Professional services firm EY Ireland has become carbon negative, meaning it is now reducing its total emissions and offsetting and removing more carbon than it emits.

The company said this is a step towards its carbon ambition of becoming net zero by 2025.

To reach carbon negativity and continue towards net zero by 2025, EY has set a target of 40% reduction in emissions by 2025 through seven key actions.

"From agriculture soil revitalisation projects, to forest protection and development, EY investments also support innovation and development in every global region," said Stephen Prendiville, Head of Sustainability, EY Ireland.

"Our ambition is to remain carbon negative into the future, as our teams also work to reduce our absolute emissions by 40% and achieve our science-based target of net zero by 2025," he added.

EY global FY21 emissions reduced by 60% compared to FY20, achieved through a significant reduction in business travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing delivery of the EY seven-point carbon action plan.

This also represents a 71% decrease from the 1,354k tons of CO2e emitted in the FY19 baseline year.

EY has invested in a carbon offset portfolio with South Pole, a global climate solutions provider, which includes multiple projects that offset or remove carbon through reforestation, regenerative agriculture, biochar and forest conservation.

Six new projects, invested in through South Pole, including the QianBei Afforestation Project in China, contribute to removing or offsetting a total of 528k tons of CO2e, meaning EY is removing an additional 34% of the EY FY21 carbon footprint, making EY carbon negative.

"As both Governments on the island of Ireland work to drive action and momentum to tackle climate change, the critical role of Irish business leaders is becoming even more urgent," said Frank O'Keeffe, Managing Partner, EY Ireland

"After EY became carbon neutral in 2020, we looked at the latest climate data and knew we could and should do more. Companies that can move faster on climate action have an obligation to do so," he added.