March 3, 2020

Expanding business support for low carbon development in Ireland

A recent report highlights how compared to International companies, domestic businesses are losing touch with climate action. A report into carbon emissions was created by non-profit organisation CDP for Irish-headquartered businesses. Top performing businesses listed in the study, included AIB, Kingspan, Kerry Group, CRH and Smurfit Kappa. 

The key findings from the study indicated that internationally-focused businesses were more inclined to be actively participating and engaging in climate change activities. While the businesses with a core domestic focus were not performing or addressing the climate issue to a similar level of their international peers. The report suggested that the number of domestic companies measuring carbon emissions stood at just over 30, while the number of multinationals operating in Ireland reporting on climate change issues exceeded 270. The study suggests that a higher volume of smaller businesses are not taking climate change and implementing carbon reduction strategies to the capacity expected.

Irish businesses are increasing their efforts in tackling climate change and to date, 47 companies across the nation have committed to the Low Carbon Pledge, a strategic measure focusing on businesses in the community. These select companies have committed to reducing their carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and to report continuously on their progress and activity every year. The Pledge intends to highlight the commitment of businesses in Ireland and their support in moving towards a low carbon economy.

Of course, reporting on carbon emissions is only the first step and is far easier than actually addressing and implementing practical measures to combat carbon emissions. Environmental and clean energy leaders are urging businesses, big and small to focus on transparency and implementing strategic measures that clearly show how their business intends to tackle carbon emissions.

Reporting on emissions is far easier than taking decisive action to tackle emissions or adapt business activity around more sustainable business processes. Transparency is important but the focus now needs to be on considerable reductions in emissions and it’s not very clear how many of the leading corporations intend to implement these challenging measures. 

With the continuous rise and pressures associated with climate change, the importance of progressing and expanding activities such as the Low Carbon Pledge is critical. While the initial commitment of 47 businesses is promising, it is essential that this number continues to rise, expanding the support towards carbon reduction and solidifying the importance of the Low Carbon Pledge in Ireland.