2. Using core business capabilities to make a difference
The most compelling and effective corporate responsibility (CR) strategies lie at the intersection of what the world needs and what an organization is distinctly positioned to provide. As a global leader in professional services, being a catalyst for social impact doesn’t mean altering what we do. Oftentimes, it just means extending EY skills, knowledge and experience to people and places we might not otherwise reach.
Therefore, EY Ripples is focused on supporting the next generation workforce, working with impact entrepreneurs, and accelerating environmental sustainability. We believe these are the best ways to use skills to help overcome the biggest challenges facing our planet – as framed by the SDGs.
For example, many of EY Ripples’ mentoring initiatives for the next generation workforce are a broad-based extension of the learning and development opportunities available to EY people. Every year, EY invests millions in EY workforce development, training on future-focused skills in areas such as artificial intelligence, design thinking, and analytics, as well as bolstering the distinctively human capabilities needed for the future of work – such as our capacity for creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. Now, we aim to bestow these skills on young and underserved people around the world, preparing them to find and sustain meaningful work in an age of increasing human-machine collaboration.
At the same time, we are working on a not-for-profit basis with impact entrepreneurs driving progress toward the SDGs, using the same methodologies and rigorous oversight as any commercial client engagement. By applying EY skills, knowledge and experience to helping impact entrepreneurs overcome barriers to scale, we can help millions of people gain equitable access to decent work, opportunities, and vital goods and services.
3. Making long-term value integral to business
Ultimately, corporate responsibility isn’t a discrete program or function. It’s a fundamental belief and way of thinking that encourages business to consider the long-term implications of its actions, and to use its resources, global footprint and market power to help tackle the big social and environmental challenges of our time. Of course, that’s precisely what makes CR essential to the fulfilment of any organization’s higher purpose, including the EY purpose of building a better working world.
The ripple effect of using EY skills, knowledge and experience to make a difference won’t only be felt in the communities where we work. It will be felt throughout the global EY organization too. Beyond giving EY professionals the “feel-good factor” for having used their skills for good, EY Ripples social impact work also offers exceptional opportunities for personal and professional development.