Gas Networks Ireland releases third sustainability report

 

Gas Networks Ireland exceeded the national Public Sector Energy Efficiency Target by 14% last year, delivering a 47% energy improvement across its offices and fleet according to its 2020 sustainability report released last week. 

Entitled ‘Sustainability in Action’ and aligned to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard, Gas Networks Ireland’s third annual sustainability report highlights the ongoing progress made by the national gas network operator in supporting environmental, social and economic sustainability within both its own business and the communities in which it operates.

Despite the limitations faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gas Networks Ireland exceeded all its sustainability targets in 2020, including increasing its stakeholder initiatives by 51%.

One of only 40 companies in Ireland to hold a Business Working Responsibly Mark, Gas Networks Ireland was also recognised as “taking coordinated action on climate issues” and achieved a ‘B-‘ in the Carbon Disclosure Platform (CDP) global emissions ratings, exceeding the global, European and sector averages to finish in the top quartile of all businesses assessed globally.

The semi-state utility advanced its journey to a decarbonised gas network with approval from Cork County Council for Ireland’s second renewable gas injection facility in Mitchelstown, the opening of its second compressed natural gas (CNG) publicly accessible refueling station in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, and development of two more stations in Clonshaugh, Co. Dublin, and on the Ballysimon Road in  Limerick.

The organisation continued to support the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, joined leading companies around the world in signing up to the Business for Nature Call to Action and was recognised with the Sustainable Energy Achievement and Large Green Organisation awards at the 2020 Green Awards.

Gas Networks Ireland supported 33 community projects, providing over €250,000 and 586 employee volunteer hours to local communities, including celebrating 10 years in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) by taking the popular Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programme, Energize, online to meet the needs of new virtual classrooms.

The organisation introduced a number of new initiatives to support the health and wellbeing of its employees and the general public, winning the 'Health and Safety Initiative of the Year' award for its 'HazCon' app, which allows staff and contractors to report potential safety issues, and the 2020 Esri Ireland Sharing & Collaboration Customer Success Award for its online ‘Dial Before You Dig’ platform, providing information about the gas network and location of underground gas pipes.

Gas Networks Ireland also achieved integrated recertification of five management systems to ISO standards from the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) - a first of its kind, not only for Gas Networks Ireland, but also a first for both Ireland and the NSAI.

Gas Networks Ireland’s Managing Director, Denis O’Sullivan, said: “The gas network is a vital national asset and the cornerstone of Ireland’s energy system. We are ever mindful of our sustainability responsibilities and aim to contribute to the protection of the environment while supporting the social and economic development of the communities we operate in.

"We are proud of our achievements in 2020 and committed to ensuring that sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do.

“As a leading utility, sustainability is defined by our role in delivering an affordable and clean energy future for the people of Ireland, through the decarbonisation of the gas network and the reduction of emissions across all sectors of the Irish economy. We were incredibly proud to be recognized with two Green Awards in 2020 and for taking coordinated action on climate issues through the Carbon Disclosure Platform.

“I wish to acknowledge the ongoing hard work and dedication of the Gas Networks Ireland team in continuing to deliver on our sustainability initiatives throughout 2020. We believe that our ‘Sustainability in Action’ strategy will continue to improve our business in a sustainable and responsible way for the people of Ireland, particularly now as we navigate new ways of working following the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.”

Gas Networks Ireland’s third annual sustainability report can be downloaded at www.gassustainability.ie.