PAI’s Annual Corporate Governance Conference 2022

At a glance

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Reflections from the Chair of Public Affairs Ireland’s Corporate Governance Conference 2022

“It was a great honour to have chaired Public Affairs Ireland’s Corporate Governance Conference 2022 on 20 October.

The opening address, given on video by EU Commissioner Mairead McGuiness, observed that – “… sustainability has moved from the margins right to the heart of our thinking.” Our subsequent speakers copper-fastened this observation. They advised that sustainability and climate change are matters that must be taken seriously by all organisations; illustrated here with some quotations:

Chartered Accountants Ireland devoted a whole section of his presentation to sustainability standards and what organizations need to do to be sustainable.

 ‘Change by Degrees’ laid emphasis on training to manage climate risk at the company level. Specifically, he recommended having in-depth training so that companies can calculate the financial impacts that climate change will have on assets and liabilities.

EY argued that the significance of sustainability is increasing. I quote Dearca – “People don’t want to be associated with something that isn’t sustainable.”

‘Business in the Community Ireland’ emphasised the importance of acting on climate action; emphasising how it impacts on so many other dimensions of business,

Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin, pointed out that increasingly sustainability is something that affects so many areas.

During the Q&A Session questions were also raised about sustainability and climate change. It is not that these two issues dominated the proceeding; areas such as ESG and reporting standards were also addressed. But sustainability and climate change certainly held centre stage. For that reason, I focused on them for these reflections.

In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the trojan work our experts put into their presentations. I learned a lot from both the presentations and the questions asked and the answers given during the proceedings. I want to record my thanks to all those who participated.

I look forward to future collaboration with Public Affairs Ireland around Corporate Governance in a world where unfortunately it is no longer business as usual”.

– Tom Ferris

Conference Chair and Economic Consultant