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How we are embedding sustainability across our procurement functions

Conor O’Regan, our new Chief Procurement Officer, tells us about the changes being made to embed sustainability across our business functions and the importance of the new The Irish Supply Chain Sustainability School

Tell us about your role? 

Embedding sustainability in all our procurement activity, irrespective of how small, is key to ESB’s overall success. Whether it’s what we buy, who we buy from, or how we buy - procurement is at the heart of our sustainability goals - not just within our own organisation but also in our wider supply chains. Fundamental to this success is how our procurement teams collaborate with our business partners across the organisation in terms of delivering, advising and leading out on sustainability in everything we do. 

My role is to lead the team and ensure that the procurement function is fully involved in strategic decision-making, and that our people are recognised as highly skilled partners within the organisation to deliver our net zero emissions strategy. 

What kind of goods and services does ESB procure? 

We procure a wide range of supplies, services and works to support the delivery of our business activities. For example, we acquire products such as high-powered electric vehicle charge point infrastructure, transformers, climbing equipment and services such as waste recycling. The full list of all that we procure can be found here

Can you tell us about your role as a founding member of the Irish arm of the Supply Chain Sustainability School? 

ESB is one of the 15 founding partners of The Irish Supply Chain Sustainability School. We believe our participation in this initiative will help us, our supply chain partners and the wider Irish built environment on our collective sustainability journey through the provision of tools, resources and learning materials. 

Through this platform, we are supporting and encouraging our suppliers and contractors to join, offering advice on the content available and acting as advocates for the school in all our supply chain engagements. 

What benefits will this bring to ESB and wider industry? 

The school is free for our suppliers to join and allows suppliers and partner staff to access a wide range of resources. From training and developing action plans to individual learning paths, a wide range of sustainability issues are covered such as Carbon/Net Zero, Community Impact, Biodiversity, Diversity and Inclusion, Waste and Circular Economy, Materials and Wellbeing. More information on the school is available from their website: 

How will this sustainable procurement work feed into ESB’s net zero emissions strategy? 

Sustainable procurement plays a pivotal role in the delivery of our net zero Strategy. With an annual procurement spend exceeding €1.6 billion per annum and increasing, our supply chains are key to the success of our strategic objectives in relation to decarbonised electricity, resilient infrastructure, and empowered customers. In addition, to playing a very significant part in ESB’s overall commitment to being sustainable and socially responsible in everything we do.   

For more information on The Irish Supply Chain Sustainability School, click here.