Ernst & Young China and Hong Kong-based group Green Monday have signed a new cooperation agreement to bolster the big four firm’s corporate environmental responsibility as a part of its long-term carbon neutral commitments. To launch the campaign, Ernst & Young has promoted the Green Monday campaign, encouraging its 22,000 employees to go plant-based on a weekly basis to lower their carbon footprint.
Officially signed on Monday (January 4) in Shanghai, the new cooperation memorandum between Ernst & Young’s China office and the Green Monday group marked the beginning of the company’s carbon footprint reduction initiative for 2021. As part of the collaboration, the two firms will actively cooperate and integrate their know-how and resources to promote corporate sustainability. It comes on the heels of the opening of Green Monday’s first mainland China retail storefront in Shanghai, marking its tenth location in Asia.
Ernst & Young China will additionally advocate its 22,000-strong workforce to participate in Green Monday, the campaign to go plant-based once a week, in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Scientists have reiterated that without a dramatic shift away from carbon-intensive meat and dairy-heavy diets, even eliminating fossil fuels will not be sufficient to combat the intensifying climate crisis.
At the signing event, Green Monday’s café and retail arm Green Common hosted a plant-based lunch for Ernst & Young China employees to mark the first Monday of the year. In his opening speech, Michael Bi Shun-jie, the markets managing partner of Ernst & Young Greater China, described the new partnership with Green Monday as an example of the company’s renewed dedication to “protecting and improving the environment…We encourage Ernst & Young employees to start with small things and practice a low-carbon lifestyle.”
By participating just one day a week, we are making a small change. Every single small step will add up to make a big impact.David Yeung, CEO & Co-Founder, Green Monday
David Yeung, CEO and co-founder of Green Monday who has been awarded two Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards at the end of 2020, added: “2020 has been an unusual year and it represents a warning from the planet that we can no longer ignore the climate crisis, which animal agriculture is leading cause, from greenhouse gas emissions to water pollution, as well as the overuse of antibiotics.”
“Green Monday hopes that every individual and company will make a fundamental change in their lifestyle. By participating just one day a week, we are making a small change. Every single small step will add up to make a big impact…We thank Ernst & Young for collaborating with Green Monday on the first Monday of 2021 to promote a sustainable diet,” said Yeung.
As one of the world’s leading sustainability service providers, we are committed to promoting the global response to climate change and achieving sustainable development.Judy Li, Climate Change & Sustainability Partner, Ernst & Young Greater China
The move from the consultancy giant is in line with the country’s shift in environmental priorities, most notably in September last year when President Xi Jing-ping pledged that China will achieve net-zero by 2060. China has since announced more specific targets, including a 65% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, and to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix to 25%.
“These goals demonstrate the responsibility and ambition in tackling climate change,” said Judy Li, climate change and sustainability partner at Ernst & Young Greater China. “As one of the world’s leading sustainability service providers, we are committed to promoting the global response to climate change and achieving sustainable development. Today’s event is the best testimony of Ernst & Young’s sustainable development.”
All images courtesy of Ernst & Young China.