As COP27 comes to an end, business leaders meet in Belfast to highlight commitments to environmental action

Responsible business network Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI) brought together more than 70 CEOs and senior business leaders to inspire them to take collaborative action on the issues affecting our planet the most.

Responsible business network Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI) brought together more than 70 CEOs and senior business leaders to inspire them to take collaborative action on the issues affecting our planet the most.

Taking place at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, keynote speaker, Håkan Nordkvist, former Head of Sustainability Innovation & Board member, IKEA encouraged the audience to think about bold goals and how innovation and smart decision-making can have a powerful impact.

BITCNI Managing Director, Kieran Harding said: “As we face the perfect storm of issues affecting people, the planet and the places in which our businesses are located, responsible leadership is needed more than ever.

“People are looking to leaders for answers, as the impact of the cost-of-living bites hard, as the pressure grows to take action on the undeniable impacts of climate change, or the need to manage the unchartered territory of rising energy costs, recognising the effects these are having on companies and wider society at home and abroad. A sustainable future is on everyone’s mind, but one thing is certain, we cannot tackle these issues on our own.

“That’s why today is so important. As COP27 comes to a conclusion, we all must do better. With little traction since COP26 in 2021, it is imperative that every person, business, government and community takes decisive action now.”

The CEO Breakfast was the first in a three-part environment symposium. The results of this year’s NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey were released, with 29 companies achieving Platinum level this year, Spirit AeroSystems was hailed as the top performing organisation, with special recognition for Fiacre O’Donnell, Head of Sustainability at Encirc who received the George Dawson Award for environmental contribution.

The final part of the morning saw more than 100 organisations recognised for their participation in BITCNI’s Community Renewal Funded Climate Action Programme. An initiative that was piloted by Danske Bank and embraced by companies endeavouring to strengthen supply chains and stakeholders across Northern Ireland. It has been led by BITCNI’s Climate Action Champions ABP, Belfast Harbour, Danske Bank, Encirc, Lidl, NI Water, Power NI, SONI, and Translink and verified by Deloitte.

Launched on the day of the event was BITCNI’s Climate Action Hub – a brand new resource with lots of guidance and support for companies who want to take positive steps to protect the planet – www.bitcni.org.uk/climate-action-resource-hub.

To find out more about Business in the Community, visit www.bitcni.org.uk.