Irish Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) leaders gathered at a Gala Luncheon at The Round Room in the Mansion House, Dublin on June 30th, 2022 for the inaugural Business & Finance ESG awards.
While sustainability is the most important and urgent issue of our times, it can mean different things to different companies. ESG provides a specific set of criteria, namely environmental, social and governance, that companies can measure, benchmark and report against. ESG is vitally important because it now relates to internal practices and policies that lead to effective decision making and, in turn, facilitates sustainable top-line growth into the future.
Attracting over 100 entries from 80+ companies nationwide, the ESG Awards were established to recognise and celebrate individuals and groups who are actively striving to address environmental, social and governance issues. The Awards showcase the successes of ESG initiatives and examples of best practice, as well as highlighting the importance of transparency.
In light of growing climate change concerns and the increasing importance of sustainability, large numbers of businesses are recognising the need to adopt ESG into their company’s DNA. As such, the ESG Awards were established to commend and encourage this trend by recognising those who are surpassing their expectations and setting a high standard for ESG excellence.
This was the first instalment of the awards including some of Ireland’s most influential businesses named as finalists. The winners were decided by an esteemed judging panel who rewarded the best in class under 14 categories, and one outstanding individual demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and ESG.
The judging panel included notable business leaders such as Faye Walsh Droillard, Founder of Wake Up Capital; Kathy Ryan, Head of Responsible Investment at Irish Life Investment; Margot Slattery, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at ISS; and Anne Heraty, Non-Executive Director for Cpl.
Dublin-based insurance company Aviva claimed the first award of the night as they received the Net Zero Carbon Award, sponsored by SSE Airtricity. The award was presented by Stuart Hobbs, Director of SSE Airtricity Energy Services Ireland. Aviva were commended for for their ambitious commitment to carbon neutrality since 2006.
Bus Éireann saw off competition from Dairygold Co-operative Society Ltd and Wisetek to take home the Sustainable Supply Chain Award. The prize was accepted by Ceara McBride.
The Social Responsibility Project Award sponsored by AWS was awarded to Marino Software and presented to them by Neil Morris, Head of AWS Infrastructure. Allergy Standards, Arthurt Cox, Dalata Hotel Group Plc, Fujitsu and TELUS International Ireland were also amongst the nominees.
Dublin-based broadband company SIRO took home the Employee Experience Award in a category featuring Bord Na Móna, GIY Ireland, Version 1 and Woodie’s.
The Biodiversity Initiative Gong went to Keelings having demonstrated its commitment to biodiversity and sustainability throughout its global reach. Caroline Keeling, CEO and William Keeling, Property Director of Keelings accepted the award.
The ESG Company Award (Startup) was accepted by Ethico, an ethical investment company. Peter Scott Head of Customer Success, Onclusive presented the award to Ethico director Ciaran Hughes.
Mobility Mojo, who evaluate tech for facilities and hotel accessibility, scooped the ESG Company Award (SME) Sponsored by Aviva. CEO Stephen Cluskey accepted the award presented by Caitlín Flanagan, CR Executive, Aviva Ireland.
AIB Group Plc won the ESG Company Award (Enterprise) sponsored by Microsoft. The award was presented by Anne Sheehan, General Manager, Microsoft Ireland. The Irish bank also claimed the ESG Investment Award which featured Aviva, Ethico, Mercer and Venture Wave Capital Ltd.
The Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Initiative award, sponsored by Unicef, was brought home by Cpl Group. Niamh O’Connor, Senior HR Manager – Culture & Engagement at Cpl accepted the award on behalf of the company.
International food company Dole Plc were the recipients of the Good Governance Award sponsored by Irish Residential Properties REIT Plc. Vincent Dolan, Vice President Sustainability accepted the gong presented by Margaret Sweeney, CEO, Irish Residential Properties REIT Plc.
Vivid Edge claimed the ESG Finance Award which include nominations of AIB Group Plc, Initiative Ireland and Sustainability Works. Vivid Edge founder and CEO Tracey O’Rourke accepted the award.
The Circular Economy award was scooped by Portwest for extending control of operations across the supply chain and innovating in materials and products without compromising safety, comfort and brand . Henry Hughes, Director of Pricing and Planning at Portwest accepted the award on behalf of the company.
Keerti Krishnan-Murphy, Group Sustainability, Dairygold Lead was presented with the Energy Efficiency Initiative Award for Cork-based Dairygold Co-operative Society Ltd.
Founder and Group CEO of Cool Planet Norman Crowley received a special recognition award for his outstanding work as an ESG Leader. Mr. Crowley said: “I’m very honoured to receive this award and am encouraged by the enthusiasm of every entrant at the Business & Finance ESG awards today. We all have a responsibility to maintain our planet and our goal is to assist companies in doing so. It makes sense that a strong ESG proposition creates value for a company, and that is where Cool Planet enters the conversation; We help companies become more ESG conscious, saving them money at the same time. I believe that companies need to be encouraged and not forced to become more ESG conscious. I extend my thanks to the Business & Finance team for this award.”
Progressing ESG issues
Speaking at this afternoon’s ceremony in The Round Room at Dublin’s Mansion House, Tracey Carney, Managing Director, ESG Awards, congratulated the winners:
“The entries for the inaugural ESG Awards were truly impressive with every corporation present deserving recognition for their efforts. The growing impetus to ensure ESG standards are met by companies has introduced a whole new range of technology solutions, ideas and products that are changing the way we do business. These awards celebrate those who are actively striving to address and progress ESG issues in their organisations.”