Dublin, 13 November 2019: Business leaders in Ireland today broadened significantly their pledge to reduce carbon emissions by including for the first time commitments on business travel as well as constraints on waste generation and water consumption.

The low carbon pledge made by 54 businesses in Ireland will now incorporate some indirect or *Scope 3 carbon emission sources under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Signatory companies will be required to provide carbon data under the protocols agreed today with Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) which launched the drive to cut carbon 12 months ago.

The companies are required to report back annually on how they are tackling their carbon footprint. Last June, the inaugural report, in partnership with PwC, reported that major progress was being achieved in meeting targets set for 2030, with average Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions intensity cut by 36%.

Now BITCI, the leading advisers in sustainability and corporate social responsibility and WBCSD’s Global Network partner in Ireland, has expanded its targets for the next reporting period to include indirect carbon emissions. This asks the pledge companies to include business travel as well as waste generation and water consumption in its data which is subject to verification.

BITCI CEO Tomas Sercovich said reducing emissions from business travel was a new challenge, particularly as many companies are major travel consumers.

“In addition, we will be asking signatory companies to start the next step in understanding the spread of their carbon impact by probing what are the major significant indirect carbon emission sources within their supply chain. They will be expected to ensure that their suppliers have to fulfill a low carbon approach to their operations. This will have a multiplier effect in cutting emissions, promoting efficiency and preparedness for a decarbonized economy.”

He said: “In order to address the climate crisis, we ultimately want business to set targets based on science and help Ireland achieve its ambition of being a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 and help support the wider EU ambition of being a carbon-neutral continent by 2050”.

Confirmation of the expanded pledge commitments was made today at BITCI’s 12th annual CEO Breakfast Forum at the Mansion House in Dublin. Over 250 business leaders were represented at the event.

In total, 54 companies have now signed the low carbon pledge, up from 43 last year. The inaugural pledge companies initially committed to reduce both Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emission intensity by 50% by 2030. Scope 1 emissions are the greenhouse gases produced directly from sources that are owned and controlled by the company, such as fuels used in vehicles, boilers and furnaces. Scope 2 emissions relate to indirect greenhouse gases from purchase of electricity. Scope 3 emissions relate to all indirect carbon emissions up and down the value chain, including business travel; waste generation; and water consumption. Initially, BITCI will ask pledge companies to explore these aspects of Scope 3 emissions first.

Also at the event two new companies, AIB Group plc and Tesco achieved BITCI’s Business Working Responsibly mark, the top audited standard for sustainability. A further 14 were recertified to the standard: A&L Goodbody, Accenture, Bank of Ireland Group plc, Dawn Meats Group,  eir , EirGrid plc,  Janssen Supply Chain,  Marks and Spencer Ireland, Musgrave Group plc, Northern Trust Management Services Ireland Ltd., Ricoh Ireland, Ulster Bank Ireland DAC, Veolia Ireland and Vodafone Ireland. 34 companies now have achieved the Mark which is audited by the NSAI and based on ISO 26000.

The Low Carbon Pledge signatories

The 54 companies which made the low carbon pledge are: ABP Foods, AIB, ALDI, A&L Goodbody, An Post, Arup, Aviva, AXA Insurance, Bank of Ireland, Boston Scientific, BT Ireland, Cairn Homes, Central Bank of Ireland, College Group, Dawn Meats, Deloitte, Dublin Bus, DePuy, Diageo, ESB, EirGrid, Enterprise-Rent-a-Car, Fujitsu, Gas Networks Ireland, Heat Merchants, HEINEKEN Ireland, Hovione Ireland, Irish Water, Janssen, KBC Bank, KPMG, Lidl, Matheson, M&S, Musgrave, Northern Trust, Ornua, Permanent TSB, PM Group, PwC, Ricoh, RTÉ, SSE Ireland, Sodexo, Symantec, Tesco, Transdev, Ulster Bank, Veolia, Virgin Media Ireland, Vision Care, Vodafone and William Fry.

*Scope 3 (Indirect Carbon Emissions) – These are emissions that are a consequence of the operations of an organization, but are not directly owned or controlled by the organization. These emission sources occur across a company’s value chain (e.g., materials suppliers, third-party logistics providers, waste management suppliers, travel suppliers, lessees and lessors, franchisees, retailers, employees, and customers)

Find out more about the #LowCarbonPledge

Moira Horgan,
Head of Marketing,
BITC Ireland
mhorgan@bitc.ie

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