Deborah Holmes, Americas Director, Corporate Responsibility, Ernst & Young LLP
Our annual Earthwatch-Ernst & Young Ambassadors Program has something in common with my garden – it is vibrant and fast-growing. It is also an integral part of the seasonal rhythm at Ernst & Young, but not in exactly the way I had envisioned when we planted the first seeds over four years ago.
Yes, our people have contributed to the Earthwatch Institute’s environmental field research in Brazil and Costa Rica.
Yes, they have used their professional skills to help local businesses, farming cooperatives and not-for-profits with their business practices.
Yes, they come back to the office energized and more committed than ever to “walking the talk” on sustainability.
All of that was part of the plan. What I did not foresee, but have come to value greatly, is the ways these diverse teams of Ambassadors have built relationships, adopted new perspectives and demonstrated for all of us what it means to expand their global mindset and become inclusive leaders. In addition to working in an unfamiliar environment where the culture and language is different, the Ambassadors have the challenge of coming together for a week and quickly learning to build on each other’s strengths, and to take advantage of the creativity and skills of each multinational, cross-service line team to deliver meaningful skills-based projects to their local clients.
KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Green Business, Sustainability Professionals, Environment, Conservation, Environmental Business, Human Resources, Volunteering, Community, Engagement, Social Development, Volunteerism, Deborah Holmes, Earthwatch Institute, Employee Engagement, Ernst & Young, field research, volunteer, Young Ambassadors Program, Boston College