Welcome to Accountants for Sustainability

Advising accountants and business owners on their sustainability strategy and reporting requirements.

Welcome to Accountants for Sustainability

Advising accountants and business owners on their sustainability strategy and reporting requirements.


  • Are you a Finance Director and are wondering if you should have a sustainability strategy?

  • Are you a partner in a small or medium sized accountancy practice and your clients are asking you about sustainability?

  • Are you a business owner and your suppliers, customers, employees or bank are asking for your sustainability policy?

Then, we can help.

Accountants for Sustainability is a specialist firm that advises accountants and business owners on their sustainability strategy and reporting requirements. We assist companies in navigating the impact of sustainability on their business. We recognise that there is now a convergence between a sustainable business and a profitable one.

David Connolly, Principal

David established Accountants for Sustainability to provide specialist sustainability advice.

As a Chartered Accountant himself, he realised that it is often the finance function that takes on the responsibility for the sustainability strategy and relevant reporting obligations. From his previous experience in audit, corporate finance, strategy and lending, he recognises why sustainability is considered a risk function and works alongside finance directors to ensure sustainability is embedded in the strategy of the business to make it resilient for future challenges and provide a competitive advantage.

David is fully up to date on this rapidly evolving space having completed a Masters degree in Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance in University College Dublin. He previously worked for Grant Thornton, Mazars and Bank of Ireland and is a past Chairman of the Leinster Society of Chartered Accountants.



We formulate sustainability/ESG strategies with the key stakeholders in the business. This includes a materiality assessment and will align with existing strategies and satisfy relevant stakeholders such as lenders, investors, suppliers, customers and employees.


As sustainability reporting is evolving from voluntary to mandatory, we make sense of the various ESG and sustainability reporting requirements using frameworks such as the Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and standard setters such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Outsourced Chief Sustainability Officer

Many businesses recognise the need to have the voice of sustainability at board or executive level. We provide that voice as required by the business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sustainable development has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), sometimes called the Global Goals, were agreed by all 193 members of the UN in 2015 with the objective of achieving the goals before 2030. They include the three elements of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic. There are 17 goals in total and they include objectives to stop climate change, to end poverty and to fight inequality.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 parties in 2015. The world’s temperature has been increasing since the industrial revolution in the 19th century and the goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is typically an internal framework focusing on corporate volunteering, lowering carbon footprint and engaging with charities. Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is more externally focussed with quantitative and measurable goals. It could include specific targets on issues such carbon emissions, waste management, water usage and diversity and inclusion.  Sustainability is a combination of the two with a focus on both internal and external stakeholders although with an increasing level of measurement and accountability.

The CSRD, which will be transposed into Irish legislation this year, will require in-scope companies to report on sustainability-related issues in line with a detailed set of disclosure standards. Disclosures include:

  • Environmental issues (including climate change, pollution, water and marine resources, biodiversity and circular economy). In relation to climate change, companies must disclose their scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions (see below).
  • Social issues (including own workforce, workers in the value chain, affected communities and consumers and end-users).
  • Governance issues (relating to business conduct).

The aim of the CSRD is to bring sustainability reporting to the same level as financial reporting.

All in-scope companies must report according to the EU Sustainability Reporting Standards. The information must contain:

  • description of business model and strategy as well as opportunities and resilience to sustainability risks and transition plans
  • targets and their progress status
  • company sustainability governance
  • sustainability policies
  • incentives schemes linked to sustainability matters
  • due diligence of sustainability matters
  • company’s principal and adverse impacts and actions to prevent, mitigate and remediate
  • principle risks and their management
  • double materiality (impact on the company and the company’s impact on its external environment)
  • information on business operations, value chain, including products and services and business relationships and its supply chain

There are some specific sustainability reporting requirements that are already mandatory. They are usually issue specific (e.g. gender pay gap reporting) or sector specific (e.g. waste and water treatment in pharmaceutical sector). In addition, a small number of large companies in the EU report under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The CSRD replaces the NFRD and brings more companies into scope. The CSRD will be require mandatory reporting on a phased basis from the following:

  • 1 January 2024 for companies that are already within the scope of the NFRD
  • 1 January 2025 for other large companies (meeting two of the following three criteria: Turnover €40m; Total Assets €20m; Average employees 250)
  • 1 January 2026 for listed SMEs
  • 1 January 2028 for non-EU companies with branches/subsidiaries in EU

Companies that ARE in scope will be required to include information in their report with regard to their value chain (suppliers and customers), specifically carbon emissions. Therefore, if a company is not in scope but is supplying to or buying from a company that is in scope, it will need to have a sustainability strategy and an ability to provide timely relevant information. Furthermore, financial stakeholders such as investors, lenders and insurers may need their customers to have a sustainability strategy in order to conduct business with them.

The risk, therefore, of not having a sustainability strategy, is losing customers, being unable to secure supplies, not being able to get bank funding or difficulty securing insurance. Employees, also, are now more focused on sustainability and many only want to work for companies with a sustainability strategy.

Scope 1 – All direct emissions from the organisation’s activities including fuel combustion on site such as gas boilers or fleet vehicles.

Scope 2 – All indirect emissions from electricity purchased and used by the organisation. Emissions are created during the production of the energy and eventually used by the organisation.

Scope 3 – All other indirect emissions from activities of the organisation occurring from sources that they do not own or control. This includes emissions up and down the value chain, e.g. from buying products from its suppliers and from products when customers use them. These are usually the greatest share of the carbon footprint.

Various sustainability standards are used for sustainability reporting throughout the world. There is no universal template. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has been setting standards since 1997 and many companies already use the GRI standards for voluntary reporting. The long-standing position of the European Commission is that they want build on existing and established standards; therefore reporting using GRI standards will be as closely aligned as possible with the CSRD.

The Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is a framework that influences standard setters on sustainability issues. It is not a standard setter itself but is very influential as many companies have already made disclosures under the TCFD on a voluntary basis.

The EU taxonomy is a classification system – a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. It provides investors, companies and policymakers with appropriate definitions for which activities can be considered environmentally sustainable. It protects investors from greenwashing which is a term used to describe deliberate false claims made by an organisation in relation to how sustainable it’s products or services are.

Can we help you?

Contact us today to find out more.