This year, EY and Earthwatch Institute, a non-profit that works to engage people around the world in scientific field research and education to promote a sustainable environment, provided more than 13,000 hours of pro-bono environmental research and business consulting in Latin America through their joint partnership, the EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors Program.

This year’s class of EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors consisted of 30 EY employees who recently returned from week-long volunteer expeditions in Brazil or Mexico, where they supported small businesses to implement sustainable practices and conducted environmental field research. 

A growing number of multinational corporations are providing employees with international volunteerism opportunities, according to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s recent Giving in Numbers report. Pro bono service programs were the fastest growing and increased from 24% of companies in 2010 to 35% in 2013.

Companies such as EY, SAP, IBM, and more are increasingly looking to these volunteerism initiatives as a way to carry out their philanthropic mission and to provide global leadership experiences for their employees (and their résumés.)

"Since the start of the program in 2009, more than 130 EY employees from across the Americas have participated in Earthwatch expeditions," EY's site states. "By 2012, the program tripled in size, sending two teams to Brazil and another team to Costa Rica. EY has since continued to send three expeditions each year. Just this past year, in 2014, two expeditions went to the Guaraqueçaba region of Brazil to gather data on several bird species; and a third went to Xochimilco, Mexico to collect water quality data throughout the wetlands. Each year, the Ambassadors also engage in skills-based projects with local businesses, providing advice on cash flow, organizational structure, and sales and marketing."

For more on the Ambassadors Program, head to EY's site here.

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