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Guest Profile

Carmine Di Sibio
Global Chairman and CEO, EY

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About this Episode

Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and CEO of EY, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss ESG, diversity & inclusion and how being a child immigrant to the US influenced his sense of belonging and world view.

In many ways, Carmine is part of the American dream. He was born in Italy and when he was just three years old his family moved to the US. With no prior family history of higher education, Carmine completed his MBA at NYU, joined EY in 1985 and rose through the ranks to lead one of the world’s largest professional services organisations that employs around 300,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries. 

This conversation ranges from the personal to the professional. We hear a remarkable childhood story that led to great success and a desire to make a positive difference.

We focus on ESG factors (environmental, social, governance) and explore what EY is doing on this front, and what they’re encouraging their clients and suppliers to do as well. There is a need for standardisation in ESG accounting, a recognition that sustainability needs to be front and centre in corporate strategy and an appreciation that the time is now.

If you want to be inspired and learn a great deal about how one of the world’s great organisations is driving ESG froward, this episode is for you.

About Carmine Di Sibio

Carmine Di Sibio is the Global Chairman and CEO of EY, one of the largest professional services organizations in the world, which last year achieved nearly US$35 billion in revenues and today has approximately 300,000 people serving clients in more than 150 countries around the world. Prior to being elected to his current post, Carmine served as EY Global Managing Partner – Client Service, leading the execution of the organization’s global strategy and its four geographical areas and four service lines.

Carmine has spearheaded EY’s innovation efforts, including leading a US$1 billion investment in new technology solutions over a two-year timeframe announced in August 2018. He helped to create the Global Innovation team to redefine how EY uses technology to both transform existing services and create new solutions. As a leader of the organization’s acquisitions and alliances strategy, he has helped expand EY offerings in a wide range of new and emerging fields.

Carmine has held several global operating and leadership positions at EY using his extensive experience in financial services. His global experience has equipped him with a keen understanding of cultures and clients around the world, and he is a strong advocate for the power of EY’s global organization.

He co-chairs the EY Global Diversity and Inclusiveness Steering Committee, which works to maximize the power of different opinions, perspectives and cultural references within the organization. This work is crucial to EY’s strategic priority of building the highest-performing teams in the profession.

Since joining EY in 1985, Carmine has served as an Advisory and Assurance partner for many of EY’s largest financial services accounts. He previously served as Chair of the Global Financial Services Markets Executive and Regional Managing Partner for the Americas Financial Services Organization (FSO), where he started EY Risk Management and Regulatory Services. He has a foundation in audit and is a practicing Certified Public Accountant.

Carmine is a member of the board of Focusing Capital on the Long Term (FCLT) to encourage a longer- term focus in business which can drive inclusive growth. He plays an active role in the World Economic Forum (WEF), serving as a member of its International Business Council. Carmine co-chairs the Russia Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and is a member of the Washington, DC-based US Business Roundtable.

 

Carmine is originally from Italy and emigrated with his family to the United States when he was three years old. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning a BA in Chemistry from Colgate University, and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Carmine is married with four children and lives in New Jersey in the United States. He also serves on the boards of the Foundation for Empowering Citizens with Autism and Family Promise and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Colgate University.

Episode Transcript

Alberto Lidji:

 

Today, it's a pleasure to welcome onto the show. Carmine Di Sibio. Carmine is the Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EY. EY is one of the world's largest professional services organizations. It's a household name, they employ about 300,000 people globally, operate in more than 150 countries and I think the average age of its workforce is just around 27 years. So it's a very young organization in that regard. 

 

Today, we're going to be talking about ESG  factors. And by that, I mean, environmental, social, and governance. What is EY doing in the field of ESG? What are they encouraging their clients and suppliers to do about ESG and how are they driving ESG standards forward? How are they driving nonfinancial reporting; how are they leveraging their prime position to bring clarity and shared standards in this field? 

 

We're also going to be looking at Carmine Di Sibio the individual. He has a remarkable story. In some respects, you could say it's the American dream. Carmine was born in Italy. His family moved to the US when he was just three years old, there was no previous family history of higher education whatsoever and subsequently Carmine ended up at university, ended up doing an MBA at NYU, joining E Y in 1985 and rising through the ranks to become Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. A remarkable story and we're going to talk a little bit about that as well. So without further ado at big heartfelt welcome onto The Do One Better Podcast today. 

