Irish companies are taking action on climate change, CDP says

12 Oct 2012

Companies across all sectors of the Irish economy are taking action on climate change, according to Dick Budden, the director of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in Ireland. The CDP has released its 2012 report to show how businesses both in Ireland and globally are preparing for a low-carbon future.

The Securing a Sustainable Future report was prepared by KPMG for CDP Ireland. In all, 100 companies with operations in Ireland that responded to the CDP in both 2011 and 2012 showed their emissions from burning fossil fuels reduced by more than 10pc over the last year.

In addition, responses from 114 companies indicated an aggregate drop of more than 7.5pc in emissions associated with purchased electricity.

“The data and the increasing detail of responses to CDP is tangible evidence of action on climate change being taken among Irish businesses across all sectors of the economy,” said Budden.

The CDP said 226 companies identified operations in Ireland, whether or not they were headquartered in the country. It said these companies included many of Ireland’s leading inward investors and largest employers.

In all, 128 of these companies supplied data on the direct greenhouse gas emissions generated by their Irish operations – 11.2m metric tonnes of CO2. Meanwhile, 153 companies supplied data on the indirect emissions of their Irish operations – 1.4m metric tonnes of CO2.

Of the companies that are based in Ireland, the CDP got responses from 29 firms this year. This compares to 33 responses in 2011. The CDP said these respondents included 17 of the largest listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

“Sustainability is now firmly on the board agenda for most successful businesses. The CDP approach plays a key role in helping investors become more aware of the risk to their portfolios and act to achieve more sustainable strong shareholder returns,” said Terence O’Rourke, managing partner at KPMG.

CDP itself is an independent not-for-profit organisation that works with investors and companies to measure and disclose environmental information.

CO2 image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic