The number of companies in Ireland reporting on their carbon emissions jumped by 16% to more than 200 last year, according to latest data.
The report from international not-for-profit CDP Ireland (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) shows that Kingspan, Accenture and Kerry Group were the top three performing Irish companies – in a top ten list that include some of Ireland’s best known businesses.
CDP CEO Paul Simpson said the "baseline-setting report uses data related to companies' activities pre-Paris Agreement; it shows that while many are already on the right path, there is still a large gap to close.
"With hundreds of companies already disclosing to CDP that they anticipate substantive changes to their business resulting from the Paris deal, we expect to see a shift to longer-term, more science-based targets in future years," he added.
The Paris Agreement to combat climate change officially entered into force earlier this month.
According to CDP, this year’s Ireland report shows solid progress has been made by Irish reporting companies with regard to carbon emissions.
There has been an increase in a range of actions being taken, from providing incentives to employees for management of climate change issues, to setting intensity and absolute emissions targets.
In recent years there has been significant growth in the number of companies setting targets for emissions reductions, however, CDP said in many cases these targets are unambitious in their time horizon.
The reports indicates a significant proportion (65%) of the absolute targets adopted by the Ireland sample still extend only to 2016, and while 30% have set targets for 2020 and beyond, just 5% set goals for 2030 or beyond.
CDP said companies striving to ensure they are taking meaningful action should set science-based targets.
Indeed, 40% of responding companies in Ireland plan on setting a science-based target in the next two years.
Thousands of companies around the world are independently assessed against CDP’s scoring methodology in a report compiled at the request of 827 investors who represent $100 trillion of assets under management.