Corporate Ireland moves to embrace green agenda

UK Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability opens an Irish hub

Boards are increasingly seeing core sustainability experience and expertise as vital and not just as a ‘nice to have’.

Boards are increasingly seeing core sustainability experience and expertise as vital and not just as a ‘nice to have’.

 

The first professional accreditation body for sustainability practitioners in business and finance in the Republic has been launched, with the UK Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS) opening an Irish hub.

The ICRS has nine hubs in the UK with 2,000 members from 50 companies and its Irish hub is being hosted by Davy Horizon, the environmental advisory arm of Davy Stockbrokers.

The Institute’s Irish arm will provide ongoing professional development supports for executives working in the area, including education and accreditation programmes.

In a paper on the the role of sustainability executives published as part of the launch – A Green seat for the C-Suite – Davy Horizons points to the key role of chief sustainability officers in major companies, at a time when investors and customers are increasingly demanding that companies pursue green agendas in all areas of their business.

Boards are increasingly seeing core sustainability experience and expertise as vital and not just as a “nice to have” the report says. The chief sustainability officer in an organisation needs to be a bridge between the board and the executive and the rest of the organisation, it says, pushing the green agenda.

Increasingly shareholders are demanding that these roles carry real “clout” and have the influence to deliver real change in the organisation. Sustainable investing has become a major trend, pushing quoted companies to address these issues in a much more concerted way than in the past as investors stand ready to sell off shares in companies not seeing to be making progress on the environment, social and governance issues.

Edelman’s 2021 barometer of corporate trust, which surveyed 34,000 respondents in 28 countries, found an increased focus on corporate responsibility to pursue social and environmental goals.

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