

21 Oct 2021 Dublin, IE

EY announces milestone achievement of carbon negative status

DUBLIN, 21 OCTOBER 2021: EY Ireland today announces its achievement of carbon negative status, a significant step toward its carbon ambition of becoming net zero by 2025. Becoming carbon negative means EY is now reducing its total emissions and offsetting or removing more carbon than it emits.

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EY Ireland, a leading global professional services organisation providing assurance, tax, audit, strategy and transactions and consulting services.

EY becomes carbon negative by reducing absolute emissions and offsetting and removing more carbon than it emitst

Dublin, 21 October 2021: EY Ireland today announces its achievement of carbon negative status, a significant step toward its carbon ambition of becoming net zero by 2025. Becoming carbon negative means EY is now reducing its total emissions and offsetting or removing more carbon than it emits.

To reach carbon negativity and continue towards net zero by 2025, EY has set a challenging target of 40% reduction in emissions by 2025 through seven key actions. In achieving carbon negative status, EY is committed to continuing its support of accelerated climate action and empowering its people to help EY clients as they also seek to improve efforts to decarbonise.

Stephen Prendiville, Head of Sustainability, EY Ireland, says: “Today EY Ireland has achieved a key milestone in its ongoing sustainability journey by reaching Carbon Negative status. This is thanks to the hard work of our colleagues, who for the past number of years, have identified, supported and invested in twelve carbon removal and offset projects - meaning that today, EY removes more carbon from the atmosphere than we emit.

“From agriculture soil revitalisation projects, to forest protection and development, EY investments also support innovation and development in every global region. Our ambition is to remain carbon negative into the future, as our teams also work to reduce our absolute emissions by 40% and achieve our science-based target of net zero by 2025.”

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 EY 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

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

Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner, EY Ireland, says: “As both Governments on the island of Ireland work to drive action and momentum to tackle climate change, the critical role of Irish business leaders is becoming even more urgent. After EY became carbon neutral in 2020, we looked at the latest climate data and knew we could and should do more. Companies that can move faster on climate action have an obligation to do so. We are proud to have achieved this carbon negative standard and we are passionate about helping our clients expedite their own sustainability journeys. The time for bold action is now.”

Alongside the work EY is undertaking to become more sustainable, EY teams have developed a new set of global sustainability services for 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 decarbonisation, while also protecting and creating value. This follows the approach EY teams have taken to achieve the firm’s carbon negative ambition.

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.”

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

EY 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

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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.