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BLF Serbia (Ernst & Young) - Volunteer engagement for environmental sustainability

Added on 22-03-2013


Ernst & Young


Business Leaders Forum (BLF) Serbia



Business challenge

Ernest & Young recognises the importance of socially responsible business practices. The company is aware of its responsibility in creating a sustainable environment, i.e. community capable of protecting its environment, educating its children and developing itself through support for innovative solutions and creation of new jobs.


Ernst & Young respond to this challenge through the implementation of volunteer activities which are coordinated globally, regionally and locally, taking into consideration all specific conditions and cultural differences of each country.

The activities carried out in partnership with other companies, and the objective of those joining was to show that with joint activities better results with less investment can be achieved, and that it is always good to take the opportunity and invite someone to join socially responsible initiatives.

Evaluation of the projects established were achieved in full (to contribute to environmental sustainability in less developed areas, and to provide the opportunity for our employees to be involved in the project to the extent they want to and contribute directly). Employee engagement went from 30% and 50%, which is a good response rate for volunteer actions.

In 2009 Ernst & Young has established cooperation with the NGO Young Scouts of Serbia, to jointly organize volunteer activities in the area of environmental protection. The idea behind this cooperation is to provide necessary information, guidelines and contacts for these activities, and provide volunteers to finance these activities. A selection of projects are illustrated below;

  • ’Gradac 2009’ in the canyon of the river Gradac near Valjevo (October 2009)
  • ’Green Four in the area of Ada Huja in Belgrade (April 2010)
  • ’Green Four in the area of Ada Huja in Belgrade (April 2011)
  • ’Đavolja Varoš 2010’ (Devil’s Town 2010) at the site having the same name near Kuršumlija (June 2010)
  • ’Zasavica 2010’ at the site having the same name near Sremska Mitrovica (September 2010)
  • ’Tara 2011’ at the site near the hotel complex ’Beli Bor’ (June 2011)
  • ’Our Belgrade 2011’ at the site of Veliko Ratno Ostrvo (June 2011)

Challenges/Lessons learned:

  • This project are protects natural resources and other locations in Serbia where there are day-to-day problems present in terms of poor attendance rate, insufficient support by government bodies, insufficient number of employees etc.
  • Through the selection of locations outside of Belgrade, i.e. locations in the less developed areas of Serbia, help local entrepreneurs and hospitality establishments whose services that are used by the company during the stay at the location.
  • These activities result in concrete and visible changes, they are simple and their results are multi-beneficial.
  • For the Green Four event, four world largest audit and consultancy houses provided more than 100 volunteer’s, and the idea motivated colleagues in other countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia) to launch similar actions.

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