ERNST & YOUNG EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION
This partnership provides Ernst & Young employees an opportunity to develop their global mind-set and to focus on team-building, networking, and leadership development while instilling a deeper understanding of the connection between sustainability and business practices. It is an aspect of Ernst & Young’s commitment to “build a better working world.”
More than 100 Ernst & Young employees from across the Americas have participated in Earthwatch expeditions since the onset of the program in 2009. By 2012, the program had tripled in size, sending two teams to the Guaraqueçaba region of Brazil to work with an ecotourism cooperative and assist with research on biodiversity, and one team to Costa Rica to conduct research on coffee farming methods and provide assistance with business planning. Each year, Ernst & Young employees engage in different skills-based projects with local businesses, providing valuable advice on cash flow, organizational structure, and sales and marketing.
EARTHWATCH AMBASSADORS PROGRAM
Earthwatch Ambassadors’ focus on the environment and sustainability doesn’t end when they return to Ernst & Young. Participants continue to integrate their experiences and incorporate environmental awareness into their daily behavior 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 (CCaSS) work. Earthwatch Ambassadors are often active in the communities in which they live and volunteer with local nonprofit organizations.
The Americas program has proven so successful that it has been piloted in Ernst & Young’s EMEIA Area (Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa). In August 2012, it launched in APAC (the Asia-Pacific Area), and in Japan, small groups of professionals are now participating in short-duration projects.
Additionally, in 2012, Ernst & Young supported Earthwatch in the creation of the Earthwatch Urban Forest Program in cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta. This one-day program is part of Ernst & Young’s EY Connect Day and ignites an awareness among Ernst & Young employees of the sustainability of urban forests while producing meaningful scientific data that will be used by local authorities and researchers to better the quantity and quality of green space in our cities. EY Connect Day is Ernst & Young’s annual day of volunteer service. In 2012, Ernst & Young employees logged more than 60,000 volunteer hours and celebrated EY Connect Day in 60 locations in the Americas.