Climate Change Firmly on Irish Boardroom Agenda

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Ireland 2010 Report 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.

“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,” says 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 of the report. “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.

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