St Vincent’s Private Hospital earns best Sustainability Reputation in Ireland accolade

Study highlights positive impact of Sustainability on stakeholder support and business performance

86% of the public will buy from an organisation with an Excellent Sustainability Index score

The results of the Ireland RepTrak® Sustainability Index 2021 study, announced at a launch event today, revealed St Vincent’s Private Hospital has the best Sustainability reputation in Ireland. Credit Unions (2nd), An Post (3rd), Bord Bia (4th) and Mater Private Network (5th) occupied the remaining top five positions. This is the ninth annual study of Sustainability reputations in Ireland, ranking 100 of the largest, most familiar, and most important organisations in Ireland by the public’s perceptions of their performance across the three Sustainability dimensions of Citizenship, Governance, and Workplace.  The independent study was carried out by The Reputations Agency and The Reptrak® Company.   

Revealing Irish results, trends, and insights at a breakfast webinar for 200 guests this morning, The Reputations Agency examined the actions of the organisations within the top performing sectors, to understand what it takes to secure this high placement in the Sustainability index. 

The top 10 most reputed Irish organisations in the Ireland Sustainability RepTrak® Index 2021 are:  



Sustainability Index Score 



Sustainability Index Score 


St Vincent’s Private Hospital 






Credit Union 






An Post 






Bord Bia 



Bon Secours 



Mater Private Network 



Blackrock Clinic  



The public is increasingly conscious of the contributions of Private hospitals, with St Vincent’s Private Hospital taking first place in Ireland RepTrak® Sustainability Index 2021while the Mater Private Network came into fifth place. The Bons Secours Health system and Blackrock Clinic took 9th and 10th place respectively.  St Vincent’s Private Hospital takes first place for Behaving Ethically, being Environmentally Responsible, ensuring Employee Well-being and Rewarding staff fairly.  They are also credited for the great care they take in communicating to their patients/stakeholders across all multiple channels including using the medium of experts on video to demonstrate transparency. 

The Food Retail Sector took two of the top ten spots in the Ireland RepTrak® Sustainability Index 2021, with international retailers Aldi taking 6th place and Lidl taking 7th place.  At their core, the public recognise that Aldi and Lidl ensure that high quality, nutritious food is accessible to everyone in Ireland.  Both have steadily building market share to a combined level of over 25% of the Irish food retail market.  The public respects their support for health, wellbeing, and inclusiveness through grass roots community sports. Aldi’s support for the IRFU and children’s health and development comes through in the Aldi Play Rugby initiative, encouraging tens of thousands of male and female children across Ireland to get active.  Lidl’s ongoing support of the Ladies’ Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) and women’s sports generally, highlighted by their “Level the Playing Field” campaign, demonstrates community engagement that resonates with the public.  

In Ireland, Having a Positive influence on society is the most important reputational driver in both the Sustainability Index and overall Reputation, yet on average, the 100 organisations studied underperform against the public’s expectations.  Most Irish organisations need strong proof points to convince the public of their positive societal impact to improve their reputation.  The Credit Unions, An Post and Bord Bia take the top three positions in this attribute because the public clearly identifies their Positive influence on society.  The public ranks Credit Unions first in Positive influence on society for their commitment to their local communities, acknowledging the trust that over 3.6 million members place in their local Credit Union and appreciating their friendly, understanding and people focused approach.  Bord Bia places second in this attribute for standing behind the Ireland’s food producers and supporting them to reach global markets. The public also rated Bord Bia as being amongst the leaders in Purpose, including Benefiting society, Improving the lives of people and their communities, and Being committed to changing the world for the better.  An Post places third in Positive influence on society for running a Fair, Open, Transparent and Ethical business, for Protecting the environment and for Offering equal opportunities to its 9,000 strong workforce.   

Organisations in Ireland have great opportunity to improve the public’s perceptions of their Sustainability performance, as the public’s largest levels of uncertainty is in the three Sustainability dimensions – Workplace, Governance and Citizenship. Two in three members of the public are either Neutral or Not Sure how to feel about an organisation when asked to rate their performance in these areas. When specifically asked what, if anything, the 100 organisations are doing to be good corporate citizens, an average of three quarters of the public can’t name any examples.  

Speaking about the Ireland RepTrak® Sustainability Index 2021Niamh Boyle, Managing Director, The Reputations Agency said, “With the emphasis on developing robust sustainability strategies in organisations at an all-time high, it is important to understand what is resonating with your stakeholders, what is really driving stakeholder support of your organisation, and what will help move the dial in your Reputation scores. It is also important to understand where the untapped opportunity lies: where can your organisation connect the dots to go one level deeper and ensure that your sustainability strategy cuts through?  

“We know cutting through makes smart business sense. Businesses want to work with organisations that demonstrate a commitment to SDG goals and science-based scope targets. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for more Sustainable goods and services. And, while doing nothing is simply no longer acceptable, society is also more and more cynical about Sustainability goals and strategies, questioning their authenticity and whether they will bring about sufficient change.”  

Catherine Walsh, Head of the CSR at The Reputations Agency said, “The three Sustainability dimensions Citizenship, Governance and Workplace - drive over 47% of an organisation’s reputation with the general public.  Sustainability is more important to an organisation’s reputation in Ireland than what you sell, the service you provide, how you bring your product/service to market at the operational level and how stably your organisation performs financially.  Organisations are widely scrutinised on their alignment with social causes, their behaviour, their values and their internal culture.  This highlights the clear business case for top performing companies to implement and communicate Sustainability initiatives.   

Anne Browning, Director at The Reputations Agency said, ”The public are more attuned to organisational Reputation than ever before, and for the public action speaks louder than words. We have seen the public’s appetite for news about what the business world is doing to contribute to the well-being of society, the planet, and their workforce sharpening each year.  Investment in sustainability strategies makes solid business sense.  86% of the public will Buy from an organisation with an Excellent Sustainability Index score, 14 times more than will Buy from an organisation with a Poor Sustainability Index score.  83% would Trust those organisations with an Excellent Sustainability Index score, 20 times more than for an organisation with a Poor Sustainability Index score.” 

The Ireland RepTrak® Sustainability Index 2021 study asked 6,500 members of the public to rate how well they felt 100 organisations performed across three dimensions and nine attributes; measuring the degree to which they are seen to act responsibly towards their communities and the environment in which they operate, ensuring that that their businesses are responsibly run, and treating their staff well.  The online survey also asked members of the public to name examples of what companies do to make them a good corporate citizen. The study found that the more genuine and authentic an organisation is in its activities and its communication, the higher their Sustainability reputation.  


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