Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

What is CSR?

There are many definitions of corporate social responsibility (CSR), but to the team in Chartered Accountants Ireland it means our efforts to manage our impact on society, the environment, and each other.

What is 'Sustainability'?

The Institute is working on a wider programme of work, under the term 'Sustainability'. To use it means 'future-proofing your business' and 'meeting your needs without preventing future generations from meeting their needs'. We have a Sustainability Centre which provides information, guidance and supports to help members understand sustainability and meet the challenges it presents.

Why is this important to us?

As part of our Great Place to Work programme, staff identified a number of ‘getting great’ initiatives. One of these was to ensure that we are engaging with our community, society and the environment. We know that CSR isn’t PR; it’s about who we are.

What we do

We categorised our CSR activities into five types (many of us are accountants; we crave classification):

CSR Events


Ever since we started researching the impact of businesses on the environment we have become obsessed. Luckily our Facilities team is excellent and already had most of it covered with a programme of work underway that builds on previous work of investigations into everything from our energy suppliers to measuring the length of run-time in the taps to minimise water waste. In 2020, we have mostly not been in our buildings in Dublin or Belfast, but work progresses regardless.


The lights in the office come on automatically when movement is sensed. This is a little nerve-wracking when you first walk into a pitch-black bathroom but the lights do come on after a second or two. Most of the time. Ok, always.


We replaced battery-operated sensor-triggered taps in the bathrooms with the push-down variety, thereby reducing the run time from 23 seconds to 16 seconds per use. In a recent bathroom refurbishment we fitted sensors in the urinals to reduce automatic flushing, particularly overnight and when not in use.

Waste management

We separate dry recyclables from non-recyclable waste. We're planning to introduce compost bins in 2019. We expect the Great Sorting War of what can and can't be put in which bin to break out after full-implementation, but over time this will settle down.

Heating and air-conditioning

Our heating and air-conditioning is centrally controlled by Facilities' BMS (Business Management System), to ensure an ambient temperature of 16 degrees. If the air outside the building changes our BMS adjusts accordingly. Despite the best efforts of our Facilities team, there has never been a single recorded instance of everyone being happy with the temperature at their desk at the same time.

Christmas tree

We buy our Christmas tree from a member of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers. The Irish Christmas Tree Growers represents those growers who are committed to producing trees to the highest standards and in an environmentally sustainable and professional manner. We choose a real tree instead of an artificial one, because Conifer trees remove carbon from the atmosphere and release oxygen. Between 'oil' or 'soil', i.e. plastic (non-renewable resource) or real (beneficial to the environment), we choose the latter. Once Christmas is over, and we are miserably wondering why we ate so much chocolate, the tree is collected and mulched for compost.

Cleaning supplies

We examine the CSR charters of our suppliers, and pay particular attention to chemicals in products and request alternatives to be used instead.

Single-use plastic

We are road-testing 7oz compostable water cups to accompany the water coolers on all floors. In 2019 we are removing all non-recyclable, non-compostable cups from our tea station and canteen, and are working towards removing all plastic cutlery. The CSR team members have been known to shake their heads sadly at people caught using single-use vessels. (Rather awkward if any of the CRS team have forgotten to bring in their own keep cups and are reduced to using single-use cups for the day; we've had to hide in meeting rooms when drinking tea or coffee from these shameful containers).

We are actively investigating the sourcing and use of all paper used in our communications. The tax textbooks are now available on Kindle and CharteredTextbooksOnline piloted in 2019 with six books which students can read online or on tablets. Accountancy Ireland is actively promoting digital alternatives to print, and BrieflyExtraThe Career GuideAbroadVision and the upcoming financial services magazine are online only. The revamped magazine uses heavier paper stock to give the print magazine a more premium feel, and the paper used is sourced from sustainable, ecologically managed forests and is 100% recyclable. It is delivered in Dublin by An Post, whose fleet is now zero-emissions.

The CPD brochure printing was reduced by 75% in 2020 and sent to targeted recipients only. During 2020, we migrated our CPD programme online, building a portal for live webinars and redirecting staff to support it.

In addition to hosting all exams online, we also launched a Learning Hub in 2020, a new online portal to host all the course materials, recorded lectures, notes and links to live webinars.

The roof

We have two families of seagulls living on the roof of Chartered Accountants Ireland in Pearse Street. We’re not friends with them, as they try to steal our lunches (and they are unbelievably noisy), but we love them and like to think that they love us. For this reason, we have abandoned our plans to install a beehive on the roof or plant a roof garden (Also, our roof is inaccessible to all but the most harnessed-in specially qualified staff, who can look a seagull in the eye and continue with their work.) We leave the roof to them. If only they would leave the street and our sandwiches to us, but there you go. Can’t win them all. 


We try to look after each other. In 2020 this became more important than ever.

When we are in the office there is reserved seating in the Luca Pacioli café on the ground floor where staff members can have lunch and coffees. Sometimes we even talk to each other. As well as our summer and Christmas parties there are celebrations for weddings, new family arrivals and achievements. Santa visits us in December, if we have been good, although we are encouraged to also bring our kids along with us that day. Staff also hold other events like book clubs, book swaps, table quizzes, and department lunches. More than that there is just a nice atmosphere around the office, where people are friendly, hard-working and respectful of each other. (Unless it's first thing on Monday morning; we're like weasels on Monday morning. Don't even bother calling us then).


My goodness, we’re worn out from being charitable. We can’t even list what we do on this page – there just isn’t the space. Take a look at our calendar of events.

You’d be tired reading it. But do take a look. We don't virtue-signal for nothing. Admire us.


We now have two yoga classes (Monday and Thursday) to facilitate more participants who need the get the benefits of a good stretch.

Movember is also dear to our hearts. In support of the charity that tackles prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention, five of our colleagues grew luxuriant facial hair to our thunderous applause. May there be more mos in the future (in November only. Let's not go nuts. Magnum PI was the 80s, dudes. Only ten men in the world can wear that moustache and Tom Selleck is nine of them.)

We also run out every now and then en masse to donate blood at our nearest blood donor clinic in D’Olier Street. Although this is to ensure that the blood supplies in the city’s hospitals are at a robust level, there is suspicion that our motivation actually stems from sweets, cheese and cold drinks that are given to donors, as well as the chance to lie down for a while. For shame. Would we be that venal? Apparently, yes.

Finally – well, not really finally, but we get tired of all this typing – we receive Wellness information from our Employee Assistance Programme providers via the HR department, from which links us to a whole site with webinars, and articles. We also get flu jab vouchers if we want one. Who wants the flu? Man flu is one thing, but the real thing? No.


Our building is based in Pearse Street, and we support local business and community groups when they’ll have us. As well as supporting local literacy projects by collecting money for Swearfree September, we support Dublin-based homeless-relief initiatives and take part in Culture Ireland by opening up the building for music and art events. The meeting rooms are also made available to local charities for their meetings, free of charge.


We have many events going on through out the year, including Daffodil Day, VHI Women's Marathon, Pride March, Movember and much more.

Missed an event? No worries, check out our news to see what we've been up to!

Latest CSR news

Christmas in July is a staple in the calendar of Chartered Accountants Ireland. Each (as-close-as-possible-to) 25 July, Pearse Street is decorated with tinsel, trees and tat, the background music becomes Bing Crosby and lunch becomes mince pies. The atmosphere is always great, with the main goal being to fundraise, with staff, students and visitors always generously giving to the cause for which a box is shaken at them. St Vincent de Paul is usually our charity of choice. As an organisation supporting families, Christmas is a huge focus of their resources and their efforts to meet needs start well before December.This year, we couldn't let July roll by without marking the occasion. We set up a team of elves to create a fundraising page, meaning the box shaking was virtual but no less lucrative. Our activities did have to go online and we improvised to make the connections with colleagues we miss now at home. A benefit to holding the event online was that we got to hold it with our colleagues in Northern Ireland, making it our first all-island Christmas in July.Christmas in COVID-19-July was celebrated by "Kris Kindle with a twist", when staff were matched by wizardry with a colleague to post a Christmas card to. It cheered us up no end to get a glitter-filled envelope by post with festive cheer. We held an online coffee morning, when about 20 staff dropped in for a chat over coffee and mince (well, apple) pie. The Christmas jumpers were on and decorations or virtual backgrounds looked super. We shared recipes and tips for Christmas crafts, treats and even a Mexican punch.We hope that the real winners are St Vincent de Paul. Because we are an all-island body, we are particularly happy to raise funds for an all-island charity and hope our members, staff and their communities will benefit from our efforts. We certainly enjoyed the day. The fundraising page is still open, and at time of writing, we have almost (ahem!) doubled our target of €500, so if anyone else wishes to contribute, we all love numbers with lots of zeros! 

Jul 30, 2020

It begins… The company-wide step challenge has started. Members have paid €5 to join, and will track their steps from Monday to Sunday and report back. Competition is all in fun (i.e. fierce). The aim is to improve health and wellness (yadda yadda yadda – it’s  prizes. Prizes. Particularly the coveted cup). It’s an opportunity to meet colleagues and bond as a team (i.e. emerge the winner!) The Red Hot Chilli Steppers will keep track of those who take part in the spirit of wellbeing (ie. to decide who will taste sweet victory) and will report back.

Feb 25, 2020

Our colleague, Emma Corrigan, recently raised over €300 for Alzheimer Society of Ireland. This superb organisation offers much needed support for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Emma wisely chose to raffle a beauty hamper (donated by the Lombard Pharmacy) and a gorgeous bottle of Merlot to appeal to our need for luxury as well as our eagerness to make sure that organisations like this get as much help as they need. A national non-profit organisation, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland advocates, empowers and champions the rights of people living with dementia and their communities to quality support and services. It offers, among other things, a range of specialist services, including day care centres, home care services and carer support groups thorughout the country, as well as two respite care centres. Find out more about are

Feb 25, 2020

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