ESG and CSR Update
Learn more about Irish funds industry initiatives to be more environmentally sustainable and to increase corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, such as volunteering.
The Green Pledge
The Green Team Network has completed a pilot of the Green Pledge with 12 funds industry firms. This included a mix of service providers, law firms, accounting firms and asset management / management companies. Some of key findings of this pilot are highlighted below. 17% of the pilot firms achieved Green level 4 which is the second highest Green Pledge rating you can receive. No firm received the highest rating of Green level 5.The majority of pilot firms received a Green level 3 –75%. 8% of firms were rated Green level 2. No pilot firm received the lowest rating of Green level 1.
The Pilot - Some initial findings
- Paper – 83% reduced the number of available printers in the office. 67% are adopting a sustainable paper policy to continue the paperless journey afforded over the last 2 years.
- Carbon footprint - 83% have taken action to measure and record carbon footprint, 17% of firms have set targets to reduce carbon footprint by 100% by 2030 and the majority are committed to a target of 50% by 2030.
- Travel - 67% are committed to providing sustainable transport links from office to public transport where not available.75% are also committed to continuing to reduce business travel through virtual events and video conferencing. 84% are committed to minimizing air travel and offsetting where required.
- Waste Management - This was the category where firms had completed the most pledges with 73% of pledges completed in this category.
Who is signed up already?
- A&L Goodbody
- Arthur Cox
- Grant Thornton
- William Fry
Reminder on how to pledge
Join other member firms who've signed up to the pledge by taking the steps below:
- To make the Green Pledge you select from a list of environmentally sustainable pledgeable actions in the tool. Tick all the pledges that are applicable to your firm. Link to pledge tool .
- Once you submit the form, the Green Team Network (GTN) will calculate your score based on the number of pledges you have ticked and any weighting attached to the pledge.
- GTN will send the individual firm rating to the firm's nominated contact.
- GTN will revert periodically with updates on ranking among peers.
- GTN will provide a year-end check-in on progress on each firm’s individual pledge.
If you have any questions about the pledge please contact the Green Team Network at email@example.com
Member Firm CSR Survey Results
The results are in…..
The Member Engagement & Communications Working Group asked member firms to complete a brief survey setting out their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and the results speak for themselves in revealing the positive contribution the Irish funds and asset management industry has made, and is continuing to make, within the industry and the wider community.
We received a total of 65 responses from member firms, 78% of which reported to have a formal CSR committee or group operating within their respective organisation to organise and promote CSR initiatives. Volunteering activities form a significant component of the majority of firms’ CSR agendas with firms either organising firm/department wide group activities or allocating employees a number of working days to spend volunteering. We are delighted to report that 95% of respondent firms place Diversity and Inclusion initiatives squarely within their wider CSR agenda, with one firm noting “We …. fully recognise that [Diversity and Inclusion] is a key aspect of being a sustainable business and responsible employer.”.
Another area where the industry is making a notable contribution is sustainability. One respondent firm noted that it has “been carbon neutral since 2007” while another is focused on being carbon negative by 2025. Overall, the majority of respondents confirmed that sustainability is a key focus of their firm’s strategy, governing decisions and policies right across the business.
Another encouraging response was that 83% of respondents reported that they would benefit from partnering with other firms across the industry for CSR initiatives. As one respondent succinctly explained “we believe that partnership with our clients, our community and our people is vital to our goal of making a positive and lasting difference”. Irish Funds strongly agrees with this sentiment and is committed to continuing to foster partnership across the industry in this respect. We believe it is possible to further improve on the amazing work already being undertaken across the industry by offering member firms the opportunity to come together to work towards a common goal and make a lasting impact on the wider community. To this end, Irish Funds is planning a number of CSR initiatives which will be made available to member firms. As well as offering member firms the opportunity to join together for a common CSR goal, these initiatives will also provide an opportunity for member firms to reconnect with others in the industry after the disruption caused by the pandemic and related restrictions. Further details will be provided in due course.
Business in the Community Volunteering Pilot
We are running two volunteering pilots this year as part of Business in the Community's (BITC) Time to Count and Time to Read Programmes. Seven members of the Irish Funds Team are taking part in the Time to Count programme. We each spend a half hour on video with 2-3 3rd class students playing counting games mainly with cards and dice and good chats thrown in. We have found the children to be very excited and engaged and it has been one of the highlights each week for our volunteer group. We are looking forward to the next several weeks of the programme with the kids and hope to be able to do a wrap up session in person at the school.
We are also shortly kicking off the Time to Read programme with members from the Member Engagement & Communications Working Group, the Talent & Skills Working Group and the Irish Funds Team. This will involve pairs of volunteers reading with children in 2nd class each week.
Irish Funds Executive, Green Team Network and Irish Funds Member Engagement & Communications Working Group