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.

Why do we care?

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:


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).

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. 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. 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. We have a quarterly newsletter in which new employees are encouraged to send in a bio and pics, and which includes news from all departments. 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

Our colleague Maria Murphy undertook a fast in aid of CONCERN and received generous support from her colleagues in the Institute, raising over €725 for the charity. A donated bottle of Clos Roareti  2016 was raffled and won by our colleague George Creighton in our Belfast Office.

Jan 17, 2020

For Culture Night 2019, Chartered Accountants House hosted and showcased a wide variety of talent and creativity from visual art to musical performance. There was stained glass artist Madeleine Hellier, photographer and digital media artist Ashling Smith, rock art with a Bayside Rocks rock painting workshop, great music from Vincent Judge, Sandymount Gospel Choir and pianist Diarmuid Kennedy, plus a tour of the building to view our art collection with its original curator Derville Murphy.

Jan 17, 2020

Our 2019 tree arrived from Kavanagh Trees (who deliver and collect to houses too, which is a blessing for the those among us who can't wedge a tree into or onto the roof of our cars). Kavanagh Trees is a member of The Irish Christmas Tree Growers, which 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 on, because, as Kavanagh's say: “The conifer that we produce removes a lot of carbon from the atmosphere and releases oxygen, so consumers have a choice between “oil” or “soil”, i.e. plastic (non-renewable resource) or real (beneficial to the environment).”

Jan 16, 2020

Was this article helpful?