by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Six Northern Ireland businesses have completed carbon literacy training as part of a new programme designed to help companies understand their environmental impact and work towards implementing more sustainable business strategies. The Climate Action Programme with Danske Bank – a partnership between Danske Bank and Business in the Community NI – is the first initiative of its kind in the UK and Ireland.


The carbon literacy training is the first part of a four-month programme which will see companies undertake training workshops delivered by Business in the Community to help them understand climate change causes and consequences, learn how to measure their own carbon footprint, start to create a strategy to mitigate their own climate impact and ultimately to commit to taking action.

Danske Bank has nominated six of its customers to take part in the training programme and is part-funding their participation. They are Antrim Construction, McQuillan Group, McCulla Refrigerated Transport, Gilfresh, Smiley Monroe and Haldane Fisher.

Danske is part of a group of Climate Champions made up of leading NI business representatives. Together with Business in the Community they are working on a Business Action on Climate campaign to address the climate crisis. A cornerstone of the campaign, the Climate Action Pledge, invites signatories to commit to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% or 30% by 2030, ahead of the UK government trajectory to achieving Net Zero by 2050.

Danske Bank achieved the highest rating in Business in the Community’s annual NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey and has signed the Climate Action Pledge for Northern Ireland, committing to significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Gary Cranney, Director, Managing, Haldane Fisher Newry, said: “At Haldane Fisher we have always taken our environmental responsibility seriously. This programme will allow us to better understand our carbon footprint and how it impacts our planet and the world around us. On completion we hope to have the skills to draw up a meaningful strategy to reduce our GHG emissions over the next decade.”

Chris Martin, Danske Bank head of climate risk and sustainability, said: “Many businesses now recognise the importance of sustainable practices to their future business strategy. We’ve co-developed this innovative new pilot programme in partnership with Business in the Community to help our customers take meaningful steps towards creating their own climate change mitigation plans. It’s a positive sign of intent from this group of customers that they have committed the time required to take part, and we hope to see them sign the Climate Action Pledge at the end of the process.”

Keelin McCone, Programme Manager from Business in the Community added: “Addressing climate breakdown is necessary to ensure a liveable future and businesses have a key role to play in this by implementing measures to reduce their GHG emissions.

“Business in the Community is working with businesses across NI to not only build back better, but build back responsibly as we transition out of COVID-19. We’re delighted that our Climate Champion Danske Bank is demonstrating true leadership in this area by influencing and working with its stakeholders to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on the environment. The Climate Action Programme with Danske Bank is a key part of our Business Action on Climate campaign and we’re delighted to be working with the Bank and its six customers on this exciting pilot.”

Keelin McCone, Chris Martin and Gary Cranney will be talking about the programme at a “Your Business Journey to Net Zero” event on Thursday. The online event, organised by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), aims to provide Northern Ireland SMEs with practical solutions to lower their own carbon emissions. Limited spaces are available

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Gary Cranney, Haldane Fisher Newry, Keelin McCone, Business in the Community and Chris Martin, Head of Climate Risk & Sustainability, Danske Bank

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