More than 40 top companies in Ireland have pledged to cut their carbon emissions significantly by 2030.
The companies, which cover retail, manufacturing, agri-food, professional services, banks, transport and ICT, made the pledge at a summit organised by the sustainability network Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI).
The companies have committed to reducing both Scope 1 emissions, which are emissions produced directly from sources that are owned and controlled by the company, and Scope 2 carbon emission intensity, which are indirect greenhouse gases from purchase of electricity.
Among the 43 companies are Aldi, An Post, Musgrave and Virgin Media Ireland. ESB, EirGrid and Gas Networks Ireland have also signed up, along with SSE Ireland, William Fry and Transdev.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton, commended the companies taking part in the pledge.
“The decisions we make now in tackling climate change will define the next century,” he said. “We need to dramatically step up our response to climate change. By leading the way, we can take advantage of the opportunities offered in a low carbon climate resilient economy. If we fall further behind, these opportunities may become more elusive or worse be completely lost.”
Head of BITCI Tomás Sercovich said it was the first time that Irish businesses had made a dedicated pledge to reduce carbon emissions.
“The transition to a low carbon economy will also bring opportunities for business and will play a key role in ensuring Ireland’s future competitiveness,” he said. “We also believe that chief executives and business leaders must be proactive in today’s world in leading from the front in tackling the major issues facing our communities, our country and our planet. Inspired leadership is what employees and consumers throughout Ireland are increasingly demanding.”