70 of Irish businesses have signed up to a low carbon pledge according to a new report from PWC released today.
The report prepared by PwC, in partnership with Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), states that 70% of the Pledge Signatories will have set Science-Based Targets (SBTs) by 2024, with the majority set to achieve these targets by 2030 or earlier.
The primary motivation for 42% of companies signing the pledge was business model resilience. While 23% said that reputation was a key driver. Other motivations for committing to low carbon targets included stakeholder pressure, corporate and social responsibility and policy and regulation.
66% of the businesses signed up to the pledge have committed to a public net-zero target, up 24% from the previous year.
Companies reported a number of challenges to setting net-zero targets with cost cited as a barrier for 29% of firms. Meanwhile, lack of technology and having no analysis done were also found to be barriers for 26% and 23% of companies respectively. percentage points from last year.
Carbon offsets are being used by 35% of signatories, primarily those in the transport/logistics and professional services sectors.
Businesses across 11 sectors have signed up to the pledge. The sectors with the largest level of representation include professional services firms, agribusiness/food and drink alongside financial services.
Companies signed up to the low carbon pledge include Aldi, Irish Rail, Vodafone and Keelings.
Tomás Sercovich, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), commented: "We are making steady progress towards our ambition to have science-based emission reduction targets set no later than 2024. This is a mission we cannot afford to fail and we cannot leave anyone behind. Business must act and business must lead.”
Kim McClenaghan, Partner, PwC Ireland Energy, Utilities & Sustainability Practice Lead, said: “Companies should define comprehensive and ambitious strategies to achieve net-zero that are consistent with the Paris climate agreement.