A&L Goodbody and other leading companies come together to address key sustainability challenges for Ireland

Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) launches Leaders’ Group on Sustainability

CEOs sign up to Low Carbon Pledge to reduce Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions intensity by 50% by 2030

A&L Goodbody and other top companies in Ireland have today launched The Leaders’ Group on Sustainability, a business coalition dedicated to addressing the most pressing sustainability priorities as well as future opportunities for Ireland.

Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), the national network for sustainability, has convened 26 leading companies, representing a workforce of over 90,000 people in Ireland, to work collaboratively to address social, environmental and economic priorities.

Julian Yarr, Managing Partner at A&L Goodbody, said: "As a business we face many challenges in a world that is rapidly evolving. None more so than the impact our business has on our environment, our communities and our people. But with challenge comes opportunity. And we have a real opportunity to make a lasting difference with the Leaders' Group on Sustainability. I'm delighted to be a part of this coalition and to have signed up to our first initiative, the Low Carbon Pledge."

The Low Carbon Pledge is the first dedicated public commitment generated by Irish business to lead on the transition to a low carbon economy and reduce Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions intensity by 50% by 2030.

Scope 1 emissions come from sources that we own, such as generators and air conditioning in our offices. Scope 2 emissions are those produced by fossil fuels power stations, which we can impact by reducing our use of electricity.

We are calling on business leaders to make sustainability a central priority of their leadership and promote a low carbon vision across their operations, products and services to help Ireland achieve its international commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.

A&L Goodbody and the companies involved with the Leaders’ Group on Sustainability have all achieved BITCI’s Business Working Responsibly Mark, the NSAI audited standard for CSR and sustainability.

Tomas Sercovich, CEO of Business in the Community Ireland, said, “The imperative set by the Sustainable Development Goals demonstrates the scale of the challenges we face. Business will play a critical role in the achievement of these goals and this can only be done through collective action. The US$ 12 trillion economic opportunity of the low carbon and inclusive economy needs to be embraced by Irish businesses. We must adopt a long term and beyond 2030 view of our business models. We are delighted to convene this unique platform for change in corporate Ireland and we will seek to influence the business community as well as policy in key areas”.

In addition to addressing the transformation to a low carbon economy, The Leaders’ Group on Sustainability is also working together to remove barriers to social inclusion in Ireland by examining how Irish businesses can improve their processes and cultures to train, attract and retain marginalised and vulnerable people. The Group has also identified the need for businesses to adapt to emerging work practices that will transform Irish industry like the gig economy, contract work and automation to ensure those changes benefit employee, employer and society as a whole.

The Leaders’ Group on Sustainability meets regularly to discuss best practice and to review progress on its stated aims. UCD is the knowledge partner for the Group and will provide ongoing research support to help develop and refine the sustainability goals.

ENDS

About the Leaders’ Group on Sustainability

The Leaders’ Group on Sustainability is represented by CEOs of Ireland’s top companies, from sectors including energy, telecoms, tech, finance, agriculture, transport, professional services, pharma, retail and food that have achieved the Business Working Responsibly Mark, the NSAI audited standard for CSR and sustainability. The Mark was created by Business in the Community Ireland, the network for sustainable and responsible business in Ireland. As well as A&L Goodbody, members include Accenture, Arup, Bank of Ireland, Boots, CRH, Dawn Meats, Deloitte, eir, EirGrid, ESB, Fujitsu, Gas Networks Ireland, Janssen, KBC Bank, M&S, Musgrave Group, Northern Trust, PM Group, PwC, SSE Ireland, Sodexo, Transdev, Ulster Bank, Veolia and Vodafone.

Key work priorities of the Group:

Launching the Low Carbon Pledge – the first dedicated pledge generated by Irish business to set industry standards on sustainability and reduce carbon usage. The Pledge is to reduce Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions intensity by 50% by 2030. The Group will also share data on how to best manage their energy usage. The companies signed up to the Pledge so far are: A&L Goodbody, Arup, Bank of Ireland, Dawn Meats, Deloitte, EirGrid, ESB, Fujitsu, Gas Networks Ireland, Janssen, KBC Bank, M&S, Musgrave Group, PM Group, PwC, Ricoh, Sodexo, SSE Ireland, Ulster Bank, Veolia and Vodafone. A copy of the Pledge is available at www.bitc.ie

Removing barriers to social inclusion by examining how Irish businesses can improve their processes and cultures to train, attract and retain marginalised and vulnerable people. The Group is examining how businesses can improve their operations and cultures to attract and retain people from vulnerable groups, e.g. socio-economic disadvantaged groups; those not in education, employment, or training; and people with disabilities.

Adapting to emerging work practices that will transform Irish industry like the gig economy, contract work and automation to ensure those changes benefit both employee and employer. The Group recognises that they have a responsibility to ensure workers of the future are not negatively impacted by the evolving nature of the economy where there is a growing emphasis on more flexible work practices.

About Business in the Community Ireland

Business in the Community Ireland is the country's only network for responsible business. We help companies measure, manage and report on their sustainability and corporate responsibility. In addition, we run the Business Working Responsibly Mark certification for responsible and sustainable business practices which is audited by the NSAI. We also work with hundreds of companies on leveraging the power of business to tackle education and unemployment in Ireland. www.bitc.ie

 

Date published: 18 May 2018