Ireland ranks lowest in Europe for realising benefits of sustainable business practices, research finds

Business, CSR | Tue 12 Mar | Author – Business & Finance

Sixty percent believe sustainability is ‘nice’, but not a critical aspect of business.

New research, commissioned by Ricoh Europe, indicates that less than half of Irish business leaders (45%) view environmental regulations, including the Paris Agreement, as an enabler of success.

Compared to the European average of 56%, these results rank Ireland lowest in Europe. Turkey, Spain, Italy and Switzerland scored highest in terms of achieving success from being more focused on the environment.

Despite the fact that 59% of Irish respondents believe that sustainability will become an increasingly important success factor for a growing organisation, 60% of them say sustainability, while nice, is not a critical aspect of their business.

Gary Hopwood, managing director, Ricoh Ireland, said:

It’s very disappointing that Irish business leaders are not focusing on more sustainable business strategies and processes.

He continued, “Not only is it detrimental to the planet but it is also naïve considering that care for the environment is now increasingly important for prospective customers and employees. It can be the deciding factor for people when choosing a provider to partner with or a company to work for.”

Mr. Hopwood notes that regulations, like those outlined in the Paris Agreement, have been introduced with the intention of companies prioritising sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint. By not doing so, Irish business leaders are impacting the country’s ability to adhere to these requirements. At some point, businesses will be increasingly penalised for not complying with environmental law.

Overall, the study involved 2,550 business leaders from across 24 countries, with 100 business leaders from Ireland surveyed.