Gas Networks Ireland in top quartile of global climate change programme

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Gas Networks Ireland’s commitment to taking coordinated action on climate issues has once again been recognised by the international Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

Improving on its inaugural rating of a ‘B-‘ last year, Gas Networks Ireland scored a ‘B’ in 2021, exceeding the global and sector averages to finish in the top quartile of the 11,759 firms assessed world-wide including 73 other Irish companies.

CDP’s annual disclosure and scoring process is respected as the gold standard of corporate environmental transparency, ranking companies on a scale of A to D-, based on their comprehensiveness of disclosure, level of transparency, awareness and management of both environmental risks and opportunities, their demonstration of best practices, and their setting of ambitious and meaningful targets.

Commenting on the global sustainability recognition, Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Health, Safety, Quality and Environment, Conor Ahern, said: “We are delighted to have increased our CDP rating from a ‘B minus’ to a ‘B’, particularly as many companies scores dropped this year, as the consensus on what taking coordinated action on climate issues has evolved and the bar has been raised.” 

“This is a global validation of our achievements to date and underpins the journey we are on to decarbonise Ireland’s gas network and our operations as a whole.”

This was the second time that Gas Networks Ireland participated in the assessment, transparently disclosing its carbon footprint, carbon reduction strategy and governance mechanisms to be rated against world-wide best practice.

“We are committed to improving our carbon management performance even further and will address the gaps identified in the CDP report and work towards achieving an ‘A’ rating,” Mr Ahern said.

“Although no Irish companies attained an ‘A’ rating this year, it’s wonderful to see 12 scoring an ‘A-‘, and I am delighted that Gas Networks Ireland is playing its part in helping Ireland to achieve its climate action targets.”

CDP’s Global Director of Corporations and Supply Chains, Dexter Galvin, said: “COP26 highlighted the necessary role corporates play in driving the real economy changes to tackle the climate and ecological emergency, and keep us within 1.5°C. 

“It is fantastic that more businesses are disclosing their impact every year and recognizing the interconnectedness of environmental issues.”

Earlier this year, Gas Networks Ireland struck gold twice at the Green Awards, winning both the Green Business of the Year and the Green Large Organisation of the Year 2021.

Despite the limitations faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gas Networks Ireland exceeded all its sustainability targets in 2020, including exceeding the national Public Sector Energy Efficiency Target by 14%, delivering a 47% energy improvement across its offices and fleet and increasing its stakeholder initiatives by 51%.

In December 2018, Gas Networks Ireland signed up to the Low Carbon Pledge to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. The pledge is a business in the Community initiative that encourages Irish businesses to invest time and resources into creating a more sustainable operation, by being more energy efficient and reducing carbon usage.

Entitled ‘Sustainability in Action’ and aligned to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard, Gas Networks Ireland’s third annual sustainability report, published in August, highlights the ongoing progress made by the national gas network operator in supporting environmental, social and economic sustainability within both its own business and the communities in which it operates.

The report can be downloaded at www.gassustainability.ie