EY on CSR – EY Provides Financial Support to Thousands of Students Worldwide to Access Education and Defeat Diseases

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“We support thousands of students, children and elderly people to access education, to defeat diseases and live happily, our company continues donating money to the children with special needs and giving them hope for a better future.”

The purpose of EY is to build a better working world. The insights and quality services EY provides help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. EY develops outstanding leaders who work to deliver on promises to all our stakeholders. In doing so, EY plays a critical role in building a better working world for people, for its clients and for communities.

Natia Meltauri, head of brand, marketing and communications of EY, talked about interesting projects, their vision of the future, and plans of EY in terms of CSR.

Q: Nowadays CSR & environmental care has become one of the most important topics for companies. What is EY’s role in this regard?

A: “EY is committed to making business work for sustainability and making sustainability work for business. When business works sustainably, the world works better – for business, people and the planet. At EY, we believe sustainability is the innovation of our lifetime.”

Q: EY has been actively involved in CSR campaigns in the recent past. What are the specific projects EY is involved in?

A: “Our global corporate responsibility efforts positively impact millions of lives. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, local charity and CSR activities were planned accordingly; however, for obvious reasons, many events were canceled and our contributions to sport or ecological projects were postponed as team volunteering was banned, and we shifted our focus to more acute challenges we all faced during the outbreak: we supported students, children and elderly people; our employees continued donating money to children with special needs and gave them hope for a better future. At EY we all know and remember – what we do now, may change someone’s life forever.”

Q: What activities can you name as an example of supporting business activities in Georgia in 2020-2022? 

A: “During COVID-19, many companies and organizations faced challenges and one of them is our old friend and beneficiary – First Step Georgia (https://firststep.ge/ge). First Step has been providing services to children with special needs since 1998. The organization runs four programs (a specialized Day Care center, Home-based Care, Autism and Early Intervention) and, within the framework of these programs, 760 children with special needs, including 60 children with severe disabilities and behavioral disorders, receive high quality services. Due to the COVD-19 situation, they had to close their doors and experienced financial difficulties. In order to support the livelihood of their employees and continue payment of the salaries throughout this period, they had to reduce salaries, but even those payments proved to be difficult to make.  We decided to support First Step by transferring the budget of our canceled event to them. Thanks to EY’s financial support, the children were able to be involved in special therapy programs, which help children and their families regulate perceptions and make children engaged in those daily activities which are so essential and helpful for them. – This is one of the best examples I can name.” 

Q: Why does EY consider it so important to support business and be involved in CSR activities?

A: “At EY, we’re passionate about turning our purpose – building a better working world – into meaningful progress to help shape and improve the future of our communities, our clients and our people.”

Q: How do you measure employee satisfaction?

A: “We measure employee satisfaction by quarterly surveys. The survey helps us to understand what is important for our employees and enables us to make decisions and take actions to enrich the exceptional EY experience.”

Q: Do you have a business system which ensures the professional development of your employees (career-development plans)?

A: “Creating a sense of belonging in our diverse, equitable and inclusive work environments is how we can best position our people to make a meaningful impact on our clients, societies, and one another. It’s also why we invest in building transformative leaders of the future and cultivating a culture of health and wellness. Our full-time employees can get free corporate EY MBA and Masters in Tech, Sustainability and Project Management.  Also, individualized awards are presented through our internal employee recognition system as well as many more benefits for career development at EY.”

Q: What is EY’s contribution to developing Georgian business?

A: Our ambition reflects the changing expectations of our stakeholders to create long-term value. The CSR strategy builds on multiple core topics, for which we define measurable targets and indicators, a clear communication plan and inspiring actions.

Q: What is the impact of your business on the local community and environment?

A: “We continue to challenge ourselves to embed responsibility, inclusiveness and sustainability more deeply in everything we do. This includes through global commitments to upholding and promoting human rights, and to innovating toward a net zero future. Together with clients and other like-minded organizations, EY people use their distinctive skills, knowledge and experience to bring positive change across three focus areas: supporting the next generation workforce, working with impact entrepreneurs and accelerating environmental sustainability. These are the areas where we believe our combined capabilities can make the biggest impact — where each ripple we start has the potential to grow and join with others to create waves of change.”

Q: How many micro businesses were financially supported by EY over the last two years?

A: “Helping to scale small and growing businesses which are driving progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals to tackle inequality and empower people to change their lives. After signing WEPs principles, we supported Keti Tsilosani, one of the beneficiaries of UN Women in Georgia. Keti lives in Lanchkhuti, Guria. Only 30 years old, owing to her enthusiasm, she has become an example to all women in her region. She started her own business – Lanchkhuti’s very first café, “Ketostan” (“At Keto’s”), where she employs five local women. Social Cafe „Ketostan“, aimed at empowering people with disabilities. Thanks to an EY donation, Keti was able to buy additional equipment for the café and receive more guests, overcoming the difficulties caused by the Covid pandemic.”

Q: What are some of the project’s EY is planning for the future?

A: “With the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, CSR initiatives have had to step up and be at the forefront as the world faces turbulent and unprecedented times. EY is planning to continue supporting all existing beneficiaries, to deliver long-time value to our community, supporting education, women and youth empowerment projects, helping the elder generation in need, pro-bono activities, etc. “

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