Half of businesses in low carbon pledge have not set targets to lower emissions

Some companies signed up to the Business in the Community Ireland Low Carbon Pledge need to be tougher in setting their targets

Half of Irish businesses signed up to the Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) Low Carbon Pledge have not yet set targets for decarbonisation, according to a new report.

The fifth report on the BITCI Low Carbon Pledge, prepared by PwC and launched on Wednesday, says there is an urgency on some companies “to be more proactive in setting their targets and reducing their emissions”.

Originally launched in 2018, there are now 68 companies that have pledged to set science-based targets (SBTs) to reduce emissions no later than December 2024.

Today’s report highlights that 50 per cent of signatories have fully set SBTs that have been approved by the Science Based Target Initiative, while a further 31 per cent have formally committed to setting SBTs – meaning a total of 81 per cent are “well progressed” to setting targets by 2024, up 11 per cent from last year.


Only half of signatories have integrated the Government’s Climate Action Plan into their sustainability strategy, while 34 per cent have availed of Government support for energy management and carbon reduction within their organisation.

BITCI urged pledge signatories to consider incorporating nature into their climate action plans, as only 50 per cent have identified the specific impacts and dependencies on nature for their organisation.

The report also identified challenges experienced by signatories in calculating carbon emissions, in particular for indirect scope 3 emissions which include those from company supply chains.

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan said the 68 signatory companies are “leading by example”, and encouraged more companies to join the pledge “as it continues to increase its ambition and impact”.

Tomás Sercovich, chief executive of BITCI, said that with next year’s target only 15 months away, it is “imperative” that all signatories set their targets. However, he said that they “can’t do it alone”.

“Businesses need guidance, financial support and clarity from Government and the EU Commission to guarantee their compliance and action. Cop28 must provide the urgency and action plans necessary to prioritise and accelerate collaborations with businesses to address the climate and nature crises,” he said.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is a contributor to The Irish Times