Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

Introducing Sustainability Activators, Anthesis Group

We are pleased to welcome global sustainability specialists, Anthesis Group as new members of Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange.

In this blog post, Ria Kearney, Associate Director at Anthesis, based in Northern Ireland, introduces the company and the work it does across Ireland and Scotland. Originally from Holywood, Northern Ireland, Ria has worked within the sustainability sector for over 15 years through a varied range of in-house and consultancy roles, with a recent focus on the global apparel and textile sector.

Who are we?

Anthesis Group is delighted to become a member of Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange and we are looking forward to getting involved in the network and getting to know other members. By way of introduction, Anthesis is the sustainability activator. Proud to be a B Corp, we seek to make a significant contribution to a world that is more resilient and productive. We do this by working with cities, companies, and other organisations to drive sustainable performance. We develop financially driven sustainability strategies, underpinned by technical expertise and delivered by innovative collaborative teams across the world.

Since establishing in 2013, Anthesis Group has grown to include more than 800 experts, through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. We are proud of all fifteen sustainability leading organisations who have joined and all stand together behind one common goal of making sustainability happen.

The company combines the reach of big professional services groups with the deep expertise of boutiques. We have clients across industry sectors from corporate multinationals such as Reckitt Benckiser, Cisco, Tesco, Nestlé and Target, and also supports early-stage companies through Anthesis Ventures. We operate in more than 40 countries around the world and have offices in Andorra, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the Middle East, the Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US.

Ireland-Scotland Growth Ambitions 

We are excited to be building our presence across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, which is a key priority for us in 2022. We are now actively growing our teams in these markets. In September 2021, we opened our first Scottish office in Edinburgh. We see enormous potential to work with Irish, Northern Irish and Scottish companies and organisations committed to driving sustainable performance across their operations and sectors.

In Ireland, for example, we are working with a leading Private Equity firm and several of its portfolio companies to review their ESG performance, ensure all are on track to meet an agreed set of foundational, portfolio-wide ESG requirements and, beyond that, support them to implement bespoke ESG action plans that will help to further embed sustainability into their business models. 

Supporting businesses in reaching green objectives and goals

We have a clear, strategic mission to facilitate change at a deeper level. While many businesses offer advice on specific aspects of sustainability, we focus on activating sustainable performance that lies at the core of any organisation. Our strategic framework supports organisations on their sustainability journey, including carbon management, Net Zero and science-based targets, circular economy, sustainable packaging and products, ESG strategy and governance – including providing support to financial institutions as they navigate the ESG pathways for themselves and with their portfolio companies, and supply chain solutions, which includes a fully managed service offering to support companies in managing complex supply chain compliance matters.

The Activator Approach is our three-stage methodology for delivering sustainable performance. Whether corporate strategy or specific operational problem solving, the Activator Approach flexibly combines the right expertise and tools for the job, across a proven, end-to-end logic of change.

Phase 1 - Analytics: The Analytics phase develops insightful diagnostics of business and sustainability issues, builds engagement, and identifies opportunities and risks. Our methods combine primary research and data collection, big data analytics, scenario modelling and multi-stakeholder qualitative research.

Phase 2 -Solution: Sustainability poses new challenges and presents extraordinary new opportunities for organisations. They require new tools, methods and approaches to address. Rooted in robust evidence and analytics, we work with clients to identify and design high impact strategies and solutions that unlock sustainable performance.

Phase 3 – Implementation: The future is what actually happens. From energy generation to public engagement campaigns, and from programme management through delivery on the ground: where clients need implementation support, our specialist teams help to make plans into reality and results.

How can businesses become more carbon neutral, and why it is it important for this to be in your strategies

Consumers, citizens, communities, and investors are now demanding change, and cities and corporations around the globe are setting targets to radically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these targets align with ambitions to reach Net Zero by 2050 or before. Achieving the required targets can be challenging. Reducing emissions on the path to a climate-safe future may mean achieving significant savings within a relatively short period of time.

To support our clients throughout their sustainability journey we help them understand the 3 Scopes of emissions that correlate to who ‘owns’ those emissions and the level of control applicable to changing those emission levels at each stage.

Scope 1 and 2 emissions are a mandatory part of reporting for many organisations across the world and relate to systems that are within reasonable control of an entity, such as onsite and purchased energy.

Scope 3 emissions are centred on sources of emissions that are more external to a specific organisation, such as those across the supply chain. Scope 3 emissions remain mostly voluntary to report; however, in most cases the reduction of Scope 3 has the potential to have the largest impact.

Companies influence but do not own or control Scope 3 sources and setting Scope 3 targets has only emerged as a common practice in the last five years. However, reducing these emissions is essential to meet Net Zero commitments. Companies typically need to focus on working with value chain partners to enable Scope 3 reduction. Many companies will focus on supplier engagement as a key emissions reduction strategy in the coming years. Once companies have done all they can to avoid and reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, they can purchase offsets or invest in technologies that help remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Anthesis is a long-term partner with a true stake in the process as our clients’ continued success is closely coupled with ours. We’ve set ourselves an ambition to move the dial during the decisive decade by removing 3GT of CO2e through our client by 2030, the equivalent to the accumulative total annual UK carbon dioxide emissions over eight years.

We also enable solutions by activating sustainability through our 20+ software solutions. We support our clients to make the right decision on their carbon reduction strategy, recycling, manufacturing, energy and waste management, agri-food journey, and others.

For more information on our approach and the work we do, please visit

Connect with Ria Kearney ( and Chris Stanley ( for Scotland AIRE/ Scotland enquiries.

Join Causeway for an online networking event at 4pm on 27 January, where we will be connecting and showcasing Irish, Northern Irish and Scottish businesses who are helping to drive the battle against climate emergency through innovation. This event gives you the chance to broaden your professional connections and provides a unique networking opportunity. REGISTER HERE >

Author: Ria Kearney

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