The Leaders’ Group on Sustainability


leaders' group on sustainability







 The BITCI Leaders’ Group on Sustainability is a coalition of the CEOs of Ireland’s leading organisations, striving to improve the sustainability of the Irish business sector through innovation, cross-sectoral collaboration and critically, taking the lead in bold ambition to develop and accelerate new ways of working to support the necessary change for a sustainable future.  

 The Group is open to the leading companies who have achieved the Business Working Responsibly mark, or equivalency.  

Leaders in Innovation 

Since its establishment in 2016, the Leaders’ Group has driven sustainability in the Irish business sector by building a community of courage through enabling leading CEOs across Ireland to foster relationships and connection with each other across sectors and regions, and, through empowering innovation – taking the risks leaders do to affect change, exploring topics and building new ways of working.  

The work of the Leaders’ Group has led to the development and realisation of BITCI’s collective pledges for action and continues to evolve and push forward the movement for sustainable change across business in Ireland – crucially grounded in collaboration and active responsibility for impact.  

The Leaders’ Group approach allows for flexibility and evolution in priority areas to adapt to the fast-paced sustainability eco-system in Ireland. This has led to two defined pillars of collaborative change (Diversity & Inclusion and Low Carbon Economy), and a space which is moving and honing in on best supports as needs evolve (Building Capabilities).  

Diversity & Inclusion  

Through the work of the Social Inclusion Sub-Group, chaired by Sinead Patton Veolia Chief Financial and Commercial Officer and Harry Goddard, CEO of Deloitte Ireland, with active engaged leaders from CRH, Dawn Meats, Deloitte, eir, Gas Networks Ireland, Janssen, SSE, Veolia, the Leaders Group has targeted innovative responses to build a more inclusive society.  

A key milestone of this strand of innovation was the 2021 launch of Elevate, the inclusive workplace pledge: Elevate supports businesses to build more inclusive workplaces. The ultimate ambition of this initiative is for a workforce that is representative of all members of Irish society. 

Transition to a Low Carbon Economy 

Through the work of the Low Carbon Economy Sub-Group, co-chaired by Mark Foley EirGrid Group Chief Executive Officer and Denis O’Sullivan Gas Networks Ireland Managing Director, with active engaged leaders from ESB, Dawn Meats, Musgrave, Janssen, Transdev and Veolia, the Leaders Group has empowered businesses across Ireland to take the reins in Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy.  

The first action from the Group has been the development of a Low Carbon Pledge aimed at tackling one of the most pressing global issues, climate change. The purpose of this Pledge is to demonstrate Irish business commitment to reducing carbon emissions and to act as a catalyst for wider, complementary initiatives and actions. 

Ongoing Innovation  

True innovation must respond to the changing eco-system for sustainability in Ireland and beyond 

Building Capabilities 

This core responsibility to flexibility, is embodied in a rapidly evolving Building Capabilities Sub-Group working to identify best supports and frameworks to empower employment, capabilities and sustainable workforce, co-chaired by Melisoa O’Caoimh  Northern Trust and Shay Walshe BT with active members, Accenture, A&L Goodbody, ESB,  Vodafone, PM Group and Deloitte.  

The work to date of this sub-group includes detailed review and input from a range of leading members on the challenges ahead, and the foundations for developing a collective, holistic approach to technological advancements.  

Current projects in development include competency frameworks for leaders and managers to staff for sustainability needs and empowering leaders through governance.  

For more information on the Leaders’ Group on Sustainability please contact Bernadette Phelan on 01 874 7232 or