EY Canada appoints Kent Kaufield as first chief sustainability officer

04 June 2021 Consulting.ca 2 min. read
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EY Canada has named Kent Kaufield, a more than 25-year veteran of the firm, as its first ESG markets leader & chief sustainability officer.

In the role, Kaufield will drive the firm’s internal sustainability strategy as well as lead a consulting team that helps clients develop ESG strategies, identify opportunities, and enhance disclosures. 

EY has pledged to go carbon negative by the end of 2021 and further reduce total emissions by 40% to become net zero in 2025.

Kaufield has served as EY’s managing partner for the energy sector since 2019. Before that, he was managing partner of the Calgary and Edmonton offices. Earlier in his career at EY, Kaufield was a partner in the IT risk assurance practice.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from the University of Prince Edward Island and is a chartered accountant.

Kent Kaufield, Chief Sustainability Officer, EY

"Having Kent's knowledge and expertise at the table will be critical to help drive sustainable business strategy, decision-making and stakeholder engagement," said Jad Shimaly, CEO of EY Canada. "We're excited to take the next step in advancing our commitment to becoming a more sustainable organization by improving environmental performance and driving long-term growth for our stakeholders."

People are increasingly looking to the private sector to drive important environmental and social goals, including improving healthcare, narrowing wealth gaps, and addressing climate change. The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer found that 66% of respondents expect companies to lead the charge in these areas rather than wait for governments to impose changes. 

Institutional investors – a powerful force in the market – are also driving more firms to accelerate their ESG programs and reporting. Approximately 98% of institutional investors said they’re now evaluating companies’ non-financial performance when making investment decisions.

"Organizations are recognizing they have an increasing role to play in delivering meaningful change to combat environmental, social, and governance issues," said Kaufield. "To be true agents of change, you have to walk the talk. At EY, that means actively deploying internal sustainability programs, while building the skills and solutions needed to help businesses do the same.”