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Green Summit Highlights Key Drivers for Successful ESG Strategy

Date: 27/11/2023

Leadership and Education Play Pivotal Roles in CSRD Implementation and Sustainable Real Estate Development

The recent Green Summit Ireland brought together industry leaders and experts to discuss the critical components necessary for successful Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) implementation, as well as the latest Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) developments in the Commercial Real Estate sector. 

The latest event in the Global Green Guide series was hosted by Matheson in partnership with The Legal 500 at the firm's Dublin office on Thursday, 23 November.  The audience heard in-depth and expert analysis from a variety of industry insiders, with particular emphasis on the evolving ESG reporting landscape and the impactful trends within Commercial Real Estate.  Key takeaways from the event emphasise the pivotal roles of education and leadership in driving successful CSRD implementation, as well as the importance of early assessment of ESG considerations and sustainability factors in commercial real estate development.

Anna Bauböck, Editor, Global Green Guide / Research Director DACH and Benelux, The Legal 500, and Matheson Chairperson, Patrick Spicer, opened the event by discussing the unprecedented emphasis on climate and sustainability, and the increasing need for a coordinated response to the climate crisis across society, with businesses playing a leading role.  Matheson's ongoing commitment to the green transition and net zero was also noted.  The firm's partner-led ESG Advisory Group combines a strong collaborative focus with deep industry knowledge to support clients in navigating the evolving ESG landscape. Internally, as part of Matheson's Impactful Business Programme, the Environmental Sustainability Committee is tasked with implementing initiatives and setting targets to ensure that the firm meets its sustainability objectives, including through its award-winning energy tracker app, CarbonCal. Matheson was also awarded the Best Energy Achievement in Financial & Professional Services at the Business Energy Achievement Awards 2023.

Susanne McMenamin, Matheson Corporate partner, moderated the first panel, which explored the latest developments in ESG reporting, shedding light on evolving disclosure requirements under CSRD. The panel also discussed best practices for implementing successful strategies for ESG data gathering and reporting, the importance of embedding CSRD reporting into business strategy as well as offering practical guidance on pitfalls and opportunities in CSRD reporting. Speakers included Conor Keeling, Sustainability Legal team, Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.; Dr Lisa Koep, Chief ESG Officer at Tirlán; and Onur Durmus, Partner and EMEA Service Lead Sustainable Operations at ERM.

Matheson partner and Head of the Commercial Real Estate Department, Sally Anne Stone, moderated the second panel, which focused on the latest ESG trends and developments in Commercial Real Estate. The panellists examined the current considerations for investors, developers, and occupiers of commercial property, and how these stakeholders are collaborating to achieve ESG and sustainability goals within their real estate portfolios. Sally Anne was joined by Andrea Carroll, Group Head of Sustainability, daa; Neil Granger, Senior Director, Engineering and Sustainability, TFT Ltd; Deirdre Hayes, Head of Irish Commercial Property and ESG Lead, Irish Life Investment Managers; and David Killion, Developments Director, Ballymore Group.

Richard Kelly, partner in Matheson's Finance and Capital Markets Department, delivered the closing remarks and the evening concluded with a reception, giving panellists and participants a chance to continue the conversation and network.


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