EY becomes latest Big Four firm to ban plastic cups from UK offices

03 August 2018 Consultancy.uk

EY has announced that it plans to phase out the use of single-use cups across its UK offices by the close of 2018. The news comes as the professional services world, in line with British industry as a whole, works to address public concerns about the alarming levels of plastic finding its way into global oceans.

Earlier in 2018, KPMG became the latest global entity trading in the UK to pledge to reduce plastic waste in its offices, by removing all plastic water cups from its UK locations. The announcement followed mounting public pressure on the corporate world to improve on plastic waste, on the back of the broadcast of the BBC’s landmark series Blue Planet II, which showed numerous sea creatures suffering the effects of human-made pollutants. The UK Government and corporations doing business in Britain have subsequently made efforts to cut down their use of plastics, with KPMG becoming the first of the professional services industry’s Big Four to do so.

Since then, rival firm PwC followed suit, launching new trial programme at the same time, running in conjunction with social enterprise GiveMeTap, which is providing water bottles to the firm. Now, EY has become the third firm of the gang of four to tackle plastic waste formally, with the roll-out of a ban on plastic and paper single-use cups across all the company’s UK presences due to start in Autumn, with completion scheduled for the end of 2018.

EY becomes latest Big Four firm to ban plastic cups from UK offices

According to Caroline Artis, EY’s London Senior Partner and Environmental Lead, the move, along with its removal of plastic cutlery and other catering consumables, will cut the firm’s consumption of single-use plastic items by more than 7.7 million pieces per year. Artis added, “Feedback from our people has highlighted that plastic pollution is one of their biggest environmental concerns and I am so proud of this initiative supporting our continued efforts to build a better working world.”

This means that Deloitte is the last member of the Big Four not to have completed some kind of plastic cup ban – though the firm is presently carrying out a review of all disposable items, including plastic cups. Currently, Deloitte also provides ceramic cups and dishwashers, in place of disposables, in the majority of its regional offices. Like PwC, Deloitte is running a programme to supply new starters metal water bottles, which it says has reduced plastic cup usage by half, and again these are sourced from GiveMeTap.

Elsewhere, the  fifth largest auditor and advisory firm in the UK, Grant Thornton, is understood to be exploring ways to increase its recycling levels, while the firm also encourages its workforce to share its commitment by taking on projects such as Thames 21, where volunteers collect waste from the Thames. The sixth largest such firm in Britain, BDO, is currently trialling cups that use recycled materials called Frugalpac, while the firm states that almost half its UK offices no longer use plastic cups.

Related: Global effort needed to tackle plastic recycling waste issues.


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Travel firm hosts consultancy marathon to raise money for charity

19 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

A communications consultancy has announced it will perform a ‘consulting marathon’ to raise money for a charity based in Africa. SEO Travel will offer a 12-hour consulting surgery to as many small travel businesses as possible, while raising money for the cause.

SEO Travel has been helping travel companies improve their online presence since 2011. The firm works with a wide range of global travel brands who it helps develop brand visibility online through SEO, social media, PR and other techniques. Based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, the firm works to create engaging campaigns that increase brand awareness and drive more business and sales in a sustainable way.

The professional services firm has announced that as of the 21st of March, it will be offering these services to small travel businesses as part of a charity fundraising drive. The session will last 12 hours straight, and offers the chance for a 30-minute session, which travel companies can sign up for at the SEO Travel website. The marathon session will help small travel businesses which wouldn’t usually be able to afford a respectable and trustworthy agency’s advice.

Travel firm hosts consultancy marathon to raise money for charity

As well as helping small businesses, the event is also being used as an opportunity to raise money for charity, with SEO Travel donating to Tanzanian safari charity ‘Care with a View’ for each person that signs up, as well as asking businesses taking part to make a small donation of £10 themselves. The event will run from 8am to 8pm UK and is open to anyone around the world.

It will run by SEO Travel founder Tom McLoughlin, bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. He explained, “I’ve got the team here on standby to order pizzas and bring me Tangfastics on demand throughout the day!”

According to Mcloughlin, while there is a lot of marketing advice on the internet, the volume of information is so high that it's impossible for small firms to tell what will help and what will hurt their company. He concluded, “With the ‘Charity Travel Marketingathon Bonanza’ we want to take away the part of not knowing so these businesses can go away with clear, actionable tactics that will help grow their business.”

Related: Charity football cup sees Hays consultants raise £3,000 for Action for Children.