Launch of 2010 Carbon Disclosure Project Report

Media Release – 19th October 2010

Climate Change Firmly on Irish Boardroom Agenda as Business Leaders Embrace Opportunities in Sustainability

CDP described recently in Harvard Business Review as “The most powerful green NGO you never heard of”

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Ireland 2010 Report, launched today (Tuesday, 19th October 2010) in Trinity College, Dublin, by Eamon Ryan, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources shows a significant increase in companies taking part. The report, principally sponsored by the NTR Foundation and prepared by KPMG, concludes that the number and quality of responses to the project shows climate change issues are now firmly established on Irish boardroom agendas.

Yvo de Boer, KPMG Special Global Advisor on Climate Change and Sustainability, and former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, who was keynote speaker at the launch, said:

Businesses increasingly recognise that climate change, energy prices and energy security, and material scarcity need to be taken into account as part of their strategy, not so much because climate change and sustainability are a threat to them directly, but because there is actually an opportunity to improve their competitive edge and give them a better future.

Coming to grips with climate change, coming to grips with issues around energy prices, energy security and sustainability, is basically a matter of self-interest, though also, of course, for Irish people, a matter for global citizens, operating in a global market.”

Highlights from the 2010 CDP report for Ireland include:

  • 33 Irish companies responded this year, compared with only 14 responses in the 2009 report.
  • Among companies listed on the ISEQ, 20 (50%) of the largest 40 businesses participated in the project, up from 33% total responses last year.
  • Ireland’s 50% response rate among the largest ISEQ companies is still some way behind the >80% response rate of the 300 largest companies across Europe, and a similar rate among the largest 500 globally.
  • 79% of respondents have a dedicated Board or Executive Body with responsibility for governance on corporate environmental responsibility.
  • More than 50% of ISEQ-listed companies and over 80% of other companies that responded, including the largest participants in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, see positive opportunities for their businesses arising from climate change.

As well as the responses of 20 out of the 40 largest listed on the ISEQ, the report covers responses from  seven of the largest eleven Irish firms involved in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, seven other Irish companies, and 28 out of the 30 largest of Ireland’s inward investors.

In addition to the support of KPMG and of its principal sponsor the NTR Foundation, the work of CDP in Ireland is supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the EPA.

Launching the report, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan said:

“Thirty three Irish companies have reported to CDP this year, which is a very encouraging improvement on last year. By incorporating climate change and energy issues into their business plans, the benefits both environmentally and financially for these companies will be significant and can become an important part of Ireland’s future prosperity.

Of course Governments must lead and here in Ireland, the upcoming Climate Legislation will set out both the responsibilities of and the opportunities for, Irish companies in the response to the climate change challenge.

I’m glad to see more and more companies involved in the Project and I look forward to seeing its membership grow in the years ahead.”

Dick Budden, Ireland Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project said: “It is good to see so many more Irish businesses respond to CDP this year. The challenge of climate change is one we all must face but what is really impressive is to see so many and different businesses start turning this challenge into an opportunity to build a sustainable future for themselves, investors and employees.”

Jim Barry, Chief Executive, NTR plc said: “There is growing recognition across the global business community that green growth is not only good for the environment but makes sound business sense. This is becoming increasingly important as a recent lack of global policy cohesion and a reduction in policy support momentum creates a greater reliance on the unilateral actions of the corporate sector in addressing the global climate and energy challenge.”

Terence O’Rourke, Managing Partner, KPMG said: “Increasingly we see more Irish businesses looking at sustainability issues as an opportunity rather than a cost. As a result sustainability is moving inexorably up the business agenda. It is not always easy – but for many companies it is clear that sustainability will be an important element of their future success.”

Comments from some of the leaders of businesses in Ireland that have participated in this year’s CDP Report include:

John Dunsmore, Chief Executive Officer, C&C Group Plc:                                   

“C&C has found that having a clear and present focus on sustainability and the environment makes good commercial sense. We are very pleased to have been involved with the Carbon Disclosure Project in Ireland from its initiation and view our participation as a public statement of our commitment to environmental sustainability.”

Peter O'Neill, Country General Manager, IBM Ireland:                            

"Companies that are moving from a reactive to a pro-active stance in managing carbon are embracing the issue as a growth opportunity.”

Jim Corbett, Managing Director, Bewley’s Limited:                                          

“Bewley’s is fully aware of the impact of climate change. The board took a decision in 2007 to measure, manage and eventually to voluntarily neutralise the environmental impact of our business. This decision also reflects our belief that climate change will have a significant business impact in the near future. Rather than being a cost, Bewley’s experience is that the overall carbon exercise has saved the company money.”

Gabriel D'Arcy, CEO, Bord na Móna:                                                                  

“Over the past year we have undertaken a review of greenhouse gas emissions in our operations and have categorised the emissions by source and activity. The Carbon Disclosure Project allows us to measure the progress we are making in this area.”

Stan McCarthy, Chief Executive, Kerry Group:                                           

“Participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project provides a valuable platform to report our activities and is an important step in demonstrating Kerry Group’s commitment to lower carbon emissions and environmental sustainability.”

John Mullins, Chief Executive, Bord Gáis:                                                              

“Bord Gáis is committed to actively addressing the impacts of climate change, and is taking concrete steps to do so.  CDP’s aim to collect good quality information on how businesses are addressing the potentially harmful impacts of climate change is to be commended and Bord Gáis is delighted to play its part.”

-Ends- 

Issued on behalf of Carbon Disclosure Project and NTR Foundation by Heneghan PR

For reference

Nigel Heneghan / Rachel Watchorn / Eve Noone
Tel + 353 1 660 7395
email: nigel@hpr.ie / rachel@hpr.ie / eve@hpr.ie

Notes to Editors:

NTR Foundation: NTR plc, the international renewable energy group, has a desire to make a strong statement about its corporate commitment to environmental issues. In 2008, the establishment of the NTR Foundation, an independent philanthropic organisation, was announced with NTR committing funding of €5 million and 2.26 million NTR plc ordinary shares. Officially launched in March 2010, the mission of the NTR Foundation is to address the challenges posed by climate change, resource sustainability and security of energy supply. This will be achieved through the provision of targeted financial and expert support to entrepreneurial projects, research programmes and non-governmental organisations. www.ntr-foundation.org

The Carbon Disclosure Project: The Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent not-for-profit organization, established in 2000 that works to collect and distribute high quality information that motivates investors, corporations and governments to take action to prevent dangerous climate change.  

CDP is endorsed by 534 leading institutional investors representing more than US $64 trillion in funds under management. Thousands of organizations from across the world’s major economies measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies through CDP, which holds the largest database of primary corporate climate change information in the world.

Since its launch in 2000, CDP has assembled the largest database of corporate climate change information in the world. 3,000 companies in over 60 countries worldwide now participate in the process, helping to raise awareness and create transparency around the management and reduction of carbon emissions. This is the second Irish report.

Carbon management is becoming a strategic business priority and competitive driver for an increasing number of companies. Through CDP, businesses measure their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies, set reduction targets and make performance improvements, and disclose information to investors and other interested parties.

CDP was described recently in the Harvard Business Review as “the most powerful NGO you never heard of”.  Here is a link to the article:  http://blogs.hbr.org/winston/2010/10/the-most-powerful-green-ngo.html

To access a copy of the full report and for further information on the Carbon Disclosure Project, please visit: https://www.cdproject.net/

KPMG: KPMG in Ireland has 78 partners and 1,700 people in offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway and is a leading provider of services to the renewable energy sector in Ireland. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services operating in 144 countries with 137,000 people working in member firms around the world.  www.kpmg.ie.

Please click here to download a copy of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Ireland 2010 Report in PDF format.

 

 
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