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Back to Blog 18 February 2021

Working together for the ‘A’ Grade

Low Carbon Future

In 2020, ESB was recognised for leadership in climate action and corporate sustainability by global environmental non-profit CDP, securing a place on its prestigious ‘A List’ for tackling climate change and leading the way to a more sustainable future.

In achieving this, ESB was one of only four companies in Ireland and one of just 270 globally that was awarded the ‘A’ score last year.

About CDP

CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure platform for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to report on their climate impact and climate governance. The world’s economy looks to CDP climate action reporting as the gold standard of climate  reporting with the richest and most comprehensive dataset on corporate and city action.

CDP requests information on carbon emissions, targets and governance as well as climate risks and low-carbon opportunities from the world’s largest companies on behalf of over 590 institutional investor signatories with a combined US$110 trillion in assets and 150+ major purchasers with over US$4 trillion in procurement spend.

By scoring companies and cities, CDP aims to incentivise and guide them on a journey through disclosure towards becoming a leader on environmental transparency and action to build a truly sustainable economy.

How ESB Achieved the ‘A’ Grade

ESB has been reporting  our greenhouse gas emissions for over a decade ((since 2009

Over the last decade, ESB has worked tirelessly in reducing the carbon intensity of our generation portfolio. This launch, in 2018, of our Brighter Future strategy formalised this ambition with a roadmap and carbon target  to transition to a low-carbon future for the period up to 2030. 

Over the next decade, ESB will make significant investments to increase the capacity of our electricity networks to support low-carbon technologies and distributed energy resources, enable the widespread electrification of heating and transport, and create customer-centric products and services that will allow customers to manage their energy more efficiently.

In line with this ambition, best practices in carbon governance have been put in place with collaboration across the Group. 

These investments will be underpinned and enabled by strong commercial propositions in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), Northern Ireland (NI) and Great Britain (GB) that will maintain the financial strength of our businesses.

Some of our key achievements in the transition to a low-carbon world as part of our Brighter Future strategy include:

  • The roll out of a comprehensive EV charging infrastructure across the island of Ireland with a recent investment of €20m to further support the electrification of transport.
  • Continued expansion of renewable generation and associated technology portfolio with significant investment in onshore, offshore, solar and battery generation.
  • Development of energy solutions to meet evolving market needs. For example, ESB Networks is currently undertaking a smart meter replacement programme which will benefit customers, the environment and economy.
  • Collaboration with partners in the roll out of low-carbon solutions.
  • Development of a high-performance culture that supports innovation and collaboration in delivering a strong and sustainable business.

Based on our ambitions and these achievements to date, CDP has recognised our actions to reduce our direct and indirect emissions, mitigation of climate risks and development of the low-carbon economy – resulting in ESB being awarded the ‘A’ score last year.

Future outlook

This is only the beginning and going forward, ESB remains committed to the CDP process, further improving our climate governance and sustainability and maintaining its ‘A’ grading as we lead the transition to a low-carbon future powered by clean, reliable and affordable energy.

“Our inclusion on the CPD ‘A’ List is a huge endorsement of ESB’s Brighter Future strategy, which is anchored in our ambition to lead the transition to a low-carbon energy future powered by clean electricity. This grading acknowledges the collective efforts of everyone in ESB to track and report our environmental progress, and to innovate and implement new solutions for a low-carbon world. In doing so, we are not only reducing our own carbon footprint but also enabling our customers to take this journey with us,” says Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB.