First Climate Action Pledge Report suggests that climate-conscious companies are now purchasing electricity from renewable sources

Responsible business network Business in the Community (BITC) and Deloitte have released the first annual Climate Action Pledge Report, an important milestone in an ambitious long-term climate action campaign which creates urgency and a platform for joint action by business.

Responsible business network Business in the Community (BITC) and Deloitte have released the first annual Climate Action Pledge Report, an important milestone in an ambitious long-term climate action campaign which creates urgency and a platform for joint action by business.

BITC’s Climate Action Pledge asks Northern Ireland organisations to make an ambitious public commitment to cut GHG emissions by 50% or 30% by 2030, ahead of the UK government trajectory to achieve Net Zero by 2050. Signatories must report on progress and results are compiled and reported annually by campaign audit partner Deloitte

Kieran Harding, Managing Director, Business in the Community said: “This inaugural report sets out a baseline from which to chart future progress on the decarbonisation pathway. For the first time, we have a collective cross-sectoral perspective that includes insights from 21 local companies.

“Addressing climate breakdown and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint is integral to ensuring a liveable future and in creating new opportunities for business that generate greater prosperity and wellbeing for all.”

The Report found that:

  • From the baseline year reporting to the current year reporting, there has been a 35% decrease in carbon emissions across scope 1 and 2 which shows real progress against the Pledge commitments, to reduce emissions by either 30 or 50% by 2030
  • Diesel usage is the main source of mobile emissions and was the main driver around the decrease from the base period to the current year.
  • There has been a significant decrease in scope 2 emissions from the base period, nearly 50%. A reduction at this scale would suggest that many companies are now purchasing electricity from renewable sources.

Jackie Henry, Senior Office Partner, Deloitte said: “I am extremely proud that Deloitte is involved in this partnership with Business in the Community. It aligns well with our ambition to drive responsible climate choices within our organisation and beyond, and our purpose – to make an impact that matters for our clients, people and society.”

The Report acknowledged that, in 2020/21, emissions will be reduced in part because of the reduced levels of activity across many industries and sectors in response to Covid restrictions.
Ms Henry continued: “While the findings from the Report are encouraging, we are aware that Covid will have disrupted normal operations and that the signatory organisations reporting on their emissions are those who are already most climate conscious, and thus most likely to have already started on their climate-action journey.

“However, via the report we can see clear evidence that all sectors want to play their part in addressing the climate challenge and we want to call on all businesses across NI to sign the Climate Action Pledge and to work with their stakeholders to create positive change.”

To date, 29 organisations in Northern Ireland have signed the Climate Action Pledge and BITC is providing helpful guidance, resources, support, and networking opportunities to inform organisations about the practical measures they can take to ensure their operations are sustainable.

For more information on the Climate Action Pledge, and to download the report, visit www.bitcni.org.uk/climateactionpledge or email environment@bitcni.org.uk.