Ernst & Young Reduces its Carbon Footprint in the Americas by 15% – 33,200 Metric Tons of CO2

September 13, 2010

NEW YORK, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ — Ernst & Young today announced a 15% reduction, or 33,200 metric tons of CO2, in the overall carbon footprint of its member firms in the Americas from the 2008 to 2009 fiscal year. It also reported a 12% reduction in intensity, or carbon footprint per person, for the 41,487 employees in the Americas.

The total carbon footprint for the Ernst & Young Americas firms in fiscal year 2009 was 187,610 metric tons of CO2 with Scope 2 emissions, related to office energy consumption, accounting for 38%. Scope 3 emissions, related to business travel, account for 62%. Ernst & Young has minimal Scope 1 or direct emissions.

As a result of their environmental sustainability efforts, the Americas firms have reduced Scope 2 emissions by 13% and Scope 3 emissions by 16%. In the US, for example, air mileage has been reduced by 18% (approximately 75 million miles) and office energy consumption has been reduced by 22 million kilowatt hours. Additionally, 1,453 servers have been consolidated onto fewer than 215 servers in centralized data centers. This effort is a collaboration between Ernst & Young’s Climate Change and Sustainability practitioners, Corporate Responsibility teams, the Office of the Americas CFO, and executives from the Americas firms’ internal operations groups. Engaging employees to be more environmentally-conscious in terms of travel, energy usage and other office activities is also critical to the success of this initiative.

“While our sustainability efforts began with a commitment from Ernst & Young leadership, the dedication of our internal environmental network of employees has made the project a success. The network unites executives in our real estate, facilities management, IT and procurement groups with our 1,000 plus “EcoCare” employee volunteers who have been the champions for our green practices in their home offices for nearly a decade,” said Leisha John, Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability at Ernst & Young LLP.

Ernst & Young’s accomplishments in reducing its Americas environmental footprint during the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years include:

  • More energy efficient office space: Ernst & Young LLP has set a goal of having at least 30% of its square footage in the US in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) certified buildings by 2012.
  • A greener supply chain: Since 2009, 100% of comprehensive RFPs (over $250,000) have included questions to Ernst & Young’s US suppliers about their environmental impact and green initiatives.
  • Waste reduction and recycling: Paper purchases have been reduced by 107 million sheets since 2007, paper recycling programs have saved more than 26,000 trees annually and disposable cup consumption has been reduced by 54%.
  • Responsible meetings: Ernst & Young’s member firms have developed a formal set of standards to help large group meetings, such as the International Intern Leadership Conference, be more eco-friendly. This includes: pooling transportation, eliminating bottled water, reducing hand-outs and signage and encouraging on-site recycling.
  • New environmental volunteer initiatives: These include recycling drives and local tree plantings led by EcoCare employees, sponsorship of the US Green Building Council’s Green Schools campaign and participation in Earthwatch Institute expeditions to help promote sustainable business processes of farming co-ops in Central America.

Looking ahead, Ernst & Young will strive to further reduce its carbon footprint through a variety of efforts. This will include energy efficiency investments and projects within the US firm, such as pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the Secaucus, NJ, office and retrofitting 15,000 lighting fixtures to be more energy efficient at the firm’s 5 Times Square headquarters in New York City- two of the largest facilities in the Ernst & Young network. Once completed, the Times Square retrofit is expected to save over five million pounds of CO2 annually. Ernst & Young also recently signed the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Energy Efficiency in Buildings Manifesto, which requires that an organization annually publish progress towards reduction targets and promote building energy efficiency among suppliers, employees and other stakeholders, among other actions.

“We are extremely proud of the progress we have made and the momentum we have generated internally, but we remain focused on the work that still needs to be done to decrease our environmental footprint,” continued John.

Note to editors:

Ernst & Young’s Americas Carbon Footprint initiative was designed to collect, aggregate and assess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This information is used to measure the carbon footprint of Ernst & Young firms in the Americas, illustrate progress against the baseline carbon footprint from fiscal year 2008, and communicate results, including through the Carbon Disclosure Project. Ernst & Young uses the methodology and criteria of the “World Resources Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Green House Gas Protocol: A Corporate Reporting and Accounting Standard,” or WRI GHG protocol. The Americas area includes North, Central and South America, as well as Israel.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 144,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

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Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a US client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.

SOURCE Ernst & Young

Source: newswire

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