Professional services firm EY announced today a series of new climate goals, including commitments to be carbon negative in 2021, and to achieve net zero in 2025. EY also stated that it is targeting a 40% reduction in absolute emissions across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2025, against an FY19 baseline, consistent with a 1.5°c science-based target, approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The announcement follows the company’s achievement of carbon neutrality in 2020, reaching a target set early last year.

EY outlined seven components of its sustainability plan, including:

  • Reducing business travel emissions by 35% by FY25 against a FY19 baseline.
  • Reducing overall office electricity usage and procuring 100% renewable energy for remaining EY needs, earning membership to the RE100, a group of influential organizations committed to renewable power, by FY25.
  • Structuring electricity supply contracts, through virtual power purchase agreements (PPAs), to introduce more electricity than EY consumes into national grids.
  • Providing EY teams with tools that enable them to calculate, then work to reduce, the amount of carbon emitted when carrying out EY client work.
  • Using nature-based solutions and carbon-reduction technologies to remove from the atmosphere or offset more carbon than EY emits, every year.
  • Investing in services and solutions that help EY clients profitably decarbonize their businesses and provide solutions to other sustainability challenges and opportunities.
  • Requiring 75% of EY suppliers, by spend, to set science-based targets by no later than FY25.

In addition to its own emissions reduction efforts, the firm stated that it is developing a new set of global sustainability solutions for its clients aimed at helping them on their own sustainability journeys, with solutions focused around value-led sustainability, and capturing business opportunities from sustainability and decarbonization, while also protecting and creating value.

Carmine Di Sibio, EY Global Chairman and CEO, said:

“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. EY people are passionate about tackling big challenges and with the power of 300,000 of them, we will not only transform EY to become a leader in sustainability, but also help EY clients do the same.”

Steve Varley, EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability, added:

“EY has set this ambition because it is increasingly clear that, collectively, we need to do even more to help avert a climate change disaster. EY people are proud that we met our ambition to become carbon neutral in 2020. Inspired by them and others undertaking major steps, we challenged ourselves to go further, faster. We are deeply concerned about the science and what that means for our planet. We believe that becoming carbon negative in 2021 and net zero in 2025, reducing our emissions in line with a science-based target, is the right ambition to have. We realize that these challenges are different and more difficult for certain industries. That is why there are also investments in new solutions and services to help EY clients protect and create value from becoming more sustainable too.”