Globally, there have been increasing levels of government attention given to climate change over recent years. The Irish government has outlined in its 2021 Climate Action plan that they have committed to halving all greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to reach net zero no later than 2050. While it may seem challenging, it’s important for the environment that such targets are met and it's expected that all companies will be required to make a public disclosure annually showing the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their activities. 

With this in mind, it’s more important than ever that ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues become a key consideration for all companies. With a more rounded knowledge and further awareness of ESG, companies will be better equipped to conduct appropriate assessments, collect relevant insights from stakeholders, set applicable goals and conduct a gap analysis, develop a suitable measurable roadmap and KPIs, and importantly report on ESG progress. 

As a result of ongoing pressure from activists and governments alike, ESG issues have become key considerations for companies that need to incorporate these factors into their business practices. From investors to consumers, stakeholders of all sorts are increasingly using ESG data to evaluate businesses and inform future decisions. Ten years ago, ESG was a grassroots initiative whereas today it is a top-down approach.

What options are available for business owners who are looking to prioritise ESG?
To sustain long-term value businesses are required to manage, and address, massive, paradigm-shifting externalities such as greenhouse gases. Companies can conduct their operations in a rational manner, aspire to deliver positive returns every quarter, and develop a strategy that will work over a longer period of time.

Introducing renewable energy systems like Solar PV and Solar Thermal will reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and move you in the direction of a carbon neutral future. Company actions can have meaningful consequences for people who are not immediately involved with the company so it’s crucial that ESG is focus for business owners going forward..

Solar PV
Businesses need to take the necessary steps to reduce their electricity costs such as their dependence on the grid. In doing this, businesses can avoid the stress and instability of fluctuating energy prices while also positively impacting the environment which is of growing concern worldwide as highlighted by the move to ESG. A suitable and straightforward alternative energy source is solar energy which has become more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses as a result of leasing with companies such as Grenke. Solar panels are no longer the luxury experimental item they once were, and the associated technology is advancing all the time.

Customers are increasingly making greener choices with regards to which products and businesses they choose as they vote with their wallets. Solar panels are a good idea for those who look to align themselves with ESG as it can make all the difference when attracting increasingly selective customers and investors. The move towards renewable energy sources serves more than a purely selfless purpose and Grenke can help you get there. It’s a no-brainer!

Solar Thermal
Solar Themal systems are often overlooked when it comes to renewable energy options for your business. Solar thermal heating systems capture and store solar energy to keep indoor spaces warm. Instead of fossil fuels, Solar Thermal systems harness energy from the sun to heat the water for the building. Solar thermal provides a more efficient, high-density means of providing zero carbon heat, presenting a cost-effective alternative to the electrification of heat. 

The solar thermal industry is expected to grow to $36 billion globally by 2026. According to the International Energy Agency, solar thermal and geothermal will meet 75% of all heat demand by 2050. This industry has a big role to play in the whole transformation that is needed to reach net-zero carbon by 2050.

Why is ESG so vital?
Businesses do not earn the continued trust of consumers, employees, suppliers, regulators, and other stakeholders based solely on prior actions. Earning social capital involves looking at past results for insights into the current performance and formulating future plans. Importantly, there are ultimately no alternatives for companies that do not meet the societal bar amist the climate change crisis.

Sustainable businesses tend to be more efficient and cost-effective over time, so investing using ESG standards tends to lead to higher returns in the long run, it’s not just a matter of pleasingcustomer, stakeholders and goverments.

The ESG Grey Area
When it comes to sustainability, some businesses look to take a short cut and manufacture figures and cover their actions. These companies wnat tp present themselves as sustainably conscious without putting in the necessary work required to create these numbers. Those who are looking to benefit from ESG, they need to be transparent, show you mean it, and communicate your efforts using complete and trustworthy data.

Avoid making vague statements about being sustainable and certainly don’t lie and start greenwashing in an attempt to hide the environmentally damaging effects of your business because you will be found out at the end of the day.
In conclusion, it takes time and resources to develop a comprehinsive ESG strategy so companies need to start working towards these goals now so they will have enough data to report on in the near future. Grenke can help get you started and with there intuitive leasing plan, the necessary equipment can be used by businesses without requiring a massiive upfront cost.

Talk to GRENKE today!
As one of the leading financial service providers in the Irish market, GRENKE’s slogan is ‘Fast, Forward, Finance’. GRENKE offers entrepreneurs fast and flexible financial solutions through a range of leasing services. We match the perfect financial solution to your unique business needs, from small businesses to large enterprises.
Over the last 40 years, GRENKE has provided leasing to numerous styles of businesses and organisations; sole traders, partnerships, public and private limited companies, associations and organisations, medical, health, and educational providers, municipalities, public hospitals, semi-state institutions, Government bodies and so much more. 
Our expertise and strong market position are no coincidence. If you are a business owner looking for financial solutions in Ireland or advice on fast and flexible financing, talk to a GRENKE Account Manager today.