Gas Networks Ireland publishes 2018 Sustainability Report

Gas Networks Ireland recently published its first sustainability report. “Sustainability in Action” highlights Gas Networks Ireland’s progress in implementing the principles of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals across the business.

Denis O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Gas Networks Ireland said, “As guardians of Ireland’s natural gas infrastructure we aim to deliver our services in a sustainable manner that contributes to the protection of the environment while supporting the social and economic development of the communities we operate in, as well as the wider economy.”

“Sustainability in Action” has three pillars of sustainability – Environmental impact, Social impact and Economic impact.

Environmental impact
In 2018, Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) focused on the areas of waste, biodiversity and climate change. To embed this focus, GNI created bespoke environmental planning design toolkits and rolled out environmental guidance best practices throughout the organisation.

GNI continued to be certified to the  international Environmental management System standard ISO14001 and the Energy Management System ISO50001 GNI  increased their overall rate of recycling in their offices to 94% and implemented waste management awareness initiatives across the company.  GNI also committed to protecting biodiversity and signed up as a business supporter of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.

GNI recognises that gas is key in Ireland’s energy mix and in decarbonising the energy sector. To help meet Ireland’s emissions targets, GNI is supporting the funding of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered commercial vehicles. CNG is a proven alternative to diesel or petrol and reduces transport costs by up to a quarter and carbon emissions by 22%. These vehicles can achieve zero carbon transport when operating on renewable gas. GNI has a strategic plan to achieve 20% renewable gas on the network by 2030.

Social impact
In 2018, Gas Networks Ireland achieved recertification to the Business Working Responsibly Mark, in line with ISO26000, from Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI).

The Mark is the only independently audited standard for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability practices in Ireland. As holders of the Mark, Gas Networks Ireland is a member of the Leaders Group on Sustainability and co-chair of the Low Carbon Economy Group. In 2018, GNI committed to the Low Carbon Pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.

In 2018, GNI launched the STEM education programme, Energize, in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) in primary schools across the country. The programme is available to 5,000 6th class students nationwide, with the objective to foster students’ interest in STEM subjects.

GNI also supports the ‘Skills at Work’ programme inspiring secondary school students to stay in school, continues to support Co-operation Ireland’s ‘Cork Youth Leadership Programme’, and partners with the litter education programme ‘Leave no Trace’.

Recognising that employees are central to the organisation’s achievements, GNI runs a comprehensive programme of health and well-being initiatives including ‘Work Safe Home Safe’, and is an advocate of agile working.

Economic impact
Gas Networks Ireland’s aim is to deliver an excellent, efficient and cost-effective service that benefits all customers. GNI’s aims to economic and environmental benefits for the country by reducing fuel costs, saving fuel and lowering emissions.

In 2018, Gas Networks Ireland delivered a strong financial performance. With safety as a priority for its assets and operations, GNI invested €145m in gas network infrastructure.

Julie O'Donoghue, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Gas Networks Ireland commented, “We are proud of to be one of the 33 companies in Ireland to hold the Business Working Responsibly mark and are committed to ensuring that social responsibility is at the core of our business and key to our strategy.”

O'Donoghue added “Just last week we were shortlisted in three categories – Community, Environment and Workplace – for the Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility Awards. It’s an important validation for Gas Networks Ireland and a reflection of how we continually improve as a business, how we serve our customers, and is a testament to our employees.”


The full report, “Sustainability in Action”, can be found at:
https://www.gasnetworks.ie/corporate/company/our-commitment/sustainability-report/

ENDS


Notes to editor

Gas Networks Ireland 2018 Sustainability Highlights

  • First sustainability report published
  • 94 % recycling rate
  • 42% improvement in energy performance from 2006 baseline exceeding Public Service Energy Monitoring and Reporting Target
  • Signed up to the Low Carbon Pledge
  • 1 in 3 employees volunteer on our community programmes
  • 68 community initiatives supported
  • Business Supporter of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and implementation of the Biodiversity Enhancement Programme
  • Establishment of Energy Environmental Working Group to support an integrated and strategic approach across Gas Networks Ireland
  • Roll out of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles and infrastructure
  • Secured funding for GRAZE Gas renewable gas test site and advanced deployment of Renewable Gas for 2019 delivery
  • Continuous awareness and training initiatives
  • Launch of new primary school STEM education programme Energize
  • Retained Business Working Responsibly Mark - in line with ISO26000
  • ISO14001 – Environmental Management System
  • ISO45001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management System
  • ISO9001 – Quality Management System
  • ISO55001 – Asset Management – Management System
  • ISO50001 – Energy Management System
     


Gas Networks Ireland’s  sustainability report, “Sustainability in Action” also serves to comply with the European Union (Disclosure of Non- Financial and Diversity Information by certain larger undertakings and groups) Regulations 2017 as amended by the European Union (Disclosure of Non- Financial and Diversity Information by certain larger undertakings and groups) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is natural gas which has been compressed to fit into a Natural Gas Vehicle’s tank and is particularly suitable for use in commercial vehicles.

About Gas Networks Ireland
Gas Networks Ireland is the business division of Ervia that owns, builds and maintains the natural gas network in Ireland and connects all customers to the gas network. Gas Networks Ireland operates one of the most modern and safe gas networks in the world and ensures that over 700,000 homes and businesses receive a safe, efficient and secure supply of natural gas, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Ervia is a commercial semi-state multi-utility company with responsibility for the delivery of gas and water infrastructure and services in Ireland.