Airlines, electricity power stations and cement factories were all ranked among the country’s top carbon emissions polluters last year.

There were no farms, food processors or agri-food businesses included in the top 20 Irish companies that reported emissions data under the European Union’s emission trading system (ETS).

Ryanair was ranked first on the list, with its emissions reaching over 10m tonnes of CO2 in 2023.

It was followed by ESB Moneypoint, emitting 1.4m tonnes last year. ESB Aghada in Co Cork also featured in the top 10, with nearly 800,000t of CO2 it placed sixth.

Meanwhile, the company with the third-largest emissions was Aughinish Alumina. The Co Limerick alumina refinery recorded just over 1m tonnes in 2023.


Irish Cement featured twice in the top 10 list. Its Platin Works in Drogheda had the fourth-largest emissions on the list, at just under 1m tonnes. The Irish Cement factory in Limerick placed ninth, emitting 716,710t.

Whitegate Power Station was fifth on the list with 802,157t, Dublin Bay Power Plant was seventh at 751,883t and Great Island Generating Station was eighth with 728,695t.

Huntstown Power Station was the company with the 10th-largest emissions at 662,549t.

Aer Lingus was 11th on the list, emitting 654,502t last year.

Agri companies

A number of food processors and agri-food businesses reported their emissions under the EU’s ETS.

Kerry Ingredients Ireland was the highest placed of the agri companies. It reported two separate sets of emissions, which combined reached 90,598t.

It was followed by Glanbia Ballyragget with 85,544t of emissions last year.

DairyGold Co-operative Society Mitchelstown reported 53,076t, while its Mallow operation had 36,705t.

Aurivo Dairy Ingredients recorded 26,962t of emissions in 2023.

Tirlán Virginia emitted 23,808t, Arrabawn Co-operative Society had 22,487t and Tipperary Co-operative Creamery reported 19,778t.

Lakeland Dairies Drying Plant emitted 8,425t last year.

A number of ABP’s operations around the country reported emissions, the highest of which was ABP Cahir with 16,845t.

EPA anlysis

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis of the ETS shows that, in 2023, CO2 from Irish power generation and industrial companies decreased by 17%.

It said emissions decreased by almost 24% from the electricity generation sector.

The drop in industrial emissions was over 6%, with cement industry emissions decreasing by 6.2%, mainly due to lower production levels.

In contrast, emissions from aviation increased by more than 9% compared with 2022.