Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, its 167,000 employees are united by shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. Ernst & Young makes a difference by helping its people, its clients and the wider communities in which it operates achieve their potential.
Ernst & Young has been an Earthwatch supporter since 2009. The two organizations have worked together to send employees from Ernst & Young member firms in the Americas on Earthwatch expeditions annually. Through the Earthwatch-Ernst & Young Ambassadors Expeditions (Americas), Ernst & Young selects early career professionals based on their work performance – as well as enthusiasm and commitment to the environment – to participate in one-week programs in Brazil and Costa Rica. During their expedition, the Ambassadors conduct field research and perform skills-based projects by working with a local business to recommend business strategies. Through the skills-based projects, the Ambassadors apply their professional skills to help organizations in the region develop economically and/or environmentally sustainable solutions to business issues, while expanding their global mindset.
For instance, in Costa Rica, one Ernst & Young team helped a coffee farming cooperative – comprised of 2,400 farms – better understand how conservation practices may bolster coffee crop yields and increase biological diversity. These same professionals also worked directly with the senior management of the cooperative to advise it on effective strategies for communicating with its key stakeholders, including cooperative members, employees, local and international customers, and the local community.
In Brazil, one Ernst & Young team worked closely with an ecotourism cooperative to help it improve profitability, and another team assisted local honey farmers. Additionally, the volunteer teams have worked with the Earthwatch researchers to record and measure data on tree species, collect water samples and track mammals in the Atlantic Forest, a biodiversity hotspot and one of the world’s most threatened forests. The research helps scientists understand which attributes are most important to manage the forest in the face of climate change.
This program has proven so successful that it has been replicated in Ernst & Young’s Europe, Middle East, India & Africa Area (EMEIA) and the Asia-Pacific Area (APAC). Additionally, in Japan, small groups of Ernst & Young professionals participate in short-duration research projects related to the environmental impact of the 2011 earthquake.
"The Earthwatch Ambassadors program has benefits for our people, for Earthwatch and for the communities where we volunteer. We feel great about supporting sustainability research and assisting local business people in working more sustainably. And our employees come back having practiced, implemented and enhanced their business skills in a truly global setting."
Deborah Holmes, Director – Corporate Responsibility
An important element of the program is sharing the volunteers’ experiences with other Ernst & Young people while they are in the field and when they return. Learn more about Ernst & Young’s Earthwatch field experiences by reading a blog from the field or watching the video below from a past expedition.
Earthwatch expeditions complement Ernst & Young’s global commitment to environmental issues and skills-based volunteering. Earthwatch Ambassadors’ focus on the environment and sustainability doesn’t end after an expedition. Participants continue to integrate their experiences and incorporate environmental awareness into their daily lives and careers, whether training colleagues on business practices, helping future Earthwatch Ambassadors with applications, or becoming involved with the organization’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services work. Earthwatch Ambassadors are often active in the communities in which they live and volunteer with local nonprofit organizations. In the Americas, approximately 1,000 people participate in EcoCare, an internal, grassroots network of professionals who help reduce Ernst & Young’s environmental footprint and build awareness of environmental issues. To learn more about Ernst & Young’s corporate responsibility efforts, visit: www.ey.com/us/cr.
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.
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