BITCI discusses Sustainability with Enterprise Oireachtas Committee  

BITCI News - Mar 20, 2024

20th March 2024 Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) presented to the Joint OIreachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment today on the challenges facing business in terms of Sustainability and CSR.  

Given BITCI’s expertise in advising, supporting and challenging business across all Economic, Environment, Social and Governance (EESG) aspects of sustainability, the presentation was equally holistic. It also provided a number of recommendations which if implemented by Government would significantly aid business to play a more progressive role in tackling the climate / nature crisis and social inequality.  

BITCI’s network of 120 large companies are keen to demonstrate leadership and commitment to sustainability but face real challenges. These include: 

  • Upskilling their staff on the impact of the business on nature and creating a nature action plan to remedy and improve their activities so they can be more proactive in tackling the dual climate / nature crisis. BITCI is urging Government to provide financial resources and supports to business including SMEs to they can achieve a net zero and nature positive economy.  
  • Adopting and implementing Diversity and Inclusion policies to ensure their workforce represents the diversity of the society we live in. The Government must support initiatives such as BITCI employment programmes to tackle ongoing barriers to employment experienced by vulnerable job seekers. 
  • Addressing the skills gaps among staff in a context of increased EU regulations and Directives e.g. Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.  The Government must upskill and support staff in IDA and Enterprise Ireland so they in turn can educate and train their clients.  

June Tinsley, BITCI Head of Communications said “There is an increasing expectation by investors, staff and customers that business embrace sustainability practices that support long term economic competitiveness and social stability. While many have focused efforts on decarbonisation, action has been slow on ensuring a holistic and strategic approach to sustainability. Our mix of collective Pledges and Business Working Responsibly Mark management framework helps unite and raise standards of sustainability but Government must provide further assistance too. Companies don’t operate in isolation they are interconnected with their suppliers, local communities, staff and customers. Coordinated responses involving all key actors are required to move the dial to progress the sustainability agenda.”