Monday 25 January 2021 1:39 pm

EY to slash business travel to hit net zero target by 2025

EY would like to be “carbon negative” in 2021, and hopes to achieve net zero at the firm by 2025, in a push to play a role in tackling climate change.

The Big Four firm said its ambition to become carbon neutral underscored its commitment to the environment and to tackling “one of the most significant and generation defining issues that the world faces today.”

Read more: Sustainable investing may be the breakout star of 2021

To hit net zero by 2025, the firm said it planned to cut business travel by 35 per cent against a 2019 baseline, and reduce overall electricity use in the office.

It also said it would use renewable energy for any remaining EY needs. The firm said it will provide teams with tools that enable them to calculate, then work to reduce the amount of carbon emitted when carrying out client work.

Read more: Has Covid-19 changed the conversation around sustainable investing?

EY UK chair Hywel Ball said news ideas, business models and technology would be required to move Britain to a low carbon economy.

“We’ve been using renewable electricity in our UK offices since 2007 and switched to renewable biogas back in 2018. We’ve significantly cut our use of plastic items – which were reduced by 91 per cent within the first eight months of the project – and already divert over 99 per cent of the waste we sent to landfill,” he said.

“Last month, we also announced a 10-year zero carbon Power Purchase Agreement, which supports the building of a new solar power station project in Norfolk. This will ensure that most of the electricity EY uses in the UK continues to be zero carbon, while generating a significant surplus of renewable energy that will be fed back into the grid.” 

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EY global chairman and CEO Carmaine Di Sibio added: “We believe that combatting climate change is a vital element of building a better working world. While this challenge is unique and different for each organization, we are inspired by those that are setting ambitious targets despite the difficulties they face.”

By 2025 EY will require 75 per of its suppliers to set science-based targets to become more sustainable.

Teams at the Big Four firm are also developing a new set of sustainability solutions for EY clients, aimed at helping them too become more sustainable.

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EY said the solutions would be focused around “value-led sustainability”, and would help clients become more sustainable while also protecting and creating value.

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