Written answers

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Climate Change Policy

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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93. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he has set a target for the number of enterprises supported by each of the agencies under his Department to complete energy and climate audits. [28808/21]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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Climate action is one of the most pressing issues facing the Irish economy and society and my Department, in conjunction with the enterprise agencies, is actively pursuing opportunities for decarbonisation across the enterprise base and is integrating climate action into all aspects of departmental and agencies’ activities.

Included in the IDA’s strategy, 2021-2024, is a target to assist its clients to develop 20 Corporate Climate Action Plans. These plans will set a baseline carbon footprint, an annual abatement target, and an outline of activities to drive abatement at a company level and the sustainability investments will embed sustainability among IDA client’s activities.

Enterprise Ireland’s new €10m Climate Action Enterprise Fund and the Local Enterprise Offices Green for Micro programme support client companies in the low-carbon transition. These funds aim to assist up to 850 companies at an early stage of exploring climate and sustainability to develop a high-level company action plan, which will enable them to measure their carbon footprint and identify projects leading to reduced emissions and greater resource efficiency. The plan will assess the company’s operations, supply chain, market opportunities and challenges through a climate and sustainability lens.

One of the proposed measures in the European Commission review of the Non-financial Reporting Directive in April, is the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, which includes the requirement of an audit of reported information for all large businesses.

My Department is also working to activate the wider enterprise base through the development of an online portal – the ‘Climate Toolkit 4 Business’which will enable businesses to calculate their carbon footprint, assessing details they provide on energy, waste, water and transport use and assist businesses to develop a plan to reduce their emissions. The toolkit will sign-post enterprises, to relevant information and incentives, tailored to their sector and size, including SEAI’s advice and access to energy auditing services. It is expected to be launched in Q3 this year.

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