Sustainability Expert Working Group

The Sustainability Expert Working Group advises Chartered Accountants Ireland on sustainability matters, through sharing awareness, insights, knowledge and advice on industry best practice. 

The working group comprises representatives from accounting firms, government organisations and NGOs, academia, business, professional accounting organisations, and the energy, banking sector and technology sectors.

With the guidance of this group, Chartered Accountants Ireland will increase its own awareness and that of its members to inform and influence at all levels: local, national, European and global.

To support the Institute through recommendations on current policy and policy development in the area of sustainability.
To advise the Institute on the development of new priority areas for sustainability, the recommended actions or interventions to be taken to address priorities and when to reduce focus in existing areas.
To advise how the Institute can best influence or lobby decision-makers on members’ behalf, and how we can connect with other professional associations and organisations to further the sustainability priorities.
To support the Institute through recommendations on current policy and policy development in the area of sustainability.
To advise the Institute on the development of new priority areas for sustainability, the recommended actions or interventions to be taken to address priorities and when to reduce focus in existing areas.
To advise how the Institute can best influence or lobby decision-makers on members’ behalf, and how we can connect with other professional associations and organisations to further the sustainability priorities.
To support the Institute through recommendations on current policy and policy development in the area of sustainability.
To advise the Institute on the development of new priority areas for sustainability, the recommended actions or interventions to be taken to address priorities and when to reduce focus in existing areas.
To advise how the Institute can best influence or lobby decision-makers on members’ behalf, and how we can connect with other professional associations and organisations to further the sustainability priorities.

Anne Adrain

Head of Sustainability & Assurance, ICAS

Anne Adrain
Anne is Head of Sustainability and Assurance within the Policy Leadership Division of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Anne is Secretary to the ICAS Sustainability Panel, which aims to increase the awareness of ICAS and its members of current issues pertaining to environmental and other sustainability issues and to formulate the ICAS position on matters of environmental sustainability to the business community and the wider public.

Sarah Dempsey

Head of the Office of Sustainable Business, AIB

Sarah Dempsey
Sarah is Head of the Office of Sustainable Business, AIB and a recognised industry leader in the area of corporate reputation, communications and sustainability, working to devise and implement a clear sustainability and reputation strategy which aligns with the business strategy.

Niall Fitzgerald

Head of Ethics and Governance, Chartered Accountants Ireland

Niall Fitzgerald
Níall has responsibility for leading the development of policy and embedding of matters relating to business ethics and governance across operations in Chartered Accountants Ireland. Níall previously worked with PwC and before progressing to work in management consulting, advising in relation to provision of professional services, policy and internal control development and corporate governance. He has worked in Europe, USA and Canada with organisations such as PwC, McKinsey & Company and PGL Travel, and holds a M.Acc from NUIG, Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD. Níall is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) and a Chartered Tax Consultant (CTC). 

Marie Joyce

Chief Financial Officer, NTR Plc

Marie Joyce
Marie is the Chief Financial Officer of NTR plc. As long-term investors and managers of renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure assets, NTR is by its nature focused on critical ESG factors and the responsible stewardship of its investments. NTR became a member of UNPRI in 2018 and incorporates ESG best practice into all aspects of its operations. By integrating ESG into the way it conducts its business, NTR’s goal is to meet its objective of delivering strong risk adjusted returns while also having a positive influence on the sector in which it operates. 

Marie is a non-executive director of daa plc, serves on the Programme Board of the MSc. in International Accounting and Analytics at NUI Galway and is a member of the Ethics and Governance Committee of Chartered Accountants Ireland. She is formerly the Chair of the Board of Make-A-Wish Ireland. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from NUIG, a Masters in Accounting from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and is a Chartered Accountant.

Kevin Lynch

CIO, Chief Technical Officer, The Information Lab Ireland

Kevin Lynch
Kevin holds an MSc in Sustainable Development and is the Chief Technical Officer at The Information Lab Ireland, an industry-leading business intelligence solutions provider. Working primarily with senior executives across local and global organisations, the focus of Kevin’s data visualisation and analytic consulting experience is on helping his clients tell their stories through data to effect real impact and change. He regularly supports UN teams and local Irish NGOs in measuring and communicating their impact, and was a contributor to the Exponential Climate Action Roadmap. In partnership with Chartered Accountants Ireland, Kevin developed a curriculum for Data Analytics as part of the FAE syllabus.

Lorraine McCann

Senior Manager - Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY

Lorraine McCann1-min

Lorraine is Senior Manager and Leader, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY Ireland. With over 10 years cross-sectoral experience, she has a wealth of local and global experience in sustainability, helping clients them comply with ever-increasing regulation, voluntary reporting and competition in sustainability. She supports organisations with sustainability assurance and sustainability advisory services including development and implementation of sustainability strategy, KPI and target setting, supply chain risk management, materiality assessments, and sustainability reporting.

Cormac Madden

Environmental and Sustainability Manager at ESB

Cormac Madden

Cormac is the Environment and Sustainability Manager for ESB Group, responsible for the direction and governance of the company’s Environmental and Sustainability ambition and performance. ESB’s corporate purpose is to lead the transition to a low carbon society and coordinating  the effort  to make that a reality is Cormac’s central focus.  Cormac is a member of the Steering Group for the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the BITCI Low Carbon Pledge sub-group and the Social and Sustainability Working Group of Eurelectric.

Orla O’Gorman

Head of Equity Listing Ireland, Euronext

Orla O'Gorman

Orla is Head of Equity Listing Ireland at Euronext and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland. As a stock exchange Euronext sits at the heart of the financial ecosystem and has a dual ESG ambition to empower sustainable growth by financing the real economy in its transition towards a sustainable society. Externally its ambition is to drive investment in innovation, sustainable products and services through secure and transparent markets, in continuous collaboration with our financial community. Internally its ESG ambition is to inspire and promote tangible sustainable practices within the company and towards our community, by respecting and developing our people and by supporting our ecosystem.

Edel O’Reilly

Head of Investor Relations, Investment Banking, Goodbody

Edel O Reilly
Edel O’Reilly is Head of Investor Relations, Corporate Broking at Goodbody. She has over 20 years’ experience in capital markets and is a member of an internal Goodbody ESG working group, a cross-division forum that defines relevant strategies and activities for the firm (as well as individual business divisions), and monitors and shares information, including industry best-practice, in this evolving discipline. The team has undertaken qualitative research to better understand how institutional investors are embedding ESG in their appraisal process and their expectations of companies and management teams on ESG capabilities. Goodbody’s own CSR Framework outlines the firm’s approach to taking responsibility for, and delivering positive impact on, social, ethical, environmental and consumer matters and ensuring this forms an integral part of day-to-day business.

Siobhán Oates

Business Consultant, South East Business & Innovation Centre

Siobhán, ACA, is a Business Consultant, South East Business & Innovation Centre, and advises entrepreneurs and small companies on all aspects of business planning and development, with a special emphasis on financial planning and sourcing funding. Siobhán is currently involved with a transnational project SuNse ‘Support Network for Social Entrepreneurs’.

Bernadette Phelan

Head of Advisory Services, Business in the Community Ireland

Bernadette Phelan1-min
As Head of Advisory Services, Business in the Community Ireland, Bernadette sits on the Management Team of BITCI, the Irish business network for responsible business. She leads and designs BITCI’s corporate advisory services in responsible and sustainable business, working with over 100 corporate members. Within her role, Bernadette is responsible for the CEO Leaders’ Group on Sustainability which drives innovation, collaboration and standard setting within sustainability for business. She represents BITCI in a range of forums including the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation’s CSR Stakeholder Forum and is a member of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital. She holds a Masters in Science from UCD, a BA (mod) in Economics and Geography from TCD and an Advanced Certificate in Renewable Energy from LIT.

Caroline Pope

Associate Director, Sustainability Services, KPMG Ireland

Caroline Pope
Caroline Pope is an Associate Director in KPMG’s Sustainable Futures team and is responsible for the development and delivery of sustainability projects to Irish businesses across FS and non-FS markets. Caroline has particular experience in sustainability strategy development, sustainable finance, and corporate reporting and disclosure.

Francesca Sharp

Technical Lead, ICAEW

Francesca Sharp

Francesca Sharp is the Technical Lead on Climate Change at ICAEW. She joined ICAEW in 2014 to build, maintain and engage communities of interest and practice in its sustainability work. Francesca is responsible for ICAEWs strategy for delivery of the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and Climate Change. Francesca is a Lead Assessor for the Finance for the Future Awards run in partnership with HRH the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability Project and Deloitte. Francesca is also a member of the Steering Group of the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD). 

Before joining ICAEW, Francesca worked at AccountAbility, a global think tank and standards setter in sustainability. She was responsible for managing the development of the principles-based AA1000 series of standards, and their multi-stakeholder development process.  

Francesca has a Master’s Degree from the University of St Andrews in International Relations with a minor in Sustainable Development. 

Diarmuid Torney

Associate Professor in the School of Law and Government at DCU

Diarmuid Torney
Diarmuid holds an MPhil and DPhil (PhD) in International Relations from the University of Oxford. His research focuses on comparative and global politics of climate change, environment, and energy. He was central to the establishment of, and teaches on, DCU’s MSc in Climate Change: Policy, Media and Society. He is chair of Future Earth Ireland, the national committee convened by the Royal Irish Academy of Future Earth, a 10-year global research initiative to develop knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environment change.

Kate van der Merwe

Global gFA Reporting Optimisation in Fixed Assets and Inventory Team @ Google

Kate van der Merwe

Kate is an ACA and finance professional with a social science background and a passion for sustainability and social justice. In her former role as Chair of the Young Professionals, Kate led a year of Sustainability-themed events, linked to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Kate has written in the area of sustainable finance and is currently completing a Masters in Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Judith Wylie

Lecturer, Ulster University Business School

Judith Wylie bio pic-min
Judith is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and lectures in the areas of corporate social responsibility, risk management, corporate governance and business ethics. Judith has a research interest in sustainability and has recently completed a PhD investigating CSR communication strategies in Irish listed companies.

Was this article helpful?