Carbon Pledge Firms Cut Emissions By 42%

12 Jun 2019 | 02.07 pm

Carbon Pledge Firms Cut Emissions By 42%

PwC analysis based on company self-reporting

12 Jun 2019 | 02.07 pm

Forty-seven companies that signed a pledge to cut their carbon emissions by half before the year 2030 reduced their emissions by 42% through 2018, compared to a collective baseline.

That’s according to a report for Business in the Community Ireland  prepared by PwC.

The signatory companies cut both direct emissions of greenhouse gases arising from their own activities and indirect emissions resulting from energy purchases. 

The average emissions intensity reduction across the 47 companies was 36%, with the added reduction of 6% coming from reduced electricity usage.

All reductions were self-reported, and the report suggests that in order to maintain the integrity of the Low Carbon Pledge, “it is critical that businesses seek external assurance of their non-financial data”. Only five companies out of 47 submitted their emissions claims to outside verification.

The 47 organisations that made the Low Carbon Pledge are ABP Foods, AIB, ALDI, A&L Goodbody, An Post, Arup, AXA Insurance, Bank of Ireland, Boston Scientific, BT Ireland, Central Bank of Ireland, College Group, Dawn Meats, Deloitte, DePuy Synthes, Diageo, ESB, EirGrid, Enterprise-Rent-a-Car, Fujitsu, Gas Networks Ireland, Heat Merchants, HEINEKEN Ireland, Hovione Ireland, Janssen, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Ireland, KBC Bank, KPMG, Lidl, Matheson, M&S, Musgrave, Ornua, Permanent TSB, PM Group, PwC, Ricoh, SSE Ireland, Sodexo, Symantec, Tesco, Transdev, Ulster Bank, Veolia, Virgin Media Ireland, Vodafone and William Fry.

The PwC report recommends: “Businesses should look to embed decarbonisation and sustainability policies and actions in their core business strategy, both from a risk mitigation and a value enhancing perspective. As part of this process companies should look to engage with policy makers, suppliers, employees and local communities to identify how best to support Ireland’s transition to a low carbon future. 

“For companies to truly demonstrate a commitment to decarbonisation and sustainability it is important that they are seen to equally prioritise their financial and non-financial reporting.”

Key actions by the participating firms which the report identifies as central to achieving significant reductions included:

  • Setting targets to reduce energy and water intensity and emissions intensity
  • Themed weeks on topics such as environment and waste to help maintain employee engagement
  • Energy efficient buildings, e.g. insulation, natural lighting
  • Data analytics to facilitate informed decision making on projects to improve energy management
  • Heat recovery and using heat pump technology to meet hot water requirements
  • Appointing a sustainability director
  • Remote energy monitoring as part of energy management system
  • Prioritisation of vehicles for replacement with electric models
  • Metering system to identify areas of excessive energy use
  • Install LED energy efficient lighting system
  • Procuring locally-produced, green-certified renewable electricity.

BITCI chief executive Tomás Sercovich said: “Climate change is a reality and not a future-looking risk to be mitigated.  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.”

The BITCI report is available here.

 

Photo: PwC Managing partner Feargal O’Rourke (left) with Kari Daniels of Terco and Tomás Sercovich.

 

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