Ireland's largest public transport provider, Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), saw the deployment of Ireland's first fully electric bus service as subsidiary Bus Éireann deployed 11 electric single-deck buses in the town of Athlone earlier this year.
Last year also saw CIÉ set up a sustainability fund, while this year it has begun setting up structures for completing risk and climate analysis in preparation for the EU's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
"Sustainability is an integral part of CIÉ Group's strategy and, in 2022, we took steps to fulfil this purpose by establishing a sustainability fund approved by the CIÉ Board. The fund supports the delivery of strategy across the core three pillars of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental. The first year of the fund provided funding for programmes to achieve our sustainability objectives," said Lorcan O'Connor, CEO of CIÉ.
However, the company is behind on its pledge to reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions by 51% by 2030, from a 2018 baseline, in order to align with Ireland's Climate Action Plan (CAP).
To be in line CIÉ would have had to have reduced its cumulative Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 17% by 2022, when it has only been able to achieve a 5.4% reduction.
It has now set out to create a coordinated plan alongside the Department of Transport, National Transport Authority, and other partners to deliver its climate targets in line with the CAP, which also includes a 50% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
"Over the next decade, we are committed to transforming our services and operations into a low-carbon, fully circular business," added O'Connor.
This includes putting measures in place to tackle single-use plastics in contracts, scale opportunities for rainwater harvesting, support initiatives to tackle construction and demolition waste, and support improvements in waste management and recycling initiatives across CIÉ.
"We recognise the opportunity to use our position as a market leader to drive positive change among stakeholders and business, creating a climate resilient and sustainable transport network," concluded O'Connor.