Sustainability in ESB

Sustainability is the way ESB addresses the challenge of achieving a low carbon future. We are committed to playing a leading role in meeting this challenge through a variety of operational measures.

Sustainability adds real value to ESB by contributing directly towards our strategy through both big and small initiatives. Sustainability is a key enabler to the corporate strategy and delivers against each of the strategic priorities of our strategy in a very significant way.

  • Sustainability supports the creation of world-class networks through smart metering and smart networks to the facilitation of renewable energy on the network.
  • In growing our generation and supply businesses, sustainability adds value through developing new renewable energy sources, reducing our CO2 emissions from our power stations and developing new energy services solutions to meet the growing customer demand for sustainable products and services.
  • Sustainability enables ESB to develop new business opportunities arising from the low carbon economy and innovation is an important part of the new corporate strategy.
  • Sustainability has delivered real value in transforming how we work delivering real value to the business.
  • Our sustainability champions have shown how sustainability has captured the imagination of staff right throughout the company to demonstrate what an agile and engaged organisation looks and feels like.

Staff throughout ESB have been engaged with the sustainability agenda since the beginning of the Programme in 2008. One of the great successes is the way in which it promotes innovation and fresh-thinking throughout the organisation, as teams and individuals identify new and more efficient ways of working.

ESB Sustainable Cycling event in 2012 demonstrates our commitment to sustainable action within the organisation


Engaging our Staff in Sustainability Initiatives

ESB encourages its staff to get involved in sustainability and staff support and engagement is a key part of our sustainability strategy. We want to lead by example by using energy responsibly in all our internal business activities - a specific aim of our focused change programme.

Sustainability Champions are the backbone of this network of engaged and enthusiastic staff. These Champions are staff who, in addition to their normal duties, takes on extra responsibilities associated with promoting and co-ordinating sustainability activities in their own locations.

ESB always encourages staff to record sustainable initiatives to further improve performance. Our annual Sustainability Awards recognise staff for their collective and individual commitment to working in a sustainable manner. ESB also encourages and facilitates staff to avail of sustainable travel options.

Working with Customers

ESB has a strong track record of working with customers to ensure that they use electricity in an energy efficient manner. Today our supply business Electric Ireland has a wide range of energy services tailored for business and domestic customers to help reduce costs and become more sustainable. In addition to specific products and services designed to save energy, we also offer advice to customers on how to achieve savings in their energy usage to cut costs.

ESB and Sustainable Procurement

ESB is committed to procuring goods and services in a sustainable manner. ESB’s sustainable procurement objectives and the process for achieving these objectives are understood and championed by all key procurement personnel across the business. The key sustainable procurement objectives are;

  • Life cycle costing is adopted for all appropriate contracts.
  • All contracts that require the provision of labour on ESB sites are subject to the provisions of ESB Contractor Employment Standards Policy, which includes the provision of contractor signoffs and third party audits.
  • Specifications where appropriate call for the submission of sustainability variants.
  • Tenders take account of our ethical sourcing requirements.
  • Waste management and environment assessments are conducted in compliance with appropriate Business Unit Regulations.

In 2012 we undertook a review of ESB’s approach to ensuring a sustainable supply chain across all activities. This led to the development of a Sustainable Procurement Checklist which is currently being trialled to ensure that sustainability is considered during all phases of the contract cycle. In addition, a four-year Sustainable Procurement Roadmap is under development to ensure that the delivery of our sustainable procurement goals and its associated review process are managed in a coherent and structured manner.

Engaging with our Customers on Sustainability Practices

ESB’s corporate social responsibility aim is to be exemplary in every aspect of our business operations to ensure ESB has a positive impact on our staff, the markets in which we conduct our business, the environment in which we operate and the communities we serve. This ambition is aligned with our vision to be Ireland’s foremost energy company competing successfully in the all-islands market and underpinned by our aim of conducting all our affairs with our customers, partners, stakeholders and the public with integrity and to the highest ethical standards.

Since publication of our first Corporate Social Responsibility report in 2004, we have continued to deepen our understanding of the concept and ensure that responsible action underlies all our decisions at ESB. It reflects our commitment to being a successful, responsible and progressive company contributing to the economic and social life of Ireland and of those countries where we operate abroad.

Our industry is going through very significant change. This presents us with challenges to ensure that we adapt our business processes in a responsible manner. But we are as committed to the social and environmental dimensions of our business as to our financial performance. We are in business for the long term - and that means we aim to ensure our actions have a positive, fair and ethical impact on all our stakeholders.

Sustainability Reports