This week South East Radio looked at a Sustainability Handbook recently launched by Business in the Community Ireland. Joining me on the line to tell us what this is all about is Marian Curry from Business in the Community Ireland.
- The sustainability handbook is an essential tool for business in setting strategic sustainability goals or for anyone with a wider interest in sustainability and business.
- Transformational change is needed if we are to deliver to global commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, restoring nature, and working towards a more equal society. It is evident from the global research and BITCI’s own State of the Nation Research that while there has been significant work done to date on setting ambition levels to address global crises, the current trajectory and pace of change is insufficient. While there is still hope and opportunity, we are rapidly running out of time.
- As BITCI CEO Tomás Sercovich puts it “for business, there is a pressing need to adapt and change fast. How business responds to the current challenges will determine their viability for years to come.”
- Change of this magnitude, however, requires collective action and for this to happen, we need to align on priorities and on the role of business as a positive actor for change. This is the need addressed by BITCI in publishing the handbook in collaboration with network members Northern Trust, BT Ireland, Accenture and AIB and with academic partners Maynooth University and the Centre for Business and Society (CeBaS) at UCD.
- The handbook follows the Economic, Environment, Social and Governance (EESG) framework as used by the BITCI Business Working Responsibly Mark – the standard for CSR and Sustainability in Ireland. It includes best practice examples from across BITCI’s membership, questions to reflect on leadership in sustainability, and draws on existing BITCI publications, academic insights from knowledge partners, and global and national insights gained through its partners – the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and CSR Europe.
Areas where the handbook provides guidance include:
- Taking credible climate action by following a 7-step process
- Addressing how to halt and reverse nature loss
- Ensuring sustainability is core to strategic purpose
- Identifying modern slavery in the supply chain
- Discovering how sustainable practices can create a positive ripple effect, improving lives and empowering communities
- Understanding the impacts of the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)
- Discovering how to make external stakeholders your best allies to address sustainability and tackle your biggest challenges
- No handbook or report can capture all aspects of the fast-moving sustainability landscape but BITCI’s intention is that this handbook will help develop a common view of the role of business in bringing about a low-carbon economy where everyone thrives.
- With this handbook, BITCI reaffirms its longstanding commitment to enabling businesses to embrace sustainability and become forces for positive change.
- So Marian tell us about this sustainability handbook and who is it for?
- Where did the whole idea come from?
- Are businesses running out of time in terms of how they act to help sustainability and climate change?
- So can you give us some examples on what guidance is in this handbook?
- Would you think of adapting this for younger generations like perhaps having a version of it included in a school curriculum?
Here’s a few websites if you want to know more !
The Sustainability Handbook is publicly available through the BITCI website https://www.bitc.ie/sustainability-handbook/