A new study from digital transformation specialists Expleo has found that 90% of businesses in Ireland say that they have clear plans to meet their decarbonisation targets.

The study found that organisations in Ireland are more likely than all other countries surveyed - the US, UK, Germany and France - to be pursuing their green agenda with a clear plan.

But the research found that despite having clear plans to meet their decarbonisation targets, businesses in Ireland are not there yet.

Some 89% believe that their organisation could do more to make their IT infrastructure and projects more environmentally friendly.

With the accelerated uptake of new digital technologies, many are also struggling to understand how digitalisation is impacting their environmental footprint.

Expleo sid that 90% of senior business and IT leaders say they need to do better to understand the environmental impact of using more digital systems.

The research also shows that 30% of businesses in Ireland will use digital transformation to become more sustainable and environmentally responsible.

It also reveals that many businesses are prepared to dedicate a significant portion of their IT budgets to becoming more sustainable.

42% of businesses surveyed said they plan to spend more than 10% of their 2022 tech budgets making their IT more sustainable, while just 2% said they will not use any of their tech budgets to make their IT more sustainable.

Phil Codd, Managing Director of Expleo Ireland, said its research shows that Ireland's business community recognises its role in tackling the climate crisis and there is now a "hyper-focus" on the need for action.

"It is promising to see that business leaders are making significant investments in improving the efficiency of their IT infrastructure. We are moving beyond lip service and are now seeing real, meaningful action," Mr Codd said.

He said that digital transformation is proving to not only be good for business but good for the planet.

"Over the last two years, enterprises have embraced digital technologies to ensure business growth and survival. And while there are some concerns around the environmental footprint of embracing digital, we have seen how the adoption of cloud-based applications, or innovations that use energy more efficiently, have had a positive impact on reducing carbon outputs," he added.

Meanwhile, new research from EY has found that 80% of Irish businesses have low confidence in meeting carbon neutral targets in 2030.

This represents an increase of 66% on last year.

However, awareness of sustainability considerations and implications has also risen to 64% from 61% in 2021.

"As organisations look more closely at their carbon ambitions, they’ve gained a deeper awareness of the various challenges the transformation will introduce," said Stephen Prendiville, Head of Sustainability at EY Ireland.

"With this understanding, Irish business leaders are also experiencing a greater sense of concern around the achievement of stated goals. Business leaders are also facing headwinds amidst the ongoing energy and inflation crisis and challenging geopolitical issues."

"These factors, combined with less time to achieve the 2030 goals, mean that we are seeing lower confidence reported."

In terms of their motivations, 28% said compliance was key, with doing good for the environment cited by 25%.

40% of respondents said that their company's sustainability efforts to date have positively impacted the bottom line, down slightly from 44% in 2021.