Big Four Firm Ernst & Young recently held its 10th annual EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors program, which sees staff members travel internationally to help local entrepreneurs develop their businesses and assist emerging markets.

Started in 2009, the Earthwatch program represents a collaboration between EY and the Earthwatch Institute, a nonprofit that provides scientific field research and education around the world. Approximately 300 EY professionals have now taken part in the program since its inception, with destinations now including Brazil, Mexico and Peru.

“With 10 years under its belt, this program continues to evolve and expand, and our people return to their day-to-day work at EY member firms with a greater sense of purpose and engagement,” said Deborah Holmes, EY Americas director of corporate responsibility, in a statement.

So far this year, 40 EY staff members have traveled to Xochimilco, Mexico and Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in Peru to support local entrepreneurs. In Mexico, 20 staff members assisted a local farm cooperative by creating a pricing strategy, while in Peru, Ambassadors helped evaluate solar-powered energy systems for indigenous communities, with the help of a cost estimator tool.

“Whether increasing governmental awareness of sustainable agricultural practices in Brazil or utilizing data to map biodiversity in the Atlantic Forest, the EY-Earthwatch Ambassador program has continued to be an incredible testament to the impact that our diverse teams can have on the long-term sustainability of local communities,” stated Leisha John, EY Americas director of environmental sustainability. “Serving as a board member of the Earthwatch Institute has deepened my appreciation of the overall impact that the EY organization brings in terms of much-needed skill sets to the entrepreneurs and communities we serve.”

Staff members in Peru for the 2018 EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors program.
Staff members in Peru for the 2018 EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors program. Christian Bowers/EY

For more on the EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors program, head to EY's site here.

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