EY launched its carbon ambition in January 2021: to reach net zero in 2025 with a 40% reduction in our absolute GHG emissions across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions (against an FY19 baseline). This is consistent with a 1.5°C reduction pathway approved by SBTi1. This target aligns with what climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C degrees.
We reached the major milestone of becoming carbon negative globally in FY21. Being carbon negative means we offset or remove more carbon from the atmosphere than we emit. We are proud to remain carbon negative in FY22, keeping us on track to reach net zero in 2025.
How EY is reducing GHG emissions and remaining carbon negative
In FY22, our GHG emissions totalled 597k tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). While this represents a 56% reduction on our baseline of FY19 (1,354k tCO2e), it also reflects a 52% increase from FY21 — a year which saw a dramatic drop in our Scope 3 travel emissions and Scope 2 office electricity usage. This was not unexpected, as many EY businesses in FY22 resumed more normal business operations, and our 1.5°C pathway factors in an expected increase in GHG emissions in the post-COVID-19 environment.
To offset the emissions that we have not yet eliminated, EY continues to invest in a carbon offset portfolio with leading project developers and global climate solutions providers Combined, these projects offset 723k tCO2e, representing 121% of EY’s FY22 emissions — confirming our carbon negative position for FY22. All projects meet our criteria for quality offsets and have demonstrated that they are independently verified, additional, permanent, not used for other purposes, will not result in leakage, and have a positive impact on the community.
We have implemented new technology, just as many of our clients are doing, to help track our emissions with greater precision. Through the implementation of Enablon, we can now more precisely track our emissions across Scopes 1 and 2. This includes data points like energy usage, water consumption, fuel data and more from around 650 offices across the EY network.
We also continue to closely track our Scope 3 emissions through analysis of our travel bookings and spend across air, rail and car. Travel plays a critical role in helping enable us to deliver exceptional client service, win in the market, collaborate across EY teams and strengthen our EY culture. But we recognize we must travel in a way that is thoughtful and considered, and ensures we remain on track to reach our net-zero target in 2025. Our air travel emissions limit for FY23 is a 6% decrease on our FY22 limit. To ensure we meet this reduced limit, our challenge for FY23 and beyond will be to balance the reduction of emissions with meeting travel requirements for EY clients and other activities.
Progress on our seven-point plan to reach net zero in 2025
To reach net zero in 2025, we will continue to deliver on our seven-point plan to reduce our GHG emissions and become an even more sustainable organization. Over FY22 we’ve made substantial progress on each of our key actions: