Top Irish firms named and shamed for failing to tackle climate change
Ryanair, PaddyPower Betfair and PTSB singled out for not disclosing carbon footprint
Ryanair headquarters, Dublin: the airline is one of a list of top Irish firms named and shamed for failing to report their greenhouse gas emissions. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images
The PLCs were included in a list of 27 well-known Irish brands compiled by the influential CDP group, a non-profit organisation that measures the environment impact of thousands of companies around the world.
Total Produce, Dalata, Applegreen and Kenmare Resources also received an “F mark” for non-disclosure in the CDP’s report, which collects data for global investors with more than $100 trillion (€92 trillion) of assets under management, including BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and Aviva Investors . However, a spokesman for Kenmare said the company does publish its greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental metrics in their annual report.
The report comes amid serious questions about Ireland’s commitment to tackling climate change. A separate study last week, published to coincide with the UN climate talks in Bonn, ranked Ireland as the worst-performing country in Europe in taking action to address the issue.
On the upside, the CDP’s report placed insulation maker Kingspan and AIB on its so-called climate “A-list” of companies who were leading the way on climate change mitigation. They were the only two Irish firms to make the global list of 114 companies adjudged to be successfully tackling the issue, which includes Unilever, Microsoft and Toyota. Other Irish companies highlighted for their efforts were Accenture, Ingersoll-Rand, Shire and Kerry Group.
In 2016, Kingspan passed the half-way mark along its path to being a “net zero energy” user by 2020 with renewable energy accounting for 57 per cent of its total energy use.
In the past five years, the Cavan-based company’s products have helped customers reduce their annual energy consumption by over 600 million megawatt hours – the equivalent to more than 372 million barrels of oil.
The CDP report noted that the building sector contributed 30 per cent of global annual greenhouse gas emissions and accounted for 40 per cent of global energy consumption.
Unless more action is taken by governments and corporates, the United Nations Energy Programme predicts that greenhouse gas emissions are set to double over the next 20 years.
“This is our third year making the CDP A-list and I’m proud to be one of only two Irish companies to have achieved this challenging standard,” Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh said.
“ Our achievements to date clearly demonstrate the business case behind saving energy, reducing carbon emissions and generating renewable energy on our own sites – often using our own products and solutions,” he said.
According to CDP, the number of Irish companies reporting on their carbon emissions rose 20 per cent last year to 30.
“Measurement and transparency are where meaningful climate action starts and it’s clear that investors are taking an ever-increasing interest in the environmental footprint of companies they invest in,” Emma Jane Joyce, chairperson of the CDP Ireland Network, said.
Next year CDP plans to increase its level of engagement with the Irish investment community to encourage their support in addressing climate change.