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Environmental Best Practice – thinking with a green/environmental lens

Adopting sustainable business practices and thinking with a green/environmental sustainability lens will enable organizations to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, reduce costs and increase access to customers who are increasingly demanding more environmentally friendly products and services, it will help and prepare business for the low carbon, more resource economy of the future.

Sustainability should be integrated into all key business processes (e.g. strategy, supply chain management, new product/service development) and roles (e.g. purchasing, finance, communications, marketing and sales) to enable the transformation in business operations, supply chain, products and services that is required. Sustainability should be at the core of all business models, decisions and actions.

The science is clear – we must halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by no later than 2050 to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Adopting sustainable practices will increase the agility and resilience of organizations to climate change impacts.

Two fundamental approaches to climate change resiliency are Climate Mitigation and Climate Adaptation.

Climate Mitigation refers to reducing or preventing the emission of greenhouse gases (for example, reduce the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat or transport) or enhancing the “sinks” that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests and soil). Mitigation can mean using new technologies and renewable energies, making older equipment more energy efficient, or changing management practices or consumer behaviour.

Climate Adaptation means anticipating the adverse effects of climate change and taking appropriate action to prevent or minimise the damage they can cause, or taking advantage of opportunities that may arise.

While not all business sectors will be equally impacted, climate changes will impact on Irish businesses through changing markets, impacts on premises and processes, increased vulnerability of supply chains, and may have implications for investments, insurance costs and stakeholder reputation. It has been shown that well planned, early adaptation can ensure risks are minimized at least cost.