Veolia Ireland joins other Irish businesses in playing a lead role in helping Ireland achieve climate action targets
Almost 50 leading companies, including Veolia, which have signed up to halve their direct carbon footprint between now and 2030, have engaged positively with the challenge and already secured significant emissions reductions of harmful greenhouse gases. This is according to PwC’s report on the Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) Low Carbon Pledge ‘Business Working Together for a Low Carbon Ireland’ published today.
A Low Carbon Sub-group, chaired by the CEOs of EirGrid and Gas Networks Ireland working with senior representatives from Arup, Dawn Meats, ESB, Musgrave, and Veolia, were mandated to design a collective business response to climate change. The Pledge is the outcome of this process.
Veolia also joined 46 other companies to make the Low Carbon Pledge last year to act as a starting point in which companies can measure their efforts annually at cutting their carbon footprint and collectively make a public statement on their commitment to addressing climate change.
BITCI commissioned PwC to produce the inaugural Low Carbon Pledge report which sets out a clear baseline from which to chart future progress on the decarbonisation pathway utilising information provided by the pledge companies.
Signatory companies have committed to reducing their carbon intensity by 50% by 2030 and to report on their progress on an annual basis. The PwC report states that pledge companies are making significant progress towards achieving the target decrease in carbon intensity by 2030. The average emissions intensity reductions across the pledge companies was 36%. In addition, 66% of Pledge companies reduced their electricity usage.
The report stresses that the recording and reporting of emissions data ‘represents a critical first step in businesses’ engagement with, and commitment to, reducing their carbon impact.
The pledge companies were drawn from traditionally carbon intensive sectors such as agriculture/agribusiness and energy/utilities but also includes pharma, beverages, transport, communications, retailing, technology and professional services. The breadth of involvement across business and industry illustrates BITCI’s commitment to ensuring that there is cross sectoral support in battling greenhouse gas emissions.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Richard Bruton T.D welcomed today’s report and commented, “Leadership from enterprise is crucial, if we are to achieve the step change that is needed to tackle the climate challenge. Businesses can drive this change, both directly in how they manage their buildings, arrange their transport, and choose their energy source but also indirectly as ambassadors influencing their clients and supply chain. The opportunities and rewards are greatest for those who move early and lead the way forward.”
Welcoming the report, Business in the Community Ireland CEO, Tomás Sercovich, said: “Climate change is a reality and not a future-looking risk to be mitigated. Now that we have the data and concrete evidence, we have a strong mandate to mobilise more companies to make the pledge and raise their ambition towards decarbonisation. Investing in low carbon initiatives and engaging broadly in dialogue with policy makers, suppliers, employees and local communities will be critical to enable this transition to be successful.”