Annual environmental report recognises and ranks organisations in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s most sustainable organisations have been revealed at an event to announce the results of the 2022 Northern Ireland Environmental Benchmarking Survey.

Northern Ireland’s most sustainable organisations have been revealed at an event to announce the results of the 2022 Northern Ireland Environmental Benchmarking Survey.

The Survey is an externally verified self-disclosure exercise that scores and ranks organisations on their environmental efforts and performance. Participating organisations are provided with a Gap Analysis Report to help them to identify areas that need action.

This year, Spirit Aerosystems took the top spot and Technidrive Ltd received the award for Top Performing Small Business. Fiacre O’Donnell, Sustainability Director, Vidrala was awarded the George Dawson Award for Environmental Contribution at the event, which took place as part of Business in the Community’s Environment Symposium at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

100 NI-based organisations from sectors including: General Manufacturing; Local Authority; Education; Utilities; Construction; ICT; and Food and Drink took part in the Survey, which is organised by responsible business network Business in the Community. 29 participating organisations achieved Platinum, the highest level of achievement, and Local Authority was the highest scoring sector this year.

The Survey – sponsored by Moy Park and supported by Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) – recognises and rewards organisations that are going above and beyond their legal requirements to improve their environmental impacts and better manage their resources, and provides a roadmap for improvements to help drive responsible behaviour throughout the supply chain.

Participants reported that the impacts of the pandemic are still having an impact on their programmes, and that higher energy prices and the wider cost-of-living crisis created huge challenges, but that their commitment to the environment continued, which is reflected in a 2% increase in average score.

‘The Survey results also showed that 55% of participants recycle over 75% of their generated waste and that 34% of organisations are sourcing more than half their energy from renewable sources, a 5% increase on 2021. 19% of participants said they use over 95% renewable energy.

Philip McMurray, Waste Legislation, Environmental Resources Policy Division spoke at the event on behalf of DAERA. Philip said, “Taking pro-active steps to improve environmental impacts and eliminate negative impacts is necessary to create a successful business, a stronger, more circular economy, and for a sustainable planet.

“The Department is encouraged that both new and returning organisations from all sectors and of all sizes in Northern Ireland are willing to take part in the Survey and hold themselves to public account, demonstrating that they are prioritising the environment as part of their core business practice.”

Declan Cunningham, Head of Sustainability and Risk, Moy Park, said: “Moy Park has been a participant of the Survey for 24 years. We are proud of our commitment to improvement and sustainable practices and delighted to have achieved Platinum Level in the Survey again this year.”

Managing Director of Business in the Community, Kieran Harding, said: “The Survey is an important comparison tool and serves to highlight key environmental areas that organistions need to be thinking about for the future.

Mr Harding continued: “Stakeholders, suppliers and the general public are seeking reassurance from businesses that they’re doing all they can for the benefit of the environment and participating in the Survey can provide evidence of their commitment to a greener future.

“I want to congratulate and thank all companies that have stepped forward to take part.”

To find out which organisations participated in the 2022 Survey and to see how they scored, visit www.bitcni.org.uk/niebs.