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Great to be here, Alberto. I'm happy to be here, I'm excited to be here, and thank you for the warm and kind introduction. That is me, that is correct, I was an immigrant to the US when I was three3, and  I went through the school system in the US and I learned English through the school system. And you know, what it allowed me to really... to today... what my background has done is... I understand the feeling of belonging and not belonging. And, you know, when you move to a different country -- and you've done a lot of this as well -- It's a different culture. And, so your norms might not be their norms. And what I always use as examples, and --  I'm a bit of a food person, myself --  is, you know, when my mom would pack me lunch and send me off to school, I would have a prosciutto sandwich and mozzarella, and my friends would all have ham and cheese or baloney and cheese ... and they would make fun of my sandwich. And so, but I liked the taste, you know, so I would continue to eat it. And I always laugh because here we are, whatever 40 years later, and prosciutto mozzarella is probably more common than ham and cheese today and certainly better tasting. So, I laugh in terms of food, but  it's a small example, but it is an example in terms of feeling like you belong and not feeling like you belong. And so that's important. It's something that we talk a lot about at EY. We want all our people to feel like they belong. And it's something that is part of our D&I effort... we focus on this and we focus on belonging and focus on people feeling like they're part of a family.

 

And I know it's a big family, it's over 300,000 peple. But if you talk to our people and  talk to our people about our culture, that's the way they feel. And I'm very proud of that. And that's something that's been built over many years. Not just during my tenure, but many years. And many of my predecessors have had the same culture and driven the same culture.

 

So I always like to say, Alberto,  EY is a great place to work. It's a family. My wife at times makes fun of me because I have my family and my EY family, but that's the way, that's the way I look at. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

Excellent. When you feel like an outsider, what was it like climbing the corporate ranks at EY? I mean, this is you've reached pretty much the pinnacle.   

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

You know, the times were changing while I was growing up in the firm. And so not only ethnic background, but gender, you know, early on my two mentors and my two partners that I worked for early on in my career were both women. 

 

My first five years, I worked for a partner, her name was Regina Dolan. She was one of the first partners in the New York office. She was also one of the first partners in financial services, which was even more male oriented at the time.  I really looked up to her. She taught me many things in financial services. I learned a lot about how Wall Street works and operational areas and certainly accounting areas and so forth. And she was a real maverick. She was well-known to all clients and well-known in New York city. And it's something that obviously taught me a lot. 

 

And then a bit later, a few years later when I was a manager,  I worked for one of my other mentors, who's now retired, her name is Eileen Garvey, and she was one of the first partners that made partner on a flexible work arrangement at EY. 

 

Alberto Lidji: When was that? 

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

So that was in the mid-1990s, which at the time was unheard of, but here's a woman with three kids who working and raising a family. And she was working in the office three days a week, but she'd be on phone calls and so forth. And she made partner and she was one of my sponsors for me to make partner as well. 

 

So to me, you know, learning as I went through the ranks, I really  you know, really envied some of these people who really did a lot at EY before me. And, did a lot in terms of D&I  in particular, in this case, on the gender side, for the good.

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

Really interesting, this diversity that you have as well from your own background, and coming from a background where there was nobody with  a college degree...  It must help you, sort of, refine  your ability to be a bit more subtle when you're dealing with folks from all walks of life.

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yeah, and obviously we're a global organization so listening and understanding different cultures is incredibly important. Alberto, I  will tell you with some of the racial issues that have occurred over the last year or so, this is something that we at EY have  been very focused on. And one of the things that ... we have a group, I and  our Global Head of Diversity... have run a group, the  global diversity and inclusiveness steering committee.

 

And this committee really gives a lot of input to our global Board on things we need to change at EY  and so forth. And that committee is really more... some of our leaders around the world, but when, when the racial issues, you know, really occurred and started in the US but then became, it became much more of a global issue. We set up a different committee, around the world, which is really our social equity committee and we call it our Global Social Equity Task Force (GSET), actually. And so that committee is about 40 partners from around the world who are diverse. Many of them are diverse from a gender perspective, of color perspective and everything else.

 

And, we really wanted to understand and what we needed to do different,  around the world. But certainly starting in the US and in the UK and so forth. And that group,  and obviously this is in a virtual world still so... when you saw the pictures of all of these partners working together around the world, and literally on zoom, you can really see everyone, it was remarkable. The amount of effort... and this is, you know, on top of their day job,  that they put into this night and day in terms of what we needed to fix and how we can get to the next level. So this group came up with 10 recommendation for the global Board in terms of things we can do better. And that's everything from certain processes in HR, to how do we get the word out, how do we talk more openly about this, how do we use storytelling to make people feel more like they belong and so forth. And so, the global Board approved all 10 recommendations  and now we're working on them and I'm very proud in terms of what this group has accomplished.

 

And I tell people this it's almost emotional when you see... if you hear them, and they  would  all  give you testimony just in terms of how much they feel like they accomplished, but also the relationships they've built virtually with one another around the world. So that's just one effort, um, in terms of our D&I.

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

Great. Tell me a little bit about ESG. Sustainability is one of those things, very close to my heart and the heart of our listeners. What's the state of affairs with regards to ESG standards and reporting, non-financial reporting, where do we stand, if there is a little bit of an overview you can provide?

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yeah, no, I could, I could talk for a while on ESG standards. I don't know if they really want me to do that, but... so here's where we are... obviously as a firm and personally, I do believe that the world has to move forward on creating standards, common standards around the world.

 

And I think that's going to be important. It's going to be important for investors, for asset owners, asset managers, companies and employees. And what we've been doing Alberto, is we... we are involved with what some people call the alphabet soup in terms of standard setters and regulators. And, and we, you know, we have people sit on different boards of these organizations and we've been trying to encourage them to work together.

 

And I think because of us and the other big four, a few of them are merging together. So we have a real mandate out there to try to reduce the amount of these organizations. And that's not easy because they're all backed by different people and, and it gets difficult. That being said, about two years ago now we embarked on a project, with the International Business Council under the World Economic Forum, to really see if we could distill a lot of these different metrics that are out there into something more simple that companies on their own can get out and disclose. 

 

And so we, with the other big four, as well as with Bank of America, and Brian Moynihan, who's the CEO of Bank of America. He's the chair of the International Business Council. So we started a project. We all contributed resources and started a project to really distill the different ESG metrics that are out there into what ended up being 21 core metrics. And they are supplemental metrics that you can disclose. And we said, look, these 21 core metrics... and we put them in the categories of people, prosperity, planet and principles of governance --  and there's about four or five in each category --  and so these metrics... why don't we all start disclosing these metrics you know, as soon as we can... We took a very understanding approach to it, meaning that if you can't disclose the metric in the first couple of years, explain why. Or maybe it doesn't make sense for you to disclose the metric. Just to explain why. So with that, we were able to actually get over 80 companies --  some of the largest companies in the world --  to commit to disclosing these metrics.

 

And they all committed to it. They all signed up to it.  And so we feel like that whole process and what we're involved with has helped galvanize a lot of these organizations, as well as regulators. So these metrics now are in front of, you know, the IFRS,  the SEC... because they all want to, to mandate disclosures now.

 

So we're very proud of that. All the big four, very proud of it. We continue to encourage not only the biggest companies in the world, but also all companies in the world and all our clients to go down that path. Now if you ask me, you know, where is this going? You know, now I would say the regulators are on this. And they will mandate some disclosures besides these voluntary disclosures that we're talking about. And my fear, Alberto,  is that, we're going to end up, you know... we're big believers in  ESG disclosures across the board, not just environmental, but across the board, but what's happening is that right now, a lot of the focus is around climate. So the regulators are taking up climate first. And so I do think we're going to end up with mandated disclosure on climate. And the other piece that I think we're going to end up with, and there's still a hope that we won't, but I think we will, is we will end up with different disclosures in the US mandated by the SEC versus disclosures mandated by the IFRS Foundation.

 

We've been doing everything possible to try to keep this all united but unfortunately, because accounting standards are set up that way,  with IFRS and US GAAP, there's a high risk that this is going to be set up that way as well. So we are working for the good here and  global consistency and not just us, but PwC, D&T and KPMG as well. But I do think we will start out with some fractured type disclosure mandated. 

 

Now we're hoping that what we have been doing will be more consistent and will encourage some of the regulators to be more consistent but that's where we are at this point. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

Really interesting. And I was going to ask you about... on a macro level policy level, whether things might go one way in the US and another way in Europe.

 

And by the way, just to make reference through the points that you mentioned earlier. So these are the, those four pillars, right:  principles of governance, planet, people, and prosperity.

 

And for those who are interested, that would be a WEF or World Economic Forum paper, "Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism", take a look at that. I think it's a really great paper and interesting to read as well. 

 

So you mentioned that there's a lot of focus on climate, and obviously that is the topic on most people's minds. When I look at EY one of the things that I found really interesting was that for this year, for 2021, you're committing to be a carbon negative. 

 

Carmine Di Sibio: That's correct. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

Which is not a usual thing, you hear about net zero, but carbon negative, for this year, sounds quite unusual. 

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yeah. So in 2020, we were carbon neutral. And we will aim to be carbon negative here in 2021. So when we look at EY, Alberto, most of our carbon emissions are from air travel. 85% to 90% of our carbon emissions are from air travel. Obviously the pandemic has helped in terms of carbon emissions, because we're not traveling as much. 

But what we are doing going forward is we are on a path to reduce some of the air travel. And so we are taking what we've learned in the pandemic and putting it to use. So, we've modeled this out really through 2025, where we will be carbon negative in '21, '22, '23, '24 and '25 each year. But then we will be net zero by '25. And I think we have one of the most aggressive goals of any of our competitors, frankly, or of any company out there, any government out there.

 

But, some of that to be fair is it's a little bit easier in our business in professional services, as I told you, most of it is  around their travel. So what we've modeled out, we've actually modeled out that for a period of about a year, once the pandemic is over, now that's not going to be, you know, on a certain date, but it's going to evolve over about a year period.

 

We have modeled that travel will go back to almost 2019 levels. But then from there it will reduce and here's the... you know, to make this very practical, we're saying, okay, EY leaders and partners and so forth. Alberto, if you run a group, a global group, a big group within a country and you're used to having a meeting a quarter, four meetings a year, physically... we're asking that you have two physically and two virtually.

 

So that's pretty simple, but what that does, if everyone does that, it reduces our non-client air travel by 50%. And then we have modeled in there reduction in air travel, in terms of clients as well. What we modeled in was a modest 10% reduction. I actually think it's going to be higher than that because clients are not going to expect, you know, for you to be there physically for a one hour meeting. In fact, they'll say, why would you do that? You know, let's just do a zoom call or Microsoft Teams call. 

 

And so I think that's conservative. But when you build all that in we'll be able to reduce our carbon emissions by 30% or 40%. And then what we will do is we will participate in offset type programs, to basically offset the 60% of carbon that we would be using.

 

And that's in a nutshell how we're going to get the net zero and frankly, each year we will buy more offsets versus our carbon usage, which would be how we're going to be negative. And so very committed to this. We're committed to it at all levels of the global Board level all the way down into each region.

 

We all  believe in it. And we really believe in it, Alberto, because we have to, you know, we believe in it because we have to save the planet, but also because we advised our clients on many of this, on sustainability, that's a growing business for us. And one of the first questions we get is what is EY doing?

 

And so we wanted to be aggressive on our goals and what we're achieving. And  I think we are much more aggressive on our goals than our competitors. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

Now I was reading about how you're aiming to achieve this sort of carbon negative and so forth. And, two things ,there are  various bullet points there, but two that were particularly salient for me were these, VPPAs the virtual power purchase agreements that you have, which I think are  quite creative, quite interesting. And the other is in terms of requiring your suppliers, 75% of your suppliers to set emission targets by financial year 2025. Are you getting pushback on that? 

 

Carmine Di Sibio:  

 

No,  we're not getting much pushback. I actually think that will be a goal that we should achieve pretty easily because I do think, you know, any global suppliers, they're on this, you know, and this is something that I would say, Alberto, about 18 months ago, I would say in the US a switch went on in terms of climate and sustainability.

 

I know some people want to equate it to the political situation. It happened before that. It happened during the Trump presidency.  I think people just started realizing that this is a real issue and I think companies came on board and said, you know, we have to do something differently. And certainly the young people in the US, you know…

 

 I will tell you a quick story... We were rolling out our new strategy about two and a half years ago or so, when I came into the role as CEO and our new strategy is called NextWave. And it's really about a long-term value strategy around clients, people and society, which is really, you know, what most companies should be doing in terms of their corporate strategy.

 

We were  rolling that out, and the baseline on our strategy is also around using technology and using advanced technologies as best we can in all our different services. So I was going to different town halls, some with thousands of people talking about our strategy and what we were doing.

 

And I was in a town hall in New York with about 2,000 people. And actually, going through the strategy and I asked if anyone had any questions. And people were shy to ask questions, but we had one of our more junior people in the middle of this huge auditorium raise  our hand. And I said, yes, the question…?

 

And, he said you know, Carmine, I love the strategy and so forth. But you don't have enough embedded in the strategy around sustainability... of both what we're doing and what are we going to do with our clients. And this is two and a half years ago in the US and so I said, you know, you're absolutely right. We're going to go back and we're going to really figure out our strategy around sustainability. And how do we incorporate sustainability into our strategy. 

 

And so that was the start and in the... now in Europe, that would have been a different story because I think Europe has been way ahead on this. But in the US to hear that... and literally the auditorium got a stand... he got a standing ovation for asking the question.

 

And so that made us go back and really incorporate sustainability. And this is where we really came out with our own goals. But also on how we're going to build a practice around sustainability. And so we are doing a lot of recruiting today, around people who are experts in climate, engineers and so forth.

 

It's part of our CCaSS Group (Climate Change and Sustainability Services). But not only we're going to have these experts. We're also building sustainability across all our services.  And so everything from tax... So we want all our tax people to be really conversant in carbon tax. How's that going to work? What's the potential for carbon taxes in different governments around the world?

 

We want our deal people and deal advisors to understand sustainability, how it impacts different companies, different sectors. How's that going to get into the valuation of a company. So we're building it across the board. We will have more and more training across the board. And I think it'll be really exciting for our people to learn more, even when you are at EY through our training. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

What about the client selection and, without naming any names, but there've been some management consulting firms out there who maybe had the sort of clients that you may not necessarily want as your clients and... is there anything that you can do to drive forward change by being a little bit more selective or demanding on the short of clients that you have, maybe auditing less coal and more renewables? 

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yeah. No, we, we don't... We believe that we're better off working with clients and helping them become more energy efficient and so forth versus saying, we're not going to work with them. 

 

And so, I mean, under your scenario, you know, we wouldn't be working with a BP or Shell. Meanwhile, BP and Shell are doing a lot around renewables, and so we're actually working with them on how they achieve certain things, how they disclose certain things and frankly, how their strategy going forward is going to be different. 

 

Our view is not to not work for people. Our view is to work with them and educate them and help them become more efficient and more energy efficient and more sustainable. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

Yeah. And how much do they actually know? And by that I mean, I'm sure you have loads of CEO surveys. You have your finger on the pulse of what's out there. What are we looking at, what sort of percentages of CEOs actually know at a granular level what they should be doing next, what they should be doing within the next two years... where are the areas that you need to educate and inform and possibly change behaviors and attitudes to nudge people along who maybe aren't as clued in on this as you are?

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yeah. Look of the large companies, most CEOs are on this. And so they're figuring out how to be more sustainable and they're getting a lot of pressure from their employees, from the investors, from their boards. So they have to be on it.  

 

Now when you get to more medium-sized companies, I think some of them are still learning. But they're on this. And it's something that, you know, if you talk about different areas... You know, obviously we talked about metrics and what you're disclosing and all that. That's an area that certainly we do a lot in.. But the other area, Alberto, is really helping them incorporate sustainability into their corporate strategy.

 

So, you know, today you can't really have a corporate strategy without sustainability being part of it. Now for some sectors and industries, it's much more ingrained in everything they do from a strategy standpoint. And certainly for energy companies and even consumer products...  many CEOs have combined their chief sustainability officer with the chief strategy officer. Or they've had one report into the other and so forth.  Some are still separate, but they're just working very well together. And so it has to start with your strategy and that's what we're telling our clients. So, you know,  if you make widgets or, you know... you have to make sure that your supply chain is sustainable. And how do you get your supply chain to be sustainable? And where is your supply chain? Is it de-risked and so forth? So, in all our practices, we're doing that. We really feel strongly that it starts with your strategy and sustainability has to be built in. And then eventually you get to disclose what you've accomplished. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

And in terms of ingraining things so deeply into this strategy, I have a feeling and I've heard many times that no matter how much technology or how many policymakers you have in favor of ESG, if the consumer, if the... if human behavior doesn't change, well, we won't get to where we need to go. How do you go about looking at the human behavior? Because I think that's a key component. 

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yeah. So I think what you're really asking is, and we've done, you know, we've been involved, we have a  consumer practice that advises companies on how to deal with consumers and so forth. And so in many stories that were done, in particular with younger people, they really want to buy products that are green, that are sustainable, that don't hurt the environment and so forth.

 

Now, the question becomes, are they willing to pay more for those products? And for the most part, demographically our younger people in a lot of the surveys that we have done, the answer's yes. The answer's yes. And so what's happening now in consumer products, Alberto, is that companies are starting to think about how to label their products in terms of, for example, carbon footprint.

 

So the same way food, you know, has calories and nutrients and so forth. Products will have, you know, when you buy a bar of soap, it'll say, you know, that created  30 tons or whatever it is to create the bar soap. And so something more sustainable might be a little bit more expensive, but people will buy it. These are some of the surveys that we're looking at. These are some of the things yeah a lot of the consumer products companies, Unilever, Pepsi are looking at  as well.  

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

When they're looking at packaging and what sort of information they're going to be putting about emissions and so forth... is it a scope one, two and three, meaning the direct emissions you create, the indirect emissions, and also the angle from the supply chain... ? 

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yeah. So they're looking certainly at scope one and two. Scope three gets much more difficult. So I think this has to start probably with scope one and two, you know. And,  there's going to be, I mean, one of the things is that the whole accounting on carbon and how you count carbon is complicated. And so in my view, some of that has to be simplified and it has to become more standard... forgetting disclosure, but literally just counting carbon. So that's something that I think people are working on and really looking at science-based initiatives, science-based targets, and a common way of measuring. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

Now we're sort of, well, hopefully in the tail-end of the pandemic, you never know, but hopefully that's the case... and in terms of the building back better that we keep on hearing about and... and hopefully the economic recovery, you know, hopefully things will... but what are the sort of things that you're telling your clients about that... you think, you know, probably focus on these things to build back better?

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yeah. Number one, we're talking to our clients a lot about their supply chains. And building back better is really, you know, digitizing their supply chain, making sure their supply chains more sustainable. And also de-risking their supply chain. So we have a supply chain practice that advises companies, in our consultant practice, that advises companies on supply chain.

 

And this is a really hot area right now because supply chains have been disrupted, Alberto. So it's a chance to build back better and also to de-risk and also to invest in technology. 

 

So when we went into the pandemic, we found out that only 25% of our clients' supply chains are digitized. So, there's a lot of work to be done. And you can imagine in the pandemic, if your supply chain wasn't digitized, you would have a lot of issues just knowing where things were along your supply chain. 

 

So the first thing is digitizing your supply chain, making it sustainable and de-risking it. So, you know, having your entire supply chain in one country (i.e. like China) I think people have woken up to... maybe that's too risky. 

 

We're doing a lot of work in terms of people just diversifying in terms of  geographical standpoint, not just with China, but wherever your supply chain was, having it in one place just doesn't.. so you have to have backups and you have to have ways of continuing your supply chain if you have some kind of political event or more natural disaster. So that's just one example,  in terms of building back better and what we're showing our clients. 

 

Alberto Lidji:  

 

If we're having a coffee in 10 years' time or around 2030, are you feeling optimistic and let's focus... are you feeling optimistic that  the world would be speaking a common language in terms of accounting, in terms of accounting for carbon, and in terms of accounting for all these things that are very much in a state of flux right now?

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yes. I have confidence that disclosure, accounting on carbon... That'll get resolved over the next five years. 

 

Alberto Lidji: Five years. 

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Yeah, I think so. I think so, because, you know, I think it's something that people just have to agree on. The actual accounting and so forth isn't as controversial as maybe some of the disclosures and things like that. But I'm pretty confident. Certainly by 2030 I think the answer to your question is absolutely. Yes. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

Excellent. Before we wrap up, I like to ask guests for a key takeaway. What would be that one thing that you'd love for the audience to keep in mind after they finish listening to today's episode?

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

I would say to the audience, on the whole area of sustainability, I would say, you know, really get yourself educated. Do a lot of reading, do a lot of research because it is the future. And in almost anything that you do... and, I've been talking to a lot of young people, Alberto, who are, you know, who could be finance majors, accounting, majors, engineers, in school and I'm really encouraging them to understand more of the science around sustainability. Because I think that's going to be important and, frankly, that's going to help you in terms of employment, help you in terms of really going ahead and it doesn't mean that you have to be an expert, but being conversant and knowing... 

 

look, we've taken... our Chief Sustainability Officer, globally, is Steve Varley. He was our head of our UK practice. And when I approached him, almost a year and a half, two years ago to do this role, he thought I was crazy. And I said, Steve, this will be the future but you're going to have to learn. And he took it on and he studied a lot and he's a real expert where he really understands the accounting of carbon and so forth. And he's learned that in about a year, but here's a senior person... so I would say be open and educate yourself. 

 

Alberto Lidji:

 

And, on that note, Carmine, thank you. It's been really great having you on The Do One Better Podcast today.

 

Carmine Di Sibio:

 

Thank you so much, Alberto. It's been fantastic and I love the conversation